Convert My 65g Freshwater Tank To Salt How Do I

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by OverSpun, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. OverSpun

    OverSpunNew MemberMember

    I been searching the forum to get an idea and I read this thead: Converting Freshwater 125 gal tank to Saltwater Tank

    I have Marineland 350 filter, 2 heaters, and obviously a light. Can this all be reused?

    I’m trying to figure out how much the convert will cost.


  2. Wild Bill

    Wild BillWell Known MemberMember

    I would suggest not using a canister filter. It becomes a nitrate factory. HOB would be better than a canister. I personally prefer a sump over everything else.
    Are you planning on a reef tank? What lights are you thinking about?
  3. Floundering_Around

    Floundering_AroundWell Known MemberMember

    The light will most likely not be able to support very many corals and would be better suited to doing a FOWLR tank (fish only with live rock). I agree with @Wild Bill against the canister filter. The live rock will be substantial for filtration as long as the tank has enough flow. If the Marineland 350 doesn't give you enough flow, you can add a powerhead or wavemaker for more flow.
    If you don't end up adding a sump, you can modify a HOB to house GFO, carbon, and macroalgae
  4. Jesterrace

    JesterraceWell Known MemberMember

    On Canister filters I will say this, I have never once seen someone struggling incessantly from nitrates with a Sump or HOB that was able to remedy the problem by switching to a canister filter and doing a water change. On the other hand I have seen MANY examples of people who were at wits end trying to keep their nitrates under control with their canister setups, who had the problem fixed within a few days by simply doing a water change and switching to an HOB or Sump filtration system.

    As for the lighting a lot of it depends on whether you are going for FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) or if you plan on a reef setup with corals and anemone. The first one you can go with pretty much any basic light (an LED with a mix of white and blue would be best if you want that sort of blue sea look to your tank), if you want corals and a 'nem at some point you are going to need to open up your wallet and spend a bit on a good light. Personally what I would recommend is starting out with a FOWLR setup and then after gaining some experience with that upgrading your lighting and adding corals since corals are more picky on lighting and water perameters.

    For FOWLR here is the minimum of what you would need:

    A Refractometer (not hydrometer as they are horribly inaccurate) to measure the salinity levels
    A Powerhead/Wavemaker (you will likely need two of them for your size tank)
    An HOB something like the Fluval 110 would work for your setup, if you go with an overflow box and a sump, I would recommend no less than 20 gallons for the sump in order to give yourself space for equipment and to maximize water flow
    Generally the rule is 1lb of live rock/dry rock per gallon of tank. You can save quite a bit of money by going with what is known as dry rock (dead live rock) and then seed it with bacteria or a piece of live rock and it will establish bacteria over time. The process generally takes longer than those with all live rock setups but the cost will be brought down significantly. Live Rock can be anywhere from $5-$7 a lb and dry rock can be anywhere between $1-$3 a lb. It is crucial that you have the rock as it is your biological filter in a saltwater tank and what maintains your cycle for you.
    A Digital Thermometer
    An RODI system (or you can purchase it from your local fish store aka LFS)
    Something like Instant Ocean Salt
    If you want sand, some kind of mixed substrate that is suitable for marine tanks
    A solid test kit (ie Red Sea, Salifert), I would recommend not using API as it's just too inaccurate for nitrates among other things

    I'm sure I am missing a few odds and ends things in here but those would be the core things you will need for your setup. I have some vids on a youtube channel that could help you out if you are interested.

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