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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've decided to convert my 29.3 gallon (google tells me this is 110 liters which is what I work with being in Australia and all so I hope that is correct) into a marine tank, have nearly re homed all my fish and am keeping a female betta who will got in her own 5 gallon tank.

I am after some tips and info for starting a marine. The fish I am hoping to have;
2 Clown fish
1 Mandarin fish
1 Blue tang or yellow tang

I'm wondering how I would go converting my fresh water tank to marine, I have an inbuilt filter should I purchase new substrate and start completely fresh? I am well aware that marine get take months to cycle so I won't be adding anything until I am sure it IS cycled.

Does anyone use APIs Saltwater test kit? is it as good as the freshwater test kit?

What do you people use to create the salt water (keep in mind I am limited being in Australia so some products aren't available to me but I want to see if I can match them)
 

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My boyfriend just recently started up a Marine Tank. Salt can be purchased at a local aquarium that supplies marine fish/products. I know in australia many do not and only do freshwater. You can also if your lucky, purchase salt water in drums from an aquarium if they supply it. If you get the salt you have to get a device that measures the salinity of the salt and instructions should have the measurements on the back. Clownfish are good starting fish because they are very hardy fish so I would start off with that and work your way up. Depending on your substrate you might have to convert to Marine sand, or you can have a bare bottom tank. I know you can get "live" sand but not sure if we have it here in Aus. To get the tank cycling you can add live rock as soon as you get the water, this will help you get it cycled quicker. Add the live rock first then pour in sand so that the rocks don't shift and break off against the glass as they are very brittle. You also need a different light for a Marine tank, freshwater has a pinkish tinge to the bulb and marine has a more bluer tinge. Most lights can be replaced so don't buy a whole new ligt unit if you can avoid it, Hope this helps :) Feel free to correct me on any details anyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow, thanks!
I *think* I'm able to purchase salt to add to water, I've put off getting marine for a little as I was made redundant and it's rather costly to convert fresh to marine, sigh, lol but thanks for giving advice! I will refer back to this for sure when I get the money to start :)
 

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I know some things about Marine tanks from my research towards getting one of my own, but like you, lots of money I don't have yet and time lol.

But what are you going to do? Fish Only With Live Rock (FOWLR), only Fish, Reef tank? I assume you'd likely to a FOWLR to begin with, the live rock will help introduce the bacteria you need and help seed your cycle so you can add fish sooner than if you started with dead rock and dead sand.

I do suggest switching out your substrate for live sand which can be bought at the store. That will also help on cycling but also has more calcium/magnesium in it from what I remember which is necessary for harder water (ocean water is around 8.1 IIRC or somewhere around there). If you have soft water, you're going to need to do R/O water and use chemicals to increase pH, hardness, and alkalinity as well. My well water is at 5.0 which clearly, is no good for a Marine tank lol.

Your stocking looks good from what I also remember. And then of course you can do the snails and I think a feather duster too once everything is stable and going well! I love feather dusters lol

I know the API tests will do fine but I also know a lot of people recommend the Red Sea kits as well, not sure what's available to you though, you'll have to look around if not.

And yes, you should find Marine salt at your stores, you should also be able to purchase premade salt water as you won't do huge water changes each week, 5-10% is the normal. You don't want to change too much otherwise you'll through your system out of whack. Do not use Aquarium salt, it's not the same as Marine salt (AQ salt has two components; sodium and chloride, marine salt as over 27).

Do you know about Sump filters? Very useful, especially for if you'll be doing any corals in the future. It's still good to do, even a 20 long will be fantastic for a sump under the tank to keep your tank more stable. Basically, you want as much volume as you can to keep it stable. It's possible to do a regular filter but it won't be as stable is all so you'll have to watch it like a hawk.
 

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From what I know about yellow tangs, they can get fairly large and are very active; most recommendations I've come across say that they need a tank of at least 50 gallons. Blue tangs need an even bigger tank than that (at least 125 gallons), as they get to be around a foot in size and are also very active swimmers.
 
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