Convert FW to SW or start fresh?

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by EnvironmentalBro, 23 Apr 2013.

  1. EnvironmentalBro

    EnvironmentalBro

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    Hi guys, I have been looking at creating a marine aquarium for over 2 years now and I am juggling with a couple ideas... I am a Zoologist and so this is my passion, however I am still doing my Postgrad so I don't have the funds to create my dream setup but I am keen to get started with my first SW tank.

    I currently have 2 FW tanks:

    • (L)1400mm x (W)600mm x (H)800mm with Eheim 2250 canister filter and 5x 30W T0 tubes- pics 1-3
    • (L)1800mm x (W)600mm x (H)600mm with a 4ft sump but only 1x 40W T8 tube- pics 4-5

      So both tanks could be converted to SW tanks but each has its challenges. Either way I will need a very good protein skimmer (+-R3000) and good lighting if I want corals (another couple grand).

      I have never had a SW aquarium but I have done a lot of research and I am quite familiar with the expenses involved and am considering starting with a second hand aquarium for around R4000 which includes all the extras that I need from the start.

      Please could you offer me some advise here? :blush:

      What would you do if you were in my position? Should I try convert one of my FW tanks or look for a cheap second hand setup? I am aware of the different setups (FO, FOWLR, Reef etc) but my budget is limited so converting would probably limit me to FO setup.

      Thanks

      Tyrone:)

      IMG_4042.jpg

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    Last edited: 23 Apr 2013
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  3. Dorry

    Dorry dorry

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    Hi, :welcometomasa2:
     
  4. Dorry

    Dorry dorry

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    You already have a tank with a sump. Your first tank you mention 1800mm x 600mm x 600mm with the sump is your best bet. All you will need is a protium skimmer, live rock and you can buy play sand. Your first tank, with the sump if you start with fish and soft corals and T5 globes 4 x. a protium skimmer, check for sale thread and ask maybe get one half price. Even for live rock check out the for sale section.
     
  5. Dorry

    Dorry dorry

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    Post a pic of your tank and sump. Do you have a OR filter.
     
  6. EnvironmentalBro

    EnvironmentalBro Thread Starter

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    Thanks @Dorry, my major concern is filling and maintaining 700l marine aquarium... With FW its easy, put in some wood, a couple nice plants and the occasional dose of ferts and you have a nice low tech setup. How much do you think the 700l would be to maintain pm?

    Yes I do have an RO filter that is very good.

    I will post a pic of the sump in the morning.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  7. Dorry

    Dorry dorry

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    Well of your tank is up and running, you can do a monthly water change 50l. Marine is a expensive hobby. You can also just start with fish only. That is way i say check for sale threads. Bye play sand. Don't have to bye every thing at once. Bye every month one item until you have every thing. Then start with your tank.
     
  8. Smirre

    Smirre

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    But you have to admit SW looks much better Than FW even with the costs involved.:thumbup:
     
  9. Bflynn

    Bflynn

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    I like your Plecostomus tank!! If I could, I would def go with a sump tank. You have one already!! Get some water, live sand and live rock going in that one, add skimmer later. Chuck some of your other FW fishies in Pleco tank.
     
  10. yuma girl

    yuma girl

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    I converted our Boyu EA 80 ( 150 ltr) from FW to SW and the costs do add up unfortunately, but its well worth it! I have TWO SW & TWO FW tanks..

    But hey as SMIRRE said SW is soo much nicer to look at than FW.

    if you do decide to convert - just make sure you clean out your entire system correctly - especialy if you used any copper based meds..

    Check the For Sale & check Gum tree too as you can get some good deals there too. :thumbup:

    Good luck - i am also new to SW but loving every minute of it!
     
  11. EnvironmentalBro

    EnvironmentalBro Thread Starter

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    Thanks guys I think I am going to do that, now I just need a day to completely disassemble the 'sump tank' and clean it :/ big job but I think well worth it in the end :) I will post here again when I need more input.
     
  12. Bflynn

    Bflynn

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    I converted this!
    DSCF7319.JPG

    To this! in a few months. Still taking it slow thou.
    DSCF8410.JPG

    DSCF7319.JPG

    DSCF8410.JPG
     
  13. EnvironmentalBro

    EnvironmentalBro Thread Starter

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    Nice, lack a bit of colour IMO but I like the rock :) What lights are you running on that tank?
     
  14. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    I would personally start from scratch.
    Getting the tank drilled is a risk. Also make sure the glass is thick enough.
    I know the normal FW tanks glass thickness is not rated for marine tanks.
    Remember there is much more water movement in marine tanks than in FW.

    Best of luck with this incredible hobby!
     
  15. EnvironmentalBro

    EnvironmentalBro Thread Starter

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    The tank is already drilled and is custom built for max strength so I dont think it will be problem but thanks :)
     
  16. Bflynn

    Bflynn

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    Looks better in person. But do need more colour!

    At the moment im running two 20w t8 and a strip of about 30 LEDS. Adding an actinic blue soon as well, that will also give corals better colour. My tank is also positioned to get indirect natural light most of the day. Not the best, but works well for now. Im upgrading as I go. I started this tank with water and a skimmer, then added live rock two weeks later, then cycled another 3 or 4 weeks, then organized my flow and lights, then added CUC local, then first corals, then fish, then DIY'd a turf algae scrubber, then added more corals. And I suspect the "thens" dont ever stop. You can upgrade your tank as you need to, when you want to, as long as you have done your research.
     
  17. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    Cool, in that case go for gold! :thumbup:

    Did you use any copper based meds in the tank?
     
  18. EnvironmentalBro

    EnvironmentalBro Thread Starter

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    Thanks, I am very keen and have already started dismantling the sump tank and will give it a full clean tomorrow. Friday I am going to scout out some LFS to price different components. Looking for a used Protein Skimmer and eventually some T5 lighting. Exciting stuff!
     
  19. Dorry

    Dorry dorry

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    Very exciting stuff. ATI T5 :thumbup: you don't LED for soft corals and lps. Protium skimmer, salt, live rock and sand. Enjoy.
     
  20. EnvironmentalBro

    EnvironmentalBro Thread Starter

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    So I should just use play sand? Not argonite or something?
     
  21. Dorry

    Dorry dorry

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    You can use play sand or aragonite. Depends on what you can afford, and witch one you like. While you shopping around in your LFS, look at it and ask for price and compare the 2. All about what you like.
     
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