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I have a friend of mine who offered to just give me his 75 gallon tank and all the equipments along with it, for free. I have seen the tank, it is in pristine condition, he probably used it only a few months.

My question is can I use the same canister filter , etc ? Is there any reason why I cannot use the tank for freshwater, if it is cleaned ?

Since I have never had a big tank another question comes to my mind. Might sound like an idiotic question to some, but my experience is only with 10g tanks. Do I need need plumbing around the tank for continuously cycling water, or can water change me done once a week using something like a Python system ? This would determine where I can place the tank.


Another question is what all do I need ? Example, I know I need C02, for which I would need a pressurized tank, but I know there is more to it than just the tank. I would probably need better lighting 'cause I want to grow plants, all kinds. What kind of light do I need ? The reason for asking these questions, I am trying to figure how much I would need to shell out just to get the tank started.


I will surely have more questions if and when I get the tank.

Thanks in advance for all your help.

- Dave
 

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Before using the tank & filter just use a water bleach solution to sanatize, then you may need to use a water vinager solution to remove any buildup of salt etc.. Just make sure to rinse very well after doing both. I would get new media like sponges, bio rings etc for the filter.

To grow almost any plant I would go for at least 3 wpg or 225 watts, but not over 4 wpg. Make sure to get bulbs with a K rating of 5500k-10000k. A combo of bulbs can be used to get just the right color.

Weekly water changes of 25%-50% will do just fine. No plumbing needed, just a syphon.
 

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Almost all the parts can be re-used, just rinse well. Most diseases or parasites do not cross over, and will be killed in the rinsing.
Cola products are a stronger acid than vinegar and may work better on the mineral deposits, or citric acid 'sour salt' found on the spice shelf in a grocery store.

The protein skimmer does not have much use in a fresh water system.

If you are setting up a hard water tank such as Rift Lakes then you might be able to use the substrate, too. Many marine set ups use a substrate like coral sand or aragonite that can raise the hardness and pH of the water. Not really great plants substrate, but I am able to use coral sand in my Lake Tanganyikan tank, and my brackish water tank.

I rinsed and reused all the filter media, too. It is a different species of nitrifying bacteria, so don't bother trying to save it. Clean everything well.

Check out the light fixture. See if the bulbs could be used. Often a tropical marine tank has specialized lights designed for growing coral, and these are not good for a planted tank, but you might be able to buy bulbs that fit, but are in the correct K range for fresh water plants.
 

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My question is can I use the same canister filter , etc ? Is there any reason why I cannot use the tank for freshwater, if it is cleaned ?
Yes, I recently convert a 50G tank.

Just rinse it very well, fill up with water, left it out side for a few days.
 
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