Saltwater converting Question

Discussion in 'Saltwater Beginners' started by jdmLuzon, Jul 1, 2014.

  1. jdmLuzon

    jdmLuzonValued MemberMember

    i have never tried saltwater and i finally have the courage. i have a 10 gallon fresh water tank and i want to conert it to saltwater.
    - can i use the same HOB filter?
    - can i use the same gravel or is sand better?
    - do i need a air pump or should i use a piwer head?


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  2. ssaul989New MemberMember

    Hi, I just made the same jump. I am by no means an expert, but here is what I did.
    -I used the same HOB filter, but I made sure to use a new cartridge and pre-filter. I believe the bacteria responsible for the nitrogen cycle are different in SW vs FW. So same filter, new media.
    -I also changed from my FW gravel to Caribsea argonite, I just felt the sand look was more appropriate for the SW tank. I also upgraded my FW tank from the 37, that became my SW tank, to a 125 and used the gravel from the first tank to help seed the new FW tank's cycling.
    -I think you would need an additional powerhead (or more depending on the tank size) to help with currents. I added one 600 g/hr circulator for my 37 tank.

    Hope that helps. I am also interested in other's answers as I am still learning myself.

    My new SW tank is up and running for about 60 hours now. No fish yet, still cycling.
  3. OP

    jdmLuzonValued MemberMember

    this is a big help thank you so much..i just need to get a new media and i am thinking about using sand as well. this is my first time so im kinda effi about it doing this but ill give it a shot. thank you.

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  4. OP

    jdmLuzonValued MemberMember

    also how long did you cycle it?

    Sent from my LG-MS770 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  5. ssaul989New MemberMember

    Well, I'll let you know when it's done. I just started so I am still looking for an ammonie spike.
    If you don't already have it, get yourself a test kit that has tests for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
    Test daily for ammonia. When you start to see that, keep testing but also start testing for nitrite. When you see that, keep testing those and start looking for nitrate. When you start to see nitrate, you are cycled.
  6. krazyone2006

    krazyone2006Well Known MemberMember

    I personally would not use a 10g for a saltwater tank for your first saltwater tank. The water paramaters can change way to quick. In saltwater the bigger the tank the better.

    I wouldn't use the HOB unless it was a bio-wheel filter. In a saltwater tank your natural filter is the Live Rock and Live sand. You will need powerhead/powerheads to create the current in the tank. Saltwater tanks also use skimmers to pull all the excess protiens and waste out of the water.

    I would read these links they will help you a lot they helped me in setting up my reef tank.

    Hope this helps and good luck with the tank
  7. Claire Bear

    Claire BearWell Known MemberMember

    Hi, I am glad you are thinking of trying saltwater but I agree with krazyone2006, a small tank like a 10g could have fluctuations that would lead to disaster.
    If you really want to try, I would at least try to get a 55 gallon minimum. This size would be more forgiving and I am finding out there is sometimes a lot to forgive!
    Good luck if you decide to go for it but be sure and check out the equipment you will need. I feel like setting up this 90g, I have spent as much as all my other tanks combined (and I currently have about 20 tanks). I also bought some bells and whistles that make it a little easier.
  8. 1971roadrunner

    1971roadrunnerWell Known MemberMember

    Please don't get me wrong, I agree with all the above but...I would set up the HOB and fill it with some crushed aragonite stone with filter pads so as to leave the small tank less cluttered (kinda like a LR refugium/filter). If a 10g is all you have to work with then use it :). Just be careful when doing WC's to match up the salinity and temp as good as you can get it. Do many very small WC's and it should be OK. Please choose fish that are very hardy-there are plenty that are very small and beautiful.

    *do a lot of research (read threads on FL too as you are-they're great) and you should be fine-keep it SIMPLE!
  9. OP

    jdmLuzonValued MemberMember

    thank you so much

    i am actually doing a reef tank.

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2014
  10. 1971roadrunner

    1971roadrunnerWell Known MemberMember

    I'm going to suggest to you for planning a small fowlr and put a reef system for later. A reef system requires far more knowledge, experience and MONEY than a fowlr. I've seen more people crash their first attempts at SW by going straight to reef on many levels. A small tank with some reef safe fish would be a huge step in the right direction and keep you plenty occupied in the mean time-take your time.

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