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Author Topic: Adapting an old reef tank for freshwater  (Read 436 times)
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« on: September 12, 2016, 04:44:30 PM »

I have an existing tank (220 gals plus sump) used for salt water which hasn't been run for more than two years and was installed 10 years ago.  I've researched what I could find here (I'm new to the Badman's) so if I missed some chats please direct me and sorry to waste anyone's time.  I want to switch to freshwater.  The saltwater is more than I can maintain for now and I had relied on someone else which didn't work out so well. 

Pumps work, lighting I will replace (salt damage and outdated - going to LED).  Protein skimmer  - leave or remove ?  The less changes in the system for now the easier for me since I'll need to shut off outlets in sump but I don't want to compromise the system.  Everything has been rinsed, rinsed and rinsed.  I'll also run the system and do a number of complete drains (how many?) before I even try to cycle it.  Two chambers with bioballs - I plan to use again unless I shouldn't for some reason.  RO never functioned properly - water pressure kept blowing it out and is currently disconnected.  Two pumps work fine - Pondmaster 1800 gph (not the originals). 

Top of tank is extremely hard to get to - ladder only - the bottom is counter height and tank is 30' high and built in.  I already built in a drain and plan from what I've read to do water changes with a dedicated rolling garbage can and a small submersible pump.  Currently planning to set up only for a school (14-16) of mixed barbs so the tank won't reach capacity for a few years.  All live rock sold and new substrate etc. 

Advice very welcome please.  I've kept freshwater in a 33 gal bowfront for years but relied too much on someone else to start up my saltwater tank.  Would like to get this right the first time for the benefit of the fish.
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russ
Whoa. Where did I put all my stuff?
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I know where rasaqua's stuff is.....


« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2016, 08:43:58 PM »

Newbie to our site, but not one to the hobby  happy Welcome aboard  welcome

Relying on someone else and the RO unit constantly blowing out may have gone hand-in-hand if that person had it hooked up in your filtration loop. A big no no that equals constant blowout. Some good news..........You won't need a very expensive light fixture. What you have planned sounds ok, but just a bit of concern on your tank depth with the lights you chose. They will need to penetrate that 30 inch depth. Don't need the protein skimmer. Sell it and use the bit of extra cash for the freshwater endeavor. Or, if you happen to have an outside pond, you can actually use it there. More good news.........you can still use your existing sump. And, if it is reasonable large enough, say 30 gal capacity, you can do most of your major water changes from the sump and not that much from the main tank. A shall/small school of Barbs sounds great also. You can go with a small full blown school of one of the smaller Barbs (24-36) or 5-7 Spanner T Barbs (let them grow out in that tank - they will get 5-6 inches and really cool).  happy


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