Steps to switch from saltwater to freshwater aquarium

mymini

Hi,
I have been in this hobby for nearly 30 years and with the same aquarium and stand (pictured).
I believe it is a clear for life aquarium (acrylic) with a section in the back of the black background for the heater, etc...
I had a neighbor take care of my salt tank about a year ago while on vacation and I came back and nearly all my fish were dead due to overfeeding. Since then, anytime, I introduced new fish the Chromis and a few others would attack and the others would die off.
Now, I ask about advise on how to switch to freshwater. What to save and how to get rid of what I have.
50 gallon aquarium, live rock in display as well as rear sump. Candy cane coral with about 10 heads. 2 Chromis and another orange fish (forget what it is).
Doser (not using), reactor (phosphate/carbon) in it (using), RO/DI system..
Do I keep the sand and/or some live rock to cycle once fresh. What about the reactor? Many of you seem to like to use lava rock in the sump (rear). My goal is to have dragon stone and manzanita driftwood. Probably no plants unless easy and no C02. Not sure about the fish type yet. I have beautiful Kessil lights the shimmer so it will show off anything nicely. I sure hope that with freshwater I can have less of a greenish tinge color on my rocks (some coralline but not enough) so that I can have a clean/bright/white tank showing off dragonstone.

Thanks in advance. I live in Orange County Calif if have advice pertaining to this area.
 

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Archangel8

I'm not sure about using the sand and rock but I'm sure someone else will know. Good luck on switching. I love freshwater. What type of stock are you thinking? I would definitely recommend using plants though. I really think they make the aquarium so much nicer. Keep us updated!
 
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fishnovice33

You do not need to keep the sand and rock to cycle. Unlike Salt, most of fresh water beneficial bacteria is in the filter, everything in the tank is for preference/decoration so technically you could keep it if you like the look of it but no needed. Substrate gets iffy with some fish plants and some fish but since you want easy plants no big deal. You will need a filter and might I suggest skipping the pains of a sponge filter or HOB and go straight for the canister. This is where you’ll get beneficial bacteria, and is the heart of a freshwater tank. I do sponge filter for fry and really only keep HOB around as a backup in case of failure, canisters are the best in freshwater.

A sump is optional, but really not needed for fresh. It makes certain things like heating/cooling, treating the water, less in tank stuff to look at or co2 easier as many people don’t like the ‘sprite look’ in their tank etc. but I’ve found it’s more work than needed. Also I believe your reactor would work with co2.

May I ask why no co2? I came from salt as well and the easy stuff was fun at first but got boring very quickly. I found a good middle ground with co2, aquasoil, and trying rare aquatic plants along with fish and aquascaping. Co2 really helped me with algae too. Freshwater needs a balance of light/nutes to help with algae.

But at the same time I also understand simplicity and appreciate it as someone in the hobby for 20 years I realize when you’ve done it all, you just want simple.
 
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mymini

Thank you very much Fishnovice 33.
So, sounds like you would recommend
You do not need to keep the sand and rock to cycle. Unlike Salt, most of fresh water beneficial bacteria is in the filter, everything in the tank is for preference/decoration so technically you could keep it if you like the look of it but no needed. Substrate gets iffy with some fish plants and some fish but since you want easy plants no big deal. You will need a filter and might I suggest skipping the pains of a sponge filter or HOB and go straight for the canister. (I do not believe I need a canister when I have all that area behind the tank (in tank sump).This is where you’ll get beneficial bacteria, and is the heart of a freshwater tank. I do sponge filter for fry and really only keep HOB around as a backup in case of failure, canisters are the best in freshwater. I have lots of rock from my reef if that works as well as socks are always good). Some say that live rock from salt tank can alter PH. If so, heard lava rock from Home Depot is good too to fill up sump in rear.

A sump is optional, but really not needed for fresh. It makes certain things like heating/cooling, treating the water, less in tank stuff to look at or co2 easier as many people don’t like the ‘sprite look’ in their tank etc. but I’ve found it’s more work than needed. Also I believe your reactor would work with co2. I cannot imagine how? I read and it pertains to freshwater for removing phosphates using gfo. Maybe overkill anyway.

May I ask why no co2? I came from salt as well and the easy stuff was fun at first but got boring very quickly. I found a good middle ground with co2, aquasoil, and trying rare aquatic plants along with fish and aquascaping. Co2 really helped me with algae too. Freshwater needs a balance of light/nutes to help with algae. Well will consider and research.

But at the same time I also understand simplicity and appreciate it as someone in the hobby for 20 years I realize when you’ve done it all, you just want simple.
 
Upvote 0

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