Black arag vs white arag vs barebottom

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by JsPLAYn, 8 Apr 2012.

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  1. JsPLAYn

    JsPLAYn

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    want to run a high flow sps tank. barebottom isnt nice but is it better than a beautifull black arag bottom which will excentuate colours or just the plain white arag(last option tho) as i want diferent but nt just for looks , :)need efficiency aswell
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 8 Apr 2012
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  3. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    Barebottom is good for keeping things clean, but not so nice lookwise(believe me i have tried it). Aragonite, even if its a thing layer is nice. Get a heavier grain, i.e a little bit coarser, but not too coarse as it may end up being a detritus issue. The heavier grain will not be blown around by the flow so much. I have never had black aragonite so i can't comment there, its up to you. But IMO, pick one of the sand options :)
     
  4. JsPLAYn

    JsPLAYn Thread Starter

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    my biggest question is then............

    If i go arag..... is there a beneficial difference between black and white?
     
  5. rob189

    rob189

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    black sounds too unnatural for my liking... black arag is like defeating the objective of keeping a reef tank (ie wanting to replicate the natural sea environment)

    haha im using big words today :p

    but you never know....i could be completely misguided and thee black arag looks insanely awesome...lol
     
  6. brentv

    brentv

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    Just going a bit outta the box...
    Something I'm thinking for my SPS dominated cube that I'm about to start building a zoa covered bottom!!!
    Reasons:
    1- I have access to about 12 different colour combo's locally.
    2- they will filter any poop and excess food.
    3- looks insane

    Negatives:
    1- takes a bit of a while to completely cover bottom (But you can always have patches of arag between)
    2- gotta keep them in check and trimed so they dont start colonizing LR

    ... Food for Thought!;)
     
  7. rob189

    rob189

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    i like this idea :)
     
  8. crispin

    crispin

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    substrate colour realky is a personal taste. ive seena number of back aragonite tanks (quite popular here in Norway with nano tanks) and personally i dont like them from a pure asthetics issue. If however i were to do a in tand DSB then i might well look at using aragonite.

    I like aragonite over most any other substrate as i find it gives a far better enviroment for micro life to grow (worms, pods bacteria etc etc) and that in turn helps the tank in a number of ways. Ive seen far better results with aragonite than i have with play sand or river sand or even beach sand. Also if you get any sand dwelling occupants (the list is long of sand dwelling things we can add) then I feel that aragonite has a far better application for them, especially things like sand sifