Substrate Dilema,

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by magman, 13 Sep 2009.

  1. magman


    Posts: 2,144
    31 Jul 2009
    Likes Received:
    Richards Bay

    I currently have the coral chips as my substrate, but as I have learnt on here that it is not that good at all.

    So I should obviously change, I was looking at maybe going reggies route as it will be much cheaper, argonite would be too expensive, as I would probably need 50kgs.

    I did previously have reggies in my 4ft tank, but the problem was that the power heads had to blow upwards because the reggies was too fine and made the water too milky. I will obviously have to fiddle to get it right if I go the reggies route.

    Also, 4 weeks ago I converted my sump to a DSB, and since my parameters are up the wall (this is why I am begginnig to get reluctant to change even the substrate now), I also can't test, because the maid misunderstood me and threw a brand new test kit, nori, all my flakes etc away when I asked her to clean up everywhere where it was wet. one goldie has a bad sore on the base of the tail, the one jumping bean has a bad sore just under the gill, and I see the Iridis wrasse has behind the gill. I presume this is only a result of the parameters. I actually felt like throwing the towel in yesterday, and am quite stressed, and feel now that I should never of converted the sump. The poor jumping beans were spawing prior, and now I am sure the one is history.

    Will I not cause more damage now in the long run changing the substrate.
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  3. brentnorm


    Posts: 2,198
    6 Dec 2007
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    Cape Town

    Firstly when you do decide to change your substrate you should not do it all at once. Perhaps do a couple of water changes first and get your water quality sorted out and your fish looking healthy before doing the substrate. What test kits do you have left?
  4. crispin


    Posts: 12,223
    22 Jan 2008
    Likes Received:
    Lilliehammer, Norway

    magman changing that substrate sounds like a great idea, it will definaley help the tank and it sounds like reggies in the way to go for you. BUT dont worry about the play sand just at the moment, lets see what you can do to get the tank stable and in good condition before any of that, ok:)

    it certainly sounds like things are out of whack and have been for a little while if fish are showing signs of stress from it. Any chance of a fts PIC, that will help greatly. What are the condition of the corals (softies and leathers in particular, are they sulking?)

    what did you actually DO when you converted to a dsb?
  5. Tony


    Posts: 4,093
    23 Aug 2008
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    Honeydew, Johannesburg

    Try the play sand beofre you buy it and wet it. SOme sands are horribly coloured when wet which you wouldn't notice with dry sand. Remember to wash it like mad
  6. Adee


    Posts: 1,777
    5 Aug 2009
    Likes Received:
    Weltevredenpark - JHB

    I've added 40 kilos of "crushed coral sand", the 2mm type, to my display. My power heads did blow it around a bit. But with some adjustment I have had minimal sand movement.
  7. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

    Posts: 17,868
    29 May 2007
    Likes Received:
    Cape Town

    Hi MagMan - I would do the following, in the order specified:
    1) do a few 30% water changes to stabilize the water parameters (3 or 4 would do the job perfectly)....
    2) ensure that the fish all eat, and (in MY opinion) feed them some food containing garlic, and also perhaps grate some fresh garlic into the food..... Feed the fish until they all seem healthy - this should take about 2 to 3 weeks...
    3) then - start removing your tank's substrate - a LITTLE BIT at a time - ie. a 5th of the substrate (virtually divide the substrate into 5 fiths..... then remove the 1st 5th, and replace with CLEAN playsand).....
    4) repeat this process every 2 weeks - give the bacteria chance to catch up and populate the new sand......

    Then - everything should be 100% perfect as needs to be!
  8. IMarine


    Posts: 1,512
    20 Oct 2007
    Likes Received:
    walmer estate capetown

    Hi friend Jacques is correct what he says but if you got the moola rather opt for caribsea aragonite and not play sand as it contains silica,i now a lot of reefers will come down on me for saying this but aragonite is the way to go,rather buy every month a bag till you got the right volume for your tank,as i seen to many reefers tanks go into crash mode after 6 months to 2 years,just my advice to you (no hard feelings to any reefers thats using playsand)we no that not all reefers can afford aragonite but really its the best
  9. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

    Posts: 22,977
    11 Aug 2008
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    Playsand is inert, meaning it can not leach silica. If it did, so would the glass of the tank. There is nothing wrong with it.

    I see you are in Richardsbay. Why not go for the real thing. Get sea sand from below low water mark from a clean beach.

    Did you seed your DSB? It will take up to 6 months to be up and running. Only method to speed it up is to seed it from sand from a fellow reefer. Just a cupfull. Also put for 4 weeks a piece of LR from display on the sand. So that the organisms can migrate to the sand.

    Wait another month for DSB to catch up before removing the substrate. Currently the substrate is the only living filter you have.
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