I'm setting up a 55gallon tank this weekend that will house a GSP. A few questions on the supplies I need-
1. If I go an purchase a 55gal starter kit, and put a second biowheel filter on it, will that be enough? I have a marine land canister, I've never used it and got it in a yard sale a couple years back. My dad used it for a 55gal BW tank, so it works, but I'd need instructions (from my dad) on how to use it. Would this be the better choice?
2. Should I set my tank up at a low BW, or can I set it up FW instead of doing all the water changes in BW to save on salt? When I get my GSP, should I automatically start it in a low BW?
Not sure on #1 But as for the bw, check with where you are getting it from if they are bw our fw. When I got mine he was in fw. I've kept him fw for now because I'm waiting until I can buy a refractometer. In the past I was told it was ok to keep them fw for a while (6mo out so) before switching to bw
The place I'm getting them from sells them as freshwater fish, so maybe I'll cycle the tank freshwater and keep it in there for two weeks, instead of switching to BW right way in case it just stresses the fish more?
If they are being sold as fw fish then definitely cycle the tank as fw, it will as you said save you money and also because then you can just raise the salinity yourself when you are doing water changes. You can either cycle the tank with ammonia or use bacteria in a bottle tetra safe start. Good luck! The canister will work fine btw, biowheel filters are not suggested for gsp's because they can cause salt creep through the splashing.
Also I commend you on your good practical fish keeping of researching before buying the fish, feel free to ask any other questions.
Once you get to marine you will want to loose the cannister, and use live rock and a protein skimmer. Yes if they are sold as f/w cycle that way, you can then slowly increase the sg by 0.002 per week until you hit your desired sg.
It's amazing how easy maintenance is. If done regularly and thoroughly
+1 to bertie's comments! Only increasing by that amount is important so you don't kill off your good bacteria and cause your tank to go through a mini cycle. Depending on the size that you get the gsp at, if it is really young 1 in or under fw or low brackish 1.005 is fine. If he is bigger then that I suggest allowing him to acclimate for a few days and then slowly start raising the salinity to low brackish. When they are young low brackish is fine, they only need higher brackish when they are older. We suggest that you bring the tank to full marine with fish and liverock with the protein skimmer as bertie said because it saves you a lot of money. Marine tanks only need a 30% wc a month compared to weekly 50% wc's minimum for brackish. PufferPunk the owner of this forum said she was using I think she said 20 cups of salt to do 1 50% wc!
Haha, I wasn't expecting to go full marine, but that makes more sense. My s/o is going to fume when I tell him. The reason I'm allowed this tank is because I have one freshwater setup, one SW, and now a BW.