Go ahead and clean out your 37-gallon extra tall freshwater tank thoroughly before you convert it to saltwater. The beneficial nitrifying bacteria that provide the biological filtration in freshwater cannot survive in saltwater no matter how gradually you raise the salinity, so you can’t preserve any of the biofiltration when you set it up as a marine aquarium. You will need to cycle the aquarium from scratch with saltwater, Carrie, so the best thing to do is to start out with a nice clean tank. Eight weeks should be more than sufficient for cycling the new tank.
Ocean Rider routinely ships their livestock throughout the US during the winter months without any problems. For example, I live in Minnesota, and I have received ORs as a Christmas gift that arrived in excellent condition.
If necessary, Ocean Rider will postpone shipments in winter time when there is inclement weather at either end that could delay flights, or cause problems with the FedEx delivery trucks on the ground, until conditions are more favorable. Otherwise, however, the shipments are normally completed in good shape and delivered in a timely fashion even during winter.
So don’t rush the set up and cycling of your new aquarium in order to attempt to beat the cold, Carrie. Just take your time and make sure your 30 gallon aquarium is successfully converted to salt water and has cycled completely before you place your order. It’s always best to have a well-established aquarium with optimal water quality waiting for your new arrivals.
There have been a few other threads on the Ocean Rider Club discussion board at seahorse.com from hobbyists who were just starting out with seahorses that you should also find to be of interest, Carrie. They discuss setting up an ideal system for seahorses, including filtration, feeding, lighting, circulation and so on. I’ve provided links to those discussions for you below, so please check them out when you have a chance. I think they will answer many of your questions about keeping seahorses:
Click here: Seahorse.com – Seahorse, Sea Life, Marine Life, Aquafarm Sales, Feeds and Accessories – Re:ok stocking density…
Re:Hello, newbie here! – O http://www.seahorse.com/option,com_simpleboard/Itemid,144/func,view/id,1004/catid,2/
Click here: Seahorse.com – Seahorse, Sea Life, Marine Life, Aquafarm Sales, Feeds and Accessories – Re:Setting up a 100gal for
Re: Guidance on Keeping Seahorses:
Re: New to seahorses and I have lots of questions!
Re: Tank set-up advice
Re:New with lots of questions 🙂
Please let us know if you have any other questions that haven’t been covered in those previous discussions, Carrie!
Good luck converting your 30-gallon saltwater setup into a seahorse tank, Carrie!