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Thread: Conversion from fresh water to marine coral

  1. #1
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    Conversion from fresh water to marine coral

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    Hello all!

    I have a few questions relating to conversion of freshwater to saltwater aquarium.

    Currently, my tank size is 3ft, 2 canister filters and one of them is running through a chiller and CO2...

    If i wish to convert to a saltwater, preferably a coral reef tank, based on preliminary researches, i will need:

    1) Wave maker
    2) Protein Skimmer
    3) Substrate
    4) Live Rocks for natural filter(similar to cycling freshwater, promoting growth of healthy bacteria)
    5) Sea salt?
    ???) If there is anymore to the list please kindly advice?

    Also, what kind of diet does the salt water organisms generally have? is it live food or pellets? (Currently, i set my eyes on corals and the neon damsel)

    Recommended places (I'm based in the east side):

    Iwarna, Golden Octopus, Marinelife aquarium

    Thank you all for your advice, looking forward to learning new things!

  2. #2
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    Re: Conversion from fresh water to marine coral

    From looking at what you've written, best is to have a dedicated marine tank, with thicker glass and a sump. There is a lot of difference between a 3ft 10mm freshwater tank and a marine grade 3ft glass tank. If you want to use your current glass tank, my advise is not to do it. Saltwater is heavier than freshwater and your current tank will bow out when filled with salt water. If you search the past posting in this forum, there was a member who documented this scenario happening on his freshwater tank filled with saltwater.

    If you have a budget problem, save up 1st, spend the time doing research and look up at other people set up in the internet. I did that for 2 years personally. This is a hobby you do not want to rush in without adequate knowledge, time and money.

    Food wise, frozen mysis shrimp is the de facto food for fishes and coral, my experience with pellet food was not that good, probably due most of the fishes were collected from the wild.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by BFG; 27th May 2016 at 12:16.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Conversion from fresh water to marine coral

    thank you for your advice! seems like the price jump for the conversion is twice as much!

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    Re: Conversion from fresh water to marine coral

    While a sump is most ideal and will provide you with more volume and flexibility, going with a hang-on-bank setup is fine as well.

    You really have to options with this if you convert:

    - Clear and clean the tank & drill it
    - Go HOB
    - Convert tank to an all-in-one using an all-in-one conversion kit

    I would say options #2 and #3 will be cheapest for you. If you chose this route - your main filtration is going to be a quality Hang on back skimmer like a Reef Octopus 1000 HOB or AquaMax HOB. With a tank that is only 3 feet long, I'm guessing your volume classifies it as a nano tank (40 gallons and under). Nanos are a bit tougher to keep because parameters are less stable - especially temperature and saliny. Going with a easy to care setup with softies and small easy to care for fish like Azure damsels (since you mentioned you like them - this is one of least aggressive ones), clownfish, basslets, etc will make things a lot easier for you in the long run. You can still use your canister filters as a media reactor + additional flow in the tank.

    Your biggest expenses are going to be your protein skimmer & lighting. You will save a ton on lighting if you stick to low light corals. Don't bother with live rock - just buy high quality dry rock - it will cut your rockwork cost in half. Buy your corals from local reefers or at frag swaps to save yourself some money. Also get a small sample of live rock from a local reefer to seed your coralline algae once you cycle your tank.

  5. #5
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    Re: Conversion from fresh water to marine coral

    Hey I can see the photo of my post here but it's disappeared after the forum is back up? Anyone has the same issue?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Re: Conversion from fresh water to marine coral

    Quote Originally Posted by BFG View Post
    From looking at what you've written, best is to have a dedicated marine tank, with thicker glass and a sump. There is a lot of difference between a 3ft 10mm freshwater tank and a marine grade 3ft glass tank. If you want to use your current glass tank, my advise is not to do it. Saltwater is heavier than freshwater and your current tank will bow out when filled with salt water. If you search the past posting in this forum, there was a member who documented this scenario happening on his freshwater tank filled with saltwater.

    If you have a budget problem, save up 1st, spend the time doing research and look up at other people set up in the internet. I did that for 2 years personally. This is a hobby you do not want to rush in without adequate knowledge, time and money.

    Food wise, frozen mysis shrimp is the de facto food for fishes and coral, my experience with pellet food was not that good, probably due most of the fishes were collected from the wild.

    Hope this helps!
    Saltwater is heavier than freshwater for sure, but I doubt that the difference will cause a 10mm glass to bow. A quick check with online calculator here:
    https://www.hamzasreef.com/Contents/...TankWeight.php
    shows that the weight difference between salt and fresh water in a 3x1.5x1.5 feet tank is just short of 5kg, less than 3% increase of total water weight.

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    Re: Conversion from fresh water to marine coral

    Quote Originally Posted by jiraiya View Post
    Saltwater is heavier than freshwater for sure, but I doubt that the difference will cause a 10mm glass to bow. A quick check with online calculator here:
    https://www.hamzasreef.com/Contents/...TankWeight.php
    shows that the weight difference between salt and fresh water in a 3x1.5x1.5 feet tank is just short of 5kg, less than 3% increase of total water weight.
    You did not include the weight of the liverocks, which will add up another 50-100kg for a 3ft tank.
    I have personally seen 10mm glass bow within a period of 2 years, and air bubbles forming within the seams of the silicon.

  8. #8
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    Re: Conversion from fresh water to marine coral

    In saltwater, the concentration of salt is higher outside the fish and salt leaks into the fish. Fish can drink saltwater and eliminate the salt through their gills. Fish also use their kidneys and ion pumps, such as a sodium/potassium pump, to excrete extra salt. Most fish live either in fresh or saltwater, but some fish, like salmon and eel, spend part of their lives in freshwater and part in saltwater

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