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Moving to SW


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Just after some advice. I'd like to start a SW setup using my Fluval Edge.


I have suitable substrate, heater, digital thermometer and FW test strips already.


What else do I need to start?


RO water (how long can you keep this?)


Power head

Live rock


Lighting - replacements to the standard fitted halogens.


I'd like maybe 1-2 small fish and maybe a shrimp/crab. Then some corals of some sort.


Any advise greatly appriecated. This will be a long setup due to funds so it won't be rushed.


Thanks in advance.



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My set up from freshwater was also and still is limited to funds. You set up looks good, but make sure you get a small powerhead or pump to add some more flow. Also go with LEDs for replacement bulbs, they last for ever(almost). If you really want to keep some corals, I would get a small t5 fixture with 2 bulbs to add anlotnof light. But if you are going to use the birds eye view feature, this may nit work. The fixture I'm going to recommend is the aquaticlife 2 bulb fixture, that is 20" long, or the marineland 18" reef capable led lights. I would personally use the LEDs, since they don't need replacements for a while and the fixture is smaller. I know you are on a limited budget, and wouldnprobably want to get the system moving along but learn from my mistakes, you will want to upgrade again and again, and you probably will end up with LEDs if you do this. It is cheaper in the long run, and you can keep sps corals under LEDs;)

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Hi Danzx2, I'm in the same boat! I've been keeping a FW planted edge for just over a year and I love it, so much we have decided to have a go at SW. Have you seen the Fluval edge thread, absoloutley loads of info and links in there http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=229244


Lighting seems to be the only drawback with the edge and there are or seem to be many soloutions, I've decided to go with the nanotuners lighting unit for the edge, a little pricey compared to a bulb swap but it does seem to work

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Test strips may not be accurate enough for SW. Try getting liquid test kits; the API saltwater master kit is a good balance between reliability and price.


RO water can be kept indefinitely in sealed containers.


For the hydrometer, get a glass one or a refractometer (or conductivity meter) for greater accuracy.


Lighting will require DIY work for an Edge. There is a thread somewhere here on common Edge modifications.


Fish are not a great idea for a 6 gallon tank in terms of the bioload they produced. Very small fish like some gobies would be the best idea.

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A couple more questions.


1. How much and how often should I change the water? The tank is 6 gallons.


2. My LFS sells RO water at 0.79 a gallon or salted for £1.29 a gallon. Would it be cheaper to by 2Kg of salt and mix it myself? How much salt would be needed to mix up a water changes worth?


3. If I buy live rock, does this need anything special to keep it healthy?


4. I have the standard filter with the biomax, foam and carbon in. What should this be filled with for a marine setup?


As mentioned before, I would leave it setup and running for a good 8 weeks and then introduce maybe 1 fish and 1 shrimp.





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1. 30%+ weekly water changes (about 2 gallons for you)

2. i personally like mixing my own seawater. around a cup and half of salt (reef crystals) will make one gallon of seawater around 1.025sg. this works for me at least might be different with other salts (?)

3. yes, the rock needs to be in the water to live and stay "healthy" i hope you know the rock itself is not living, it's the organisms, bacteria, and algaes that make it "live"

4. should be fine for now, might as well use it. chemi-pure elite (small bag), filter floss, and maybe a macroalgae would be fine

5. use live sand

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Thanks very much for the speedy reply.


I was thinking about 30%. Cost difference is not a lot about £1.50 more expensive to use own salt.


Yes ha ha, I know whats on the rock is live. Does it need to be in heated water with lights on as if you had fish in it?


Water temperature is best?



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not too sure about the heated water with rock....i doubt it will affect it without heat. if your tank is cycling i wouldnt turn on the lights, no sense in wasting power. 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit is what most reefers try to attain for water temp. if you keep these temps, there will be a small window for temp swings to still be ok. you do not want to have temp swings though. my suggestion for heating is to get a heater one size larger than what the tank calls for. i have a 3 gallon tank and use a 50w heater so it wont overwork itself.


if you go with a fish, make sure it is very small. most people with pico tanks go with invert only tanks (coral, crabs, shrimp etc.) you can keep fish in small tanks, it just requires a lot more attention.

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