Freshwater tear down to Saltwater - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
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Freshwater tear down to Saltwater

Hi all,

Been doing some thinking lately, Ive got a ten gallon and 20 gallon tank recently my pops has been itching me to tear down the 20 gallon tank and put up a reef tank that him and I can work on together, however, I need to get rid of 7 fish, an AC50, and a finnex planted+ (unless this finnex light will be good enough to grow basic corals for saltwater.

Also, I would like to know, if/when I tear this tank down, what do I need to do differently to accommodate saltwater as far as equipment wise, some of you have to have reef tanks, I know it help me out!

So far, I know I can sell the plants off and donate the fish to the LFS as much as I dont want to but... I actually have on SAE if anyone wants it PM me about it...also as far as the light if thats not sufficient for saltwater it will sell like a hot cake lets face it....also after I figure out the lighting ordeal i will be placing a for sale/ROAK up and going from their.

Now I need to know basically the light brads and such that are decent for a beginner my old man is relatively new so I want him to get involved with this and learn a thing or two from his "grasshopper" son lol.

All input on anything pertaining to what you would do and what the best solution is would be great, also recommendations on equipment beginner corals/fish and cycles/filtration is great also.

Thanks in advance,

TECK


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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 06:56 AM
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Oh no! Stepping over to the dark side! Lol gl with your adventure! Ive always been too scared to set up a salt tank as I hear its just as addictive but more expensive haha


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 08:11 AM
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planted + has got to go. red light has no benefit in a reef tank. your also going to need a protein skimmer. a small HOB unit should be sufficient for a 20 gallon. fine grain sand is a must (no. 2 argonite is what i use) live rock is a must as well, general rule is about two lbs per gallon. for lighting look into an LED system with a two channel dimmer. you can dial in your color to suit your needs. other then that, occelaris clown fish are good beginner fish and stay away from damselfish, they get pretty aggressive. good luck with saltwater, its one heck of a ride

p.s. take it slow when starting up. cycle with live rock for a few weeks before you add any fish. patience is a virtue when it comes to a reef tank.


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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 01:20 PM
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I tore down my couple of saltwater tanks and one of them was 20g. So many ways to approach but it all comes down on what you want to achieve. With 20g you can either set it up with HOB and a powerhead, or have a sump, you need to drill it to have overflow box, it's the preferred and efficient method. I drilled both of my tanks, very easy. With lighting, unless the Planted plus has at least 10k and blues, or no corals, then you need to replace that. I've used lightings from Kessil, t5s, but I eneded up using Reefdreeders Led, they're great for the money and gaining popularity, very nice fixture. You need to be careful how much lighting you put, algae can be a real nuisance in saltwater tanks. Reef breeders led, you can adjust the intensity. For live rocks and sand, you can start with dead live rocks, they will become live rocks after a while same thing with sand. You just need to buy couple of live rocks to start the coralline algae, the pinkish algae you see in saltwater tanks. This way you don't need pay to much for rocks. You still need to cycle the tank before placing corals and livestocks, these are just the basics. You need your normal test kits plus test kits for saltwater, calcium/alk/mag, a must if you will have corals, otherwise no. With saltwater, you need lots of research, patience and take your time picking the right equipment, it is expensive.
For 20g, you don't really need a protein skimmer, you can get by with weekly water change. But if you have a sump, you can place a skimmer in the sump, either in tank or HOB skimmer. You can go to reef central reef site for more info.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Well Id like to salvage as much equipment as possible from freshwater, i already have an AC50 on the 20 gallon I was hoping to use that for the saltwater tank and to go from there. Also, I do realize a reef is expensive, not sure if the old man will want to do corals or not, but id like to be prepared with equipment to do so even if we dont grow corals right away.

This is going to be a long process for tearing the tank down, its dirted and been setup for two years....but ive always had problems with the planted+ over the 20 gallon

As far as equipment recomendations, I'd like to stay with a hang on back or possibly a canister, if there is such a thing in reef tanks, also, can you recommend me lighting fixtures?

Thanks.


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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 04:25 PM
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I run two marine tanks and starting a fresh planted tank as well...The larger the marine tank the easier to maintain (not easy just easier) in keeping parameters...As mentioned above, reef tanks and fish only tanks have different parameters. You need live rock or a refugium (sp) (or both)..An RO/DO is a necessity..But the good thig about evaporation is you just need to replace the water, the salt does not evaporate..You may also need a chiller as corals have no tolerance for temp. changes...A good battery backup is also needed for power outages... Im far from expert but may be able to help you not spend sooo much money making mistakes that I did..!!
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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So there is a lot more equipment needed in saltwater then freshwater?

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TECKSPEED View Post
So there is a lot more equipment needed in saltwater then freshwater?

Yepper...but dont let that discourage you...Enjoy !!
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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I will enjoy it for sure but I want to know what equipment I should purchase and also specific brands that are decent for a beginner

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 07:27 PM
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I would go to your lfs and ask. Tell them what your goal is then tell them your budget. The ones in Portland when I was in it were always glad to help. You don't have to go big on your budget just research and make smart decisions. Sometimes used is a good option.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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The closest place I would trust would be that pet place that fish place about 45 minutes away.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 08:51 PM
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Go to Reefcentral.com, they are great and a lot of people will be able to help you.

My tank journal:

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Just joined there lol I am waiting to make a post for when I can type faster on my desktop instead of my phone

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 01:48 AM
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As good as this forum is for planted tanks, by it's nature it's not going to be nearly as good for SW reef systems. There are a lot of good SW forums out there. Reef Central has been mentioned. They are big and there is a lot of good information, but they do have the reputation of being rough on new people to SW. I recommend that you look around and fine a reef forum that you like. I happen to like Reef Sanctuary, which I think is a lot more friendly, especially to a beginner.

As pointed out be others, SW systems can get expensive fast. It helps to have lots of money to throw at the project. (grin). Equipment and livestock can be out of sight expensive, giveing even ADA a run for the money in price.

I think the most difficult thing to over come is the mindset of FW verses SW systems. While the goals are that same, that is keeping the fish and livestock alive, the ways that this is done are often completly different. For example, for planted tanks we tend to love canister filters. In the SW world, some people do use them, but often the advice for a SW reef is get rid of the canister filter.

Good luck in converting to the "dark side".

Lastly, I have a SW reef and a FW planted tank. I'd sure hate to have to make a choice between them. I love both aspects. Sometime, if I can ever take some decent picts, I'm going to post picts of my planted tank on the SW forum, and picts of my reef here, just to stir things up a bit (grin).
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-31-2014, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Well see I have no clue as to what equipment to get at all so I am a complete beginner at this.

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