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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default helping a newbie converting a freshwater to saltwater tank


    0 Not allowed!
    hey, whats going on guys. I have a fully functional 55gl freshwater fish tank. And i want to go to salt water.

    What would I need to get to convert?
    I have a 55g filter and a 40 gal filter also and a heater.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2

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    0 Not allowed!
    An abandoned Brinks Truck! I am in the process of doing the same thing you are. Right now I am staring at a tankfull of live rock and sand. Believe it or not it is really exciting. I can't wait to get to the fish!
    Good luck.
    There are many more experienced folks on this forum than me.
    I'm just here for moral support!

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    0 Not allowed!
    Well first off you dont need the filter. You need sand and live rock will add as your natural filter
    55 Gallon Freshwater

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Before you start converting, you should start with reading one or both of these books before you even start thinking about buying equipment or setting up a tank: The New Marine Aquarium; Step-by-Step Setup and Stocking Guide, by Michael S. Paletta or The Conscientious Marine Aquarist: A Commonsense Handbook for Successful Saltwater Hobbyists, by Bob Fenner are about the best two books to buy on how to setup and maintain saltwater tanks. They will teach you a lot and answer almost every beginner question you could think of or have.

    - 29g FW - Community - Congo Tetras and a mated pair Kribensis
    - 55g SW - Royal Gramma, 6-Line Wrasse, 2 Ocellaris Clownfish, and various corals and inverts

  5. #5

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    0 Not allowed!
    Gotta agree with travie here. Before you buy one thing for a marine tank, you need to read those books. The marine hobby is not something you should just jump into and learn as you go. There are a number of articles here on this forum as well that should help. Also, there are a few threads that have been started. I'd recommend you read through those as well as every one of the Sticky threads in all parts of the SW forums.
    Considering a Marine Aquarium? A Breakdown of the Components, Live Rock, Cycling a Marine Tank

    "The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The WILLINGNESS to learn is a choice." - Unknown

  6. #6

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    alright cool. thanks ill check those books out.

    I was wondering if a salt water tank needs a skimmer?
    Ive searched but really didnt find much of fw converting to sw

  7. #7

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    0 Not allowed!
    your not really converting though right? you have to start pretty much from scratch
    Current Status:
    *30g saltwater
    -Snowflake Eel
    -Yellow Tang
    -Koran Angel (juvi)
    -Maroon clown
    -Condi Anenomes
    *60g Freshwater
    -Electric Blue jack dephsey
    -Bichirs
    -Barracuda
    -Gold Nugget Pleco
    *10g Saltwater
    -Pygmy Octopus
    -Fire Goby
    *10g Freshwater (misc dump tank)
    Click these PLEASE---->

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    0 Not allowed!
    Yeah, you are starting over from scratch. A skimmer is highly recommended for any SW tank.

    - 29g FW - Community - Congo Tetras and a mated pair Kribensis
    - 55g SW - Royal Gramma, 6-Line Wrasse, 2 Ocellaris Clownfish, and various corals and inverts

  9. #9

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    0 Not allowed!
    What you mean by scratch, cant i use my filter? and heater? ect

  10. #10

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    Oct 2008
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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    here is what I did and it is proving to be pretty stable.

    I started out in fresh.

    I moved to brackish and stayed there for a few months.

    I then upped the SG of the water to 1.023 and let it stay there for about 2 weeks.

    I then, replaced the silica sand with live reef sand, and added a few pounds of live rock.

    It stayed like this for about 2 weeks and then I added the full 30 lbs of live rock (since I have a 29g tank) and kept my AC 70 HOB filter on there.

    After one week, I had 0 nitrites, 0 ammonia and 20 ppm nitrates. Now, that is pretty high but wont kill fish (unless they are in a VERY long time) and over time, and lots of water changes, the nitrates will go down.

    After week one I put in this:

    2 turbo snails
    9 small hermits
    1 brittle star (and one other one thats the size of a silver dollar that I caught in the ocean)
    1 Coral banded shrimp

    they went to town on the brown algae bloom I got.

    After week 3 or 4, I added a scooter blenny who is doing great and is eating blood worms regularly.

    My PH is still kind of low (7.9) but everything is going great.

    My filter is still on there because I havent got a protein skimmer yet. Plan on taking it off as soon as I get one though. Im going with a CPR Bak Pak HOB. Oh and I added a Koralia 1 powerhead for circulation and plan on getting one more of those. I believe that will raise my PH if there is some better gas exchange going on.


    So in theory, I believe the reason my cycling was able to finish so fast (well maybe not finish but be 99% finished) was because of how long I left it as a brackish tank and the beneficial bacteria that built up in my filter helped a lot.

    If you are going straight from fresh to salt, then like said before, its going to be like starting a new tank. Plan on months of cycling (or get fully cured live rock) and make sure you get some books and read up on everything.

    I just got "the New marine Aquarium" book off half.com for 10 bucks and it is a really good read with lots of good pictures to go off of. Check it out.

    p.s. I would use your filter till you get a skimmer. Just to remove debri and such. Heater, as long as it is all glass, is fine. Plan on better lighting too because really, the bulbs provided and used in freshwater dont do any saltwater setup justice at all.
    29g Saltwater, FOWLR
    8 Mexican Hermits
    2 Turbo snails
    2 Brittle Star
    1 Coral banded Shrimp
    2 Banggai Cardinals
    1 Coral Beauty

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