You are here:

Saltwater Aquarium/Tank conversion


Hello, I am converting a used saltwater tank to freshwater.  I understand that many components will not be used however I would like to ask if anyone knows of a good way to remove salt barnacles from some of the decorations and the heater and other things.  I have been scraping and scrubbing but there are places I cannot reach.  Is there a soaking solution that could be used??

Thank you for any help you can offer.

Hello Thaddeus:

Nice to meet you.

In regards to converting a saltwater aquarium to freshwater:

You can use just about all of the apparatus from the saltwater set-up, including filtration, lighting, pumps, etc... unless it was specifically designed to filter saltwater, or specifically designed to measure a saltwater parameter. For example you would not use a protein skimmer, or hydrometer on a freshwater aquarium.

In regards to removing barnacles:

The best way I have accomplished this is by soaking the covered parts overnight in a solution of vinegar... then gently scrubbing them off.

I wish you the best of luck with all your future aquarium endeavors.

P.S. You may even think about doing a saltwater aquarium one day, or starting one now, since you already have a saltwater set-up. They are not any more complicated in terms of maintenance than a freshwater aquarium... "especially once you get the hang of it".

Happy New Year!


All Experts - Editor - Director of Operations  

Saltwater Aquarium

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


David Ocreef


Technical saltwater coral reef related aquarium questions are welcome. Coral, invertebrate, and peaceful species of saltwater fish questions are welcome. Questions asked on Saturday and Sunday will be answered the following Monday. REMINDER: Please check the answers pool to see if your question has already been asked and answered. Questions typically are answered within a 48 hour period, however sometimes it may take longer.


I possess over twenty-five years of hands-on experience and knowledge in the ecology of aquariums. Beyond the traditional, I have successfully tested and sustained environments that have been uncharted territories for hobbyists, for decades. I am the first to admit I don't know it all because there will always be something new, amazing, and exciting to learn about, as discoveries are made. It's a hobby one can never outgrow, or grow tired of.

MASNA - Marine Aquarium Society of North America. Director of Orange County Reef Aquatics -

Publications,, and many others.

After High School, my experience and love of marine animals influenced me to take up studies in Marine Biology. Throughout college, I studied Microbiology with an emphasis on Marine Life, as well as numerous other sciences. I continued to advance in this hobby, by building a dozen or more saltwater ecosystems all utilizing Microbes as the major source of my filtration method.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]