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Saltwater Aquarium/Attempting to begin a salt water aquarium


I have a 55 gallon freshwater tank carrying a 2 foot rescued Koi fish. Unfortunately, it seems as though she will not live for long. I am thinking about transforming the tank into a salt water aquarium, but I have not a clue of what I have to do. What kind of equipment do I need(heater, power head, hydrometer, etc.), is it necessary to setup a sump system(I prefer not to), how would I manage to maintain live sand and rock, and how is it that I need to cycle the water? I have researched a bit, but I'm still kind of confused of what all it is I need to do. Thank you.


Don't be surprised if the Koi fish pulls through and makes a full recovery. I say this because Koi (in the Carp family) are extremely hardy, and if properly cared for, can live 80 to 100 years of age, and can grow up to 4 feet in length. They'll do best in a well kept pond, however they'll also do well in large aquaria.

In regards to how to begin a saltwater aquarium: please refer to the plethora of articles found at our favorite online reef aquarium supply web store "Orange County Reef Aquatics". See their educational link below.


Saltwater Aquarium

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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.

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