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Salt Water Fish Tank?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by 79Stomper, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. 79Stomper

    79Stomper 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    All right, I am knowledgeable on a fresh water tank, but me and the Misses was walking through the pet store today and was looking at the salt water fish. Want to convert one of our tanks to salt water. Someone chime in if you have some experience in setting up a salt water tank. I have some questions.
     
  2. jakeslim

    jakeslim 1/2 ton status

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    I had a succesful run with one for a couple of year(60 gallon) a few years back. MUCH easier than everyone makes out to be UNLESS you want to have live corals. Otherwise, tangs, clowns, triggers etc were hardy and put up with my not so perfect water mgmt. Seriously, water prep, salinity levels and temp were about 98% of it and that was pretty easy. let me know if you have other questions. Lighting is a big thing also. I did deal with some parasites as well, but nothing difficult..mostly follow same rules as fresh water (quarantine prior to introduction into main tank.

    I had a blue tang, yellow tang, clown(percula), and a small trigger. They all got along great with not problems. I fed them frozen premium food with some flakes also. The key is PLENTY of space for the fish.

    My setup consisted of 60gallon tank, under water filter, two "waterfall" type filters, one on eash end of the wall side of tank, heater, coral gravel(larger pieces) and decoration stuff(lava rocks etc). I think one of the things I did right was getting the TWO 30-40 gallan waterfall filters, intead of just one for made for a larger tank. I was able to get great filtration continuously at both ends of tank.

    If you live in a warm area of the country, your water will tend to evap quicker than fresh water due to water temps though.

    later,
    jakeslim
     
  3. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    What size tank are you planning on using? To do a marine aquarium properly you will need a refugeum sump to control algea and for proper bio/power filtration. This is very important if you plan on making a really nice live reef marine tank. You could get by, by just using a good back pack power filter, protein skimmer, and a tight hood if you only want fish and no live coral. I am a big aquarium buff and got my girlfriend a job at the local pet store. She has now surpassed me in aquaria knowledge and tells me people have problems with algea sometimes without the refugeum sump.

    If it was me and you just wanted to get a marine tank started for the least amount of money to see if you like it I would try the setup without the sump and see if the two of you really like marine tanks better.

    Have you ever seen the larger new, empty, aquariums at the store that have a little "box" in the corner that is notched at the top? Those tanks are specifically setup to be used in a marine application with a sump. There is a hole behind that corner box and the water overflows through the notches at the top and flows into the sump for filtration and heat. A powerfull pump on the return line side of the sump pumps the water back into the tank and as it fills it continues to spill over the corner box creating a cycle of water flow.

    My girlfriend and I wanted to convert one of my 55's to salt but since it doesn't have the corner overflow box we couldn't do a fancy reef tank and lost interest. We plan on setting up a 150+ gallon reef aquarium when we get settled in our home and have the cash, using a tank designed witht the overflow box and sump.

    I say go for it using a fresh water style tank but beware that you can't have a reef, which can make it less apealing. It is like having a fresh water tank without any plants.
     
  4. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    I know this is lame, I know this is predictable, i know this is useless and annoying but


    Gwah?

    Everything can be made complicated I guess

    Anyway, good luck with the fish

    I had two once

    They died a horrible, horrible death
     
  5. 79Stomper

    79Stomper 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Well right now I have a 55 and a 30 gal fresh water tanks both cycled and flourishing with fish and life. Well I want to take the 30 and convert it into a salt water tank. All right here are my questions.

    - Will the current Bio Filter I have work well with the salt water setup? It is an Aquaclear 50 in a 30 gallon tank and has plenty of flow and does a great job maintaining the eco system in the freshwater setup.

    - I also have an undergravel filter in the 30 and plan on keeping it. Will I need this with the salt water setup?

    - As far as gravel in a salt water, do I need to change it to some type of live sand setup? I like having the different colors of gravel and get tired of the sand color.

    - Sumps- I have done some research on this and is this pretty much the same as a bio filter. All research I can find is very sketchy.

    I don't really mind seeing filters or heater on the back of the tank.

    I would like to use as much equipment out of the fresh water set up as I can when I go salt. I plan on getting a pretein skimmer for it but what else will I need.

    Also, what are some of the test kits that I will need for the salt tank?


    Thanks for your help witht hese questions.

    James
     
  6. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I also have an AC 50(200). It is a good little filter for keeping the water clean. It doesn't have a biofilter like an Emporer or Penguin filter and I have heard that those are much better for full biological filtration as a stand alone filter vs. the AC's. I use a Penguin 170 on my 30 gal., no underground, and an Emporer 400 in my fully planted 55 gal, no underground plate. With your fresh water setup it is perfect, the plate for bio filtration and the AC50 for water filtration. I would probably still use it with the marine setup but it will be insufficient since there will be no underground plate. I would get a protein skimmer/bio filter combo setup.

    As for the tank of choice...you have to remember something when it comes to marine tanks. The smaller the tank the more unstable the enviroment. Water evaporation, correct salt mixes, ph, and water temperature are all harder to keep control of with a smaller tank. The general rule is that a 55g is the minumum but plenty of people go smaller with a decent degree of success.

    No, you do not use a plate in marine setups.

    You can go with either live sand or coral. I don't think you can use standard gravel but I am not positive, I doubt it.

    It is basically a biofilter but is much larger and more powerfull and is used to house microorganisms and algea. Here is a link to a few refugiums to help give you an idea. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/NavResults.cfm?Ne=40000&N=2004+22768&ref=3055&subref=AC It is basically a biofilter but is much larger and more powerfull and is used to house microorganisms and algea.

    With a true, "under the main tank" refugium it keeps ALL the equipment out of the show tank to really help give it a natural look.

    Well I pretty much answered this question above. You will need a ph, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, basically what you need for a fresh tank with the addition of a salt mix tester, I forgot the exact name of it. To basically sum it up in short. If you want to have a plain marine tank to see if you two like it I would use a protein skimmer/bio filter combo, your current AC50, your current heater as long as it is marine safe, and evaluate how powerfull your current lighting is and how tight the lid fits. To really capture marine fish colors you need a decent light, for growing coral, an expensive triple florescent hood would be required. Make sure the water can not come into contact with any metal, as it will proceed to corrod it.

    No prob. :grin:
     
  7. tomseviltwin

    tomseviltwin 1/2 ton status

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    I think you'll find that Marine fish are smarter than fresh water. Make sure you start slow and let the the tank "cycle". Dont keep small fish with groupers;)
     

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