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Hi all! I had a couple questions and hope this is the right sections to put them in. We're getting a 300gal saltwater tank that is setup right now as a FOWLR but we'd like to turn it into a reef tank soemtime soon (used to have a 180g reef a couple years ago).

Are there any reef type things we can put in now (anenomes, shrimp, etc.) or should we wait until we get rid of all the non-reef compatible fish?

The person we're getting it from has a crushed coral bottom but we still have all the live sand from our old tank. Do we need to pick one or the other to use or do people ever mix the two?

And then I feel like this is a stupid questions since we had saltwater before but what is the difference between natural seal salt and synthetic sea salt? Also you always here to use a high quality salt, and I know some of the good brands (IO, kent, red sea, etc.) but is there a "bad list" or somewhere to go to see which brands to buy?
 

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Well the CC should all be removed because it can trap detritus and food and that can lead to elevated nitrates IMO but people do mix the two sometimes. I would wait until all non reef fish are removed before adding any reef type animals or higher end corals and you will probably have to let the tank run for a period of time before adding nems, shrimp and starfish IMO. The salt question has been on just about every forum I am on and no real solid answers on what ones are the best, all I can suggest is if you go with the red sea brand use the coral pro not the plain red sea, I will see if I can find a link for the differnt salts out there but Reef Crystals seems to be up by the top, Tropic Marin, Seachem and IO is good but just lacking a little in Calcium and Mag
 

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Well the CC should all be removed because it can trap detritus and food and that can lead to elevated nitrates IMO but people do mix the two sometimes. I would wait until all non reef fish are removed before adding any reef type animals or higher end corals and you will probably have to let the tank run for a period of time before adding nems, shrimp and starfish IMO. The salt question has been on just about every forum I am on and no real solid answers on what ones are the best, all I can suggest is if you go with the red sea brand use the coral pro not the plain red sea, I will see if I can find a link for the differnt salts out there but Reef Crystals seems to be up by the top, Tropic Marin, Seachem and IO is good but just lacking a little in Calcium and Mag
I agree with what he said. If you end up adding sand to the tank it might start a new cycle and it might be a while before you are able to put coral in the tank. As for the fish, it would be a good idea to get rid of the non reef compatible fish first before adding coral. You don't want to spend money on coral and have them destroy it.
 

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Hi all! I had a couple questions and hope this is the right sections to put them in. We're getting a 300gal saltwater tank that is setup right now as a FOWLR but we'd like to turn it into a reef tank soemtime soon (used to have a 180g reef a couple years ago).

Are there any reef type things we can put in now (anenomes, shrimp, etc.) or should we wait until we get rid of all the non-reef compatible fish?

The person we're getting it from has a crushed coral bottom but we still have all the live sand from our old tank. Do we need to pick one or the other to use or do people ever mix the two?

And then I feel like this is a stupid questions since we had saltwater before but what is the difference between natural seal salt and synthetic sea salt? Also you always here to use a high quality salt, and I know some of the good brands (IO, kent, red sea, etc.) but is there a "bad list" or somewhere to go to see which brands to buy?

Welcome, heres my 2 cents.
1. I would wait until you transfer the tank to your house and wait at least 2 weeks before adding thing. You just might send the tank into a mini-cycle by the transfer itself. As for adding corals without knowing if its compatible would be a major mistake on your part. If I where in your shoes, while your waiting for the tank to "settle in", do some research on the livestock thats already there.

2. I dont recommend crush coral(CC) for the same reason that Archer772
mentioned. If you do decide to replace the CC for sand, you will go through a moderate cycle, esp. if the sand is not LS. Depending on whats in the tank already, I would sell all the livestock that isnt "reef safe" to your LFS and ask them if they can hold the rest of what you do want to keep. That way, you can do the exchange if you want to.

3. As far as salt mixes and NSW, that all depends on whats available to you and what you want to do. I for ex. have the option of doing either one, but I choose NSW b/c its sooo much easier than mixing, checking, heating, checking again. A real P.I.T.A. Salt mixes are not created equal, so you might want to do some research. Heres a analysis that was done on most, if not all, the salt mixes out there. http://reefsaltanalysis.googlepages.com/AWT_Salt_Analysis_0208.pdf

And heres another article about salt mixes...Reef Central Online Community - A General Guide to Salt Mixes

Good luck with your tank and keep us posted. Luna
 
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