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Old 01-06-2017, 06:27 PM   #1
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From freshwater to saltwater...where to start?

Ok so I have decided I think to convert one of my freshwater tanks to saltwater. I have a lot of freshwater experience but this be my first venture into salt. I'd like to consider a reef and this is where I am at. I have an Oceanic 76 gallon half-round tank w/ I think a 30g sump. As far as lighting, I'll have took to be sure but I think I have a fluorescent dual lamp set up I can dig up OR I have some (3) 150w Metal Halides I might be able to do something with. I also have a power head. Who can give me some direction with a list of everything else I need to get her up and running? Cost guesstimates?
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:33 PM   #2
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For corals, the metal halide unit would be down the range of keeping whatever photosynthetic corals you'd like...most likely.
You will want to aim for a minimum of 10x water turnover with your powerheads in the system. I'd max it out between 50-60x, so more than 1 powerhead will be necessary to achieve this and ensure little to no dead zones.
You'll want to have 1 lbs of sand and 1 lbs of rock. You don't have to buy 'live' rock, but can help the purse strings by going after dry/base/macro rock. There are many options to choose from. The same can go for sand, as some use pool filter sand, but an agrigate based sand is best.
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Old 01-06-2017, 10:52 PM   #3
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I actually have pool filter sand in the tank now from the previous freshwater set up. Can that be used? Of course, I would rinse it first. About the rock, how much is needed for a 76gallon tank? What is meant by "live rock"? What is the purple and blue colors I have seen on some rock? I am assuming the rock is very essential for the coral?
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Old 01-06-2017, 11:39 PM   #4
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You could probably re use it, but I am personally not a fan of reusing sand. I don't think it's possible to get all the gunk out of it.
As I stated previously, you want 1 pound per gallon of both rock and sand in your system. This is the base of your filtration in your system as it will be covered with beneficial bacteria when you are done cycling the tank.
"Live" rock is used to talk about the fact that there is a bacteria base in the rock itself. It is many times chipped right out of the ocean. It ups the price and can be avoided.
The colors you see on rock is algae growth that establishes itself in the rock as it matures. This isn't to be confused with the nuisance algae that can plague a tank, but there are others that aren't an issue and can actually be sought after. Many of our tanks are filled with a calcium based algae called coraline that isn't harmful...unless you have had to chip it off of powerheads.
The rock isn't essential for coral, it is essential for being successful with saltwater period. It is the backbone of the nitrate cycle.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:28 PM   #5
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Just thought of another question, how does regular maintenance differ between freshwater and saltwater aquariums?
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Old 01-07-2017, 08:27 PM   #6
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That depends on the setup, but one big part is weekly water changes of at least 10% to help manage parameters.
For my system, I switch out to a clean filter sock weekly along with water changes of 10%. I empty my protein skimmer daily and swap out the different media I run depending on how long it takes to exhaust itself.
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Old 01-08-2017, 03:08 PM   #7
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Sounds good. I just started tearing down the tank because it had previously sprung a leak which is kind of what prompted the rebuild. It is a 76 gallon Oceanic half-round. Not sure where the leak came from so I'm problem going to need to completely re-seal. When I got the tank it was missing the overflow and so I picked up a piece of acrylic and built my own. I can tell that the silicone that held it in place definitely needs re-done. However I have also noticed that there are several cracks up and down the length of the overflow. Is this a problem? Can I still use it or should I build another one?Click image for larger version

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