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Old 05/20/2021, 08:50 AM   #1
myswtsins
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Do you find salt easier than fresh?

Hey. Anyone come over to the salty side from fresh and actually find it easier or had better success? I have been keeping freshwater fish for more than a decade but never really excelled in the areas I wanted to like breeding shrimp, and growing plants. I have done it to some extent but never on the level that others seemed to find so easy like I can't keep java fern alive to save my life but I can grow crypts like no other, without any special substrate or ferts. I have had every level of tank from low tech to high tech and still never found a happy place. I have bred Mbuna with ease but not cherry shrimp, I can keep otos fat and happy and have amano shrimp that are nearly a decade old but can't keep java ferns and anubias alive with full tech setups, it's weird lol

Maybe the precision of salt would fit better?


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Old 05/20/2021, 09:39 AM   #2
Sk8r
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Happens in saltwater too. And some tanks perform well with one type, nothing to do with the care of the owner. I keep both salt and fresh (Amazonian) and a pond, and all I can say is success gets you enthusiastic and makes it not seem like work and failure is a downer. I can also say don't expect to breed saltwater. The cramped quarters (versus the ocean) and the tendency of saltwater fish to get really cranky when breeding plus a tendency of most species not to like competition for space and food makes it a good idea to really know your species and your tank before you get into that aspect of it. Or as I generally put it, Fish don't want friends. They want to rule the tank and they don't want a rival. The other point is---most are sold very young and very small compared to their potential. Blennies and gobies stay pretty well the same, around 3", but little cute blue Dory (hippo tang) can get a foot long fast, with a killer tail spike. Etc. Pick species you really like, exchange info with people who keep them successfully, figure compatibility, and buy a tank that fits them. Or if you have a tank, start asking what will succeed IN it and what extra equipment you need---sump, skimmer, and autotopoff with reservoir and lighting are your big new issues.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Old 05/20/2021, 09:57 AM   #3
myswtsins
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Thanks for the reply. Yes ofc anything could happen and I have already done tonnsss of research over the years so hopefully I will make good choices (be strong when shopping!) I have no expectations of breeding SW fish, I just mentioned those things as they were my desire with freshwater. My desire with salt is eventually to have a nice reef with lots of micro life/invertebrates and just a few fish (have a RR 58g to get started so nothing huge at this time or prob ever cause my old house can't handle a much bigger tank) but for now I would start with a FOWLR to get a feel for it.

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Originally Posted by Sk8r View Post
Happens in saltwater too. And some tanks perform well with one type, nothing to do with the care of the owner. I keep both salt and fresh (Amazonian) and a pond, and all I can say is success gets you enthusiastic and makes it not seem like work and failure is a downer. I can also say don't expect to breed saltwater. The cramped quarters (versus the ocean) and the tendency of saltwater fish to get really cranky when breeding plus a tendency of most species not to like competition for space and food makes it a good idea to really know your species and your tank before you get into that aspect of it. Or as I generally put it, Fish don't want friends. They want to rule the tank and they don't want a rival. The other point is---most are sold very young and very small compared to their potential. Blennies and gobies stay pretty well the same, around 3", but little cute blue Dory (hippo tang) can get a foot long fast, with a killer tail spike. Etc. Pick species you really like, exchange info with people who keep them successfully, figure compatibility, and buy a tank that fits them. Or if you have a tank, start asking what will succeed IN it and what extra equipment you need---sump, skimmer, and autotopoff with reservoir and lighting are your big new issues.



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Old 05/20/2021, 12:01 PM   #4
cody6766
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Once up and running, a reef is pretty simple so long as you start out right. That means thorough research and the right gear. You'll need to get the tank equipment, plus the support equipment (ro/di, test kits, etc.) to be successful.

The learning curve is pretty steep, but once you get a stable tank and understand what keeps it stable, it's not difficult.

Important caveat: that advice is for a simple mixed reef. There are some set ups that are very complicated and difficult to maintain. Those people typically are keeping more sensitive animals.


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Current Tank Info: Cadlights 60G Arisan II mixed reef with 2x MP40s and 24" ATI
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Old 05/20/2021, 03:39 PM   #5
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For your 58, I'd recommend a FOWLR or simple softie reef, with the following: an ESHOPPS (foam not bubbles type) skimmer, a 30 gallon sump, an LED light, a good pump, a topoff reservoir of at least 10 gallons, a ro/di filter (4 cylinder) and a live crew of mostly blennies and gobies, maybe a dwarf angel like a Coral Beauty, limestone rock, aragonite sand, and some hardy softie corals which replicate easily and will have your simple tank looking like a rose parade float with just reasonable care and no worries about calcium dosing: just keeping your tank skimmed and your salinity bang-on (topoff) with testing once weekly for alkalinity should have you in good form. Of course there are many good brands out there. I just recommend Eshopps because thats what I have and I know it's good and not too expensive. I do recommend having some soft coral in there because corals are quick to warn you if your conditions are going south, yet the softies will do it with minimal fuss and they don't take too fancy lighting. If they arent puffed out and happy, test your water that day. If there's no good reason, they're just in a snit with each other and running carbon will sop up their spit and make them behave again. Fish aren;t real good about complaining.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Old 05/20/2021, 08:56 PM   #6
pitmindi
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I changed my 125 gallon from freshwater planted community tank to saltwater. I was just too aggravated about the algae, esp the brush algae that had taken over my tank. I never had a sump with that tank when I switched to saltwater, just a hang on skimmer. I did find macro algae easier to grow and contain than freshwater plants. Of course you will need to switch your lighting. I had a fish-only except for xenia and macro algae to hid the rocks. I liked that tank and had it for about 5 years. The main thing I missed was that with freshwater I took care of the tank myself but with saltwater I have a guy that does monthly maintenance because I don't know the portion of salt to add when I remove the water and since my saltwater has sand I can't keep syphon the debre like with my gravel bottom on my freshwater.


