Converting tropical to marine

Discussion in 'New Members' started by Jimmy Z, 28 Mar 2013.

  1. Jimmy Z

    Jimmy Z

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    Hi There, I am brand new to the forum. I have been keeping tropical fish for 3 years now and have upgraded many, many times to bigger and bigger tanks - eventually having 5 at one stage. I have got my disease down to 2 x 250 L tanks for the last year, but the bug is biting again and I have always wanted to graduate to marine after I could prove to myself that I could handle a decent tropical setup. I plan on leaving my Cichlid tank as is, but I would like to convert one of my 250 L curved glass Sunsun tropical tanks to marine. I am currently running a Tetra-tec 1200EX external canister filter (1200L/hr) with an Aqua one Maxi 102F internal filter (450L/hr) and a Boyu WM-1 wavemaker . My lighting consists of 2 x T5 39W 20 000K lights and 1 x T5 39W U/V. I am using a Resun 8000 quad outlet air pump and a 250W heater with 2 spares for backup for winter failures. My substrate is Koi filter silica sand 0.6 - 1.5mm. I would like to change over to marine and keep live rock with 1 or 2 anenomes, 2 x clown fish, 2 x yellow tangs, 2 x powder blue surgeons, 2-3 cleaner shrimp and maybe 1 x mandarin or goby. If I change my filter media and hoses will my filtration be adequate? I don't like my current lighting (not bright enough) and would definitely switch to LED -what would you recommend? Will my substrate work or do I need to change it? How would I connect a protein skimmer to the filtration (canister filter) and what else do I need/would you recommend? Have I forgotten or not thought of anything?
    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Welcome to MASA!
    What are the dimensions of the tank?
    You can convert that tank to marines, but if you planning on upgrading lights/filtration/etc, it might be easier and cheaper to look at getting a second hand system. You cannot plumb a protien skimmer into a canister filter, so youll have to get a hang on skimmer. Have you considered adding a sump?
    Regarding your intended livestock - that tank will be too small for four tangs, they will end up fighting with each other.
     
  4. Jimmy Z

    Jimmy Z Thread Starter

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    Hi. My tank's dimensions are 102cm length x 45cm width and 65cm depth. I am trying my best to avoid loosing my canister filter because it was so damned expensive and works so well. I know sumps are best and much cheaper, but I only have 45cm cabinet space on either side of a load bearing cabinet divider. I am keen on second hand equipment as that is how I got started and LED's are not cheap. Choice of fish I am all ears, because I don't have a clue and just went with good starter species so thanks for the heads up on fighting. Maybe some sea goldies with yellow tangs?
     
  5. Ayoob

    Ayoob

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    :welcome:

    Goldies and a yellow tang would be much better than 4 tangs, although for starters I'd go with chromis as they much easier to keep a tougher a good beginner fish.

    Sea goldies will need to be fed regularly so if you willing to feed 3 times daily by all means. You would also Need to keep good water params and with powErful canister filters with good media and a 2-4 times overated hang on skimmer it can be achieved.

    Take it slow, Patients is the key.
     
    Last edited: 28 Mar 2013
  6. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    So its this tank : http://www.marineaquariumsa.com/showthread.php?t=28798

    Tank will be too small for tangs, they need alot of swimming space. Goldies can also be tricky and need frequent feeding. Things like clowns/damsels, blennys, reef-safe wrasses, are easy. Maybe a dwarf angel depending on what coral you want.
     
  7. Jimmy Z

    Jimmy Z Thread Starter

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    I cant stand any type of HOB, but I don't mind running another set of hoses to a small sump to allow plumbing to a skimmer in conjunction with my external canister - I know this is overkill, but would this work? Will my substrate work if I added some crushed coral? What lighting would my tank require for anenomes and a few soft corals? I am more concerned with getting my start up right from the beginning and will worry about fish later.
     
  8. Tiger eye

    Tiger eye

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    Welcome to MASA.
     
  9. Jimmy Z

    Jimmy Z Thread Starter

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  10. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Could work but will get a bit overcomplicated. In this hobby you want to keep things as simple as possible. Adding an overflow would entail either drilling the tank (which i seem to recall you cant drill those tanks) or adding an overflow box.

    the standard lighting that comes on that tank will not be sufficient to keep any anemone. They are amongst the highest light demanding tank inhabitants you get.
    What bulbs are you using? There is a large diference in brightness between brands.
     
  11. Jimmy Z

    Jimmy Z Thread Starter

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    Just checked and I replaced my Sunsun bulbs with the exact same Sunsun bulbs - I must have been smoking car tyres when I did this because Osram are much cheaper and better. Which brand do you recommend?
    On the filtration issue I think I will have to concede to installing a sump and some how brace the middle section of my cabinet to support the tank weight or cut a tunnel through the divider. This is starting to look like all my other previous tanks - after I have spent R 5000.00 trying to get existing systems to work I end up selling the lot and buying what I actually needed in the first place. So the only thing that I can use for a marine conversion is the tank and heater! Better start saving again.
     
  12. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Weve all been there. Rather work out your budget and see where to go from there. Saving a few bucks in the beginning can end up costing alot more in the long run. If you not in hurry, keep an eye on the for sale section. Youll often pick up some really good deals there.
    IBest T5 brands are ATI and Geismann, but they are a bit pricey. Something a bit cheaper that still does the job are Reefteks.
     
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