Convert from a Tropical tank to Marine tank

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Al, 23 May 2008.

  1. Al

    Al

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    Hi Everyone,

    Im new to this forum. Im interested in converting my Tropical tank to a marine tank. I dont have a big tank, approx 55l. What accessories do need to for a marine tank and how many fish can i keep in this size tank? :)

    Hope to hear from you guy's!
     
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  3. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hello Al! A very WARM welcome to MASA!

    Do you want to use your current freshwater tank as a marine tank?
    There are a few questions you have to ask yourself:
    1) what type of marine tank do you want? Fish only with live rock (FOWLR), some corals and some fish (not to demanding), mostly corals (more demanding) and some fish, nearly only corals...
    2) the lighting and filtration demands differ, depending on the type of tank you want
    3) this tank size you have, would be classified as a mini-nano (or close to a pico). This means that you can indeed keep SOME marines in there - but not much. You will be limited hugely with the number of fish that you can keep (2 or 3 maximum), as well as the fact that the maintenance on this size tank is VERY high. you will have to do MANY water changes VERY OFTEN to ensure that the fish and/or corals survives...

    Have a look around the other threads on the "New Members" forum. Read some and gather a list of questions. We will try and answer as good as possible.

    Have you heard of the CTRC (Cape Town Reef Club)?

    If not - please join us on our next meeting (should be in June or July sometime).

    Also - try and get to know some local reefers, and visit them, to get an eye-ball of their tanks and setups.... Ask questions. Learn-learn-learn...

    And please double-check EVERYTHING that you LFS tells you about marines, with us.... They do tend to do things "slightly differently" and sometimes the advice is not the best.....


    Good luck with your venture, mate!
     
  4. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Al - here are a few terms I want to jot down - ask questions about these as and how you want to:
    - LFS (Local Fish store)
    - sump (second tank acting as the biggest filtration component of marine tanks - here's where your skimmer, chemical, and DSB filtration lives, as well as your heater, phosphate reactor, return pumps)
    - DSB = Deep Sand Bed = sand bed consisting of particles between 0.5mm and 1mm in size, being between 100mm and 150mm thick/deep
    - skimmer - protein fractinator - filters tank's water by collecting proteins (from DOM's and POM's) and taking the proteins out of the water, before they are broken down to nitrates (by the denitrification cycle)
    - chemical filtration: ie. activated carbon, phosphate remover, etc
    - phosphate reactor - seperate device (usually similar to a fluidised bed filter) that contains phosphate remover - to remove phosphates in the water
    - you would need to investigate "live rock", "live sand" ("live rock" - usually rock that is extremely porious that is taken from the sea - it is "alive" because it contains tiny micro-fauna, as well as bacteria that assists in filtration of the water, the same goes for "live sand")
    - Metal halide lighting (a form of a spotlight often used in marines - mostly for keeping mor light-hungry corals), and T5 fluorescent lighting (this is what they also call "High Output fluorescents" ("normal fluorescents" - like those you usually use in fresh-water systems - are "Normal Output fluorescents")
    - Macro algae and nuisance macro algae (algae is mostly the plant-like things you get in a marine tank) - the macro algae can be used as a filtration method, and "nuisance macro algae" means some macro algae that is unwanted in a marine tank, and that can overtake corals and kill the corals eventually.
    - "Clean up crew" - usually one or multiple of the following: hermit crabs, certain snails, certain brittle starfish, etc...
    - pumps/power-heads: the pumps that supply water flow INSIDE the tank, as well as return the water from the sump (which is usually below the main display tank) to the main display tank
    - water flow - in a marine tank you usually require random tubulent flow - something like what you would get in the sea on a tropical reef environment
    - testing kits - you would require to use different testing kits, ie: ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, pH, alkalinity (and later on) calcium, phosphate, salinity/SG, etc....

    - please take care that you always ask questions about compatibility of different fish, and different corals together - as not all fish can be put together in a tank, and not all coral can be put together in a tank

    - please take note that ALL anemone's usually require VERY high lighting
    - most soft-corals can be kept in slightly less lighting, BUT not LOW lighting (Normal output fluorescents are usually termed "low lighting" in keeping marines)

    - you requre FRESH water to toptup the tank, which loses fresh water due to evaporation - this should be done NOT with normal tap water, BUT with RO water (water filtered through a Reverse Osmosis filter)

    I think that is it for now....
    Please ask as many questions as you can....
     
  5. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    Hi Al, welcome to masa, i think Jacques has hogged all the good answers, leaving the rest of us just to sit around bored:lol:

    top advice bud, take your time and read up as much as you can
     
  6. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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  7. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    :welcometomasa2: Al, hope you enjoy it here. Jacques covered almost all basics - some good advice there. Don't run away now, keeping marines are fun... and interesting!!! :wave2:
     
  8. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    VERY GOOD advice there from Jacques - do LOTS of reading / research, and NEVER believe any pet shop or LFS (apart from the few who are MASA sponsors - they WILL give you good advice :) )

    Oh, yes - WELCOME to MASA and to the hobby - I'm sure you will enjoy both...

    Hennie
     
  9. Al

    Al Thread Starter

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    Thanks Jaquesb and everyone who replied. Iv been on this forum one day and i learnt alot from it already.

    Yes, im want to use my fresh water tank as the marine tank and just want a tank with fish only with live rock. I know my tank is a bit small. I dont intend to convert any time soon, I first need to educate myself with Marine tanks so will try to find out as much as possible before i convert.

    Do you get Hang on Protein Skimmer's?

    Thanks again, Will definetly be back.:)
     
  10. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Welcome to the forum Al :)

    Yes you do, there are a couple available like the Red Sea Prizm, Reef Octopus, Aqua Medic etc.
     
  11. Alfie

    Alfie

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    Welcome to MASA Al. A nano is a fantastic project and although it takes a little more work it can be rewarding. Patience is the name in all marine tanks being setup. You will be able to get lots of info in the Nano section of this site to get you started.
     
  12. geoffrey

    geoffrey

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    ditto to jacquesb, most LFS owners are glorified salesmen, thy'll sell a nennie to a dude with a freshwater tank. just cause they like $$$$. sad really, saw it happen with my own eyes:(
     
  13. lanzo

    lanzo Sponsor

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    WELCOME TO MASA:thumbup:
     
  14. Al

    Al Thread Starter

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    Thanks guy's. :)
     
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