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Old 05/21/2021, 11:33 AM   #7
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Salt is easy to mix. Get a refractometer, an electronic wand that measures salt. I get mine on Amazon, pretty cheap. The label on the salt mix will tell you the basic measurement to reach 1.024, which is what you want. EG, one dry gallon of salt plus 32 gallons of ro/di water = 1.024 salinity, which is ideal---and you need an autotopoff unit with fresh ro/di feeding in to make up for evaporation as your tank loses water to that process: without that you can kill specimens or fish. Rubbermaid Brute trash cans make a safe mixing tank for salt water. You test it with the refractometer to be sure it's right and you add ro/di or salt until it is. You need a small mixing pump and just let it mix all night. Once the water is crystal clear it's ready to use in your tank. Do not skip the 'let it clear' step. If you don't want to run the math in your head, just use the handy on-line conversion apps for gallons and quarts etc.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Old 05/21/2021, 03:53 PM   #8
cody6766
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With a refractometer and a 1 cup scoop, salt mixing is SUPER easy. I use Reef Crystals, but the ratio is just about the same for every salt I've used in the past. 2g water + 1C salt = 1.025'ish salt water. I mix mine up to 1.025 or 1.026. As long as you keep it consistent, anywhere between 1.024 and 1.027 will be just fine. Swings in salinity are what hurt your livestock.

I have a 40g plastic reservoir mounted on a furniture dolly for my mixing container. I have an old powerhead in it it for mixing, a heater to match the water temps, and a bigger pump to pump water into the tank during water changes. Before I built this rig, I used a 5g bucket and a small powerhead and heater. It's more labor intensive, especially for anything more than a nano tank (which is what I was supporting), but it's cheaper and smaller than what I have now. I've seen many trashcan change rigs that work out well too.

Don't rely on one of those cheap float hygrometers. They are inaccurate, inconsistent, and will cause you headaches. Spend the $40-50 on a refractometer. It will last longer than your tank, and it will keep you accurate and consistent.


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Current Tank Info: Cadlights 60G Arisan II mixed reef with 2x MP40s and 24" ATI
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Old 05/24/2021, 07:37 AM   #9
jformani
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once the tank is established its not that bad.


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Old 06/01/2021, 06:05 AM   #10
monkeysee1
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Smile

Hi!
I've had both too, and I have found FOWLR saltwater to be almost on par for maintenance requirements as fresh. The only difference being making up the saltwater for my tank from my R.O. unit. And you have to quarantine!! As cody says, once you're up and running and your tank is FULLY cycled, it's really not that much harder than fresh. And as Sk8r says, you really have to research fish compatibility, but first, you must decide WHAT kind of tank you want: Fish Only, FOWLR, Semi-FOWLR or full reef? Peaceful community, semi-aggressive, or an aggressive tank??
That all being said, and like I said, I'm FOWLR (with the exception of a few inverts) because I got sick of plunking down money on corals that kept dying, despite reading the nurtrient, dosing and lighting requirements specified on websites. My fish and inverts in my tank are all doing great, so I'm leaving things alone for now.
FULL REEF is a DIFFERENT STORY ALTOGETHER! You'll need: REALLY GOOD quality powerheads, intense LED lighting and chemical dosing equipement.

May I suggest for you, if you want to start out on saltwater, a MINIMALIST bare bottom tank? MUCH easier to maintain, because you DON'T have a sand bed to keep up with and worry about! And much easier to control your water parameters, especially your nitrates and phosphates! There are a LOT of sharp looking bare bottom saltwater tanks out there!

Just my .02!


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Last edited by monkeysee1; 06/01/2021 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 06/11/2021, 03:17 PM   #11
Oldreeferman
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Is a marine tank easier then fresh?
LOL, nope. Too many variables to even start listing that change the differences between them. If money is not an issue then yes marine tanks are comparable........ to a point.


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Old 06/12/2021, 09:47 PM   #12
zheka757
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im 7 years into the hobby, started with fresh water for first 3 years, never understand why i had to quarantine all my fish until i got into salt water. never knew what ick was until i started saltwater, never understand why i had to test water so often until my corals start growing. but it is very rewarding to see final result of all that hard and expensive work of reef tank.


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