Saltwater -> Freshwater conversion? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Saltwater -> Freshwater conversion?

I have been setting up a 40g long saltwater tank with a 40B sump, but have been debating setting up a FW planted tank instead.

Would having the 40B sump make a difference? I am thinking it might just be 2 tanks plumbed together basically.

Also I have a reef quality light fixture with 2x150W metal halides and 2 compact actinic bulbs. Would the color of the plants look off? I realize that Corals and Plants tend to utilize different spectrums and was wondering if a FW conversion would also involve a new light.


Still debating which one to go for, but after being in the reef side of the hobby for 5 years, going back to a planted setup seems rather tempting (and cheap!).

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 02:53 AM
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Fresh water and salt water equipment are very similar in many ways, and most can be used for both purposes. (Just rinse the salt out really well. The trace that remains after a thorough cleaning is not a problem in most fresh water set ups.)
A few things are different:
1) A sump on a planted tank with pressurized CO2 may allow too much CO2 to leave. Tom Barr's solution is to cover the sump, perhaps with plastic sheeting, and duct tape it so there is the least air exchange.
2) Do not use a protein skimmer in fresh.
3) Lighting is indeed different. Reef lighting replicates the tropical sun pouring down into the water with no shade in sight. It copies the filtering that happens as the light passes through the water, so tends to be high in the blues. The ocean is fairly deep with respect to the light, and most of the red is filtered out. Fresh water lighting is more like the filtered light that trickles through the rain forest trees, and may be full sun only briefly as it reaches between the trees and hits the river. On the other hand, this water is often quite shallow, so a lot more reds pass through to reach the plants.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 03:01 AM
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What temp are your halides? I'd say they could work if you run 10000k bulbs and raise em up above the tank.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Hills Tj View Post
What temp are your halides? I'd say they could work if you run 10000k bulbs and raise em up above the tank.
it is, 2 150 watt halides, 2 130 watt square pin actinic compact florescents, & 6 led moon lights and comes with 1 spare 10 k halide bulb. Built in ballasts and cooling fans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Fresh water and salt water equipment are very similar in many ways, and most can be used for both purposes. (Just rinse the salt out really well. The trace that remains after a thorough cleaning is not a problem in most fresh water set ups.)
A few things are different:
1) A sump on a planted tank with pressurized CO2 may allow too much CO2 to leave. Tom Barr's solution is to cover the sump, perhaps with plastic sheeting, and duct tape it so there is the least air exchange.
2) Do not use a protein skimmer in fresh.
3) Lighting is indeed different. Reef lighting replicates the tropical sun pouring down into the water with no shade in sight. It copies the filtering that happens as the light passes through the water, so tends to be high in the blues. The ocean is fairly deep with respect to the light, and most of the red is filtered out. Fresh water lighting is more like the filtered light that trickles through the rain forest trees, and may be full sun only briefly as it reaches between the trees and hits the river. On the other hand, this water is often quite shallow, so a lot more reds pass through to reach the plants.
1) Not sure if I'm going to try CO2 or not, good to know about the covering of the sump though.
2) Ya, this will most likely just be using sponge filters.
3) So my fixture might be a little overkill...

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-13-2013 at 02:08 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 04:43 PM
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Way to much light. Read thru this thread to get on track about planted freshwater lighting requirements.

As a reefer myself I suspect you would want a "high" light tank, which in most cases requires co2 and a fertilizer regime.

Otherwise, you will only grow algae and frustration rather well.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 05:22 PM
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I've been a reefer for 15+ years and I've been mostly bored with it for the last few of those. Earlier this spring I sold all of my fish/coral and have just restarted the tank as a planted setup. I haven't had a planted tank since the mid 90's and I'm utterly stoked to do it full bore for the first time.

It's been hard coming to terms with the lower lighting requirements. I just built a DIY LED blue-heavy system last year that put 1000+ PAR into the tank...and it's headed for craigslist. I'm now set up with <200 PAR (this is a guess, haven't tested it yet) via T5 now and that still seems to be on the higher side relative to many well-run tanks.

I'm familiar with the links PAXX posted. These are all definitely worth a read. The mentality of freshwater planted tanks is very different. EI dosing concepts, especially how they relate to plant growth vs algae growth in a FW environment, caught me totally by surprise.

Respect the triangle between light intensity, fertilization, and CO2. They all need to be proportional to each other.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for those links!

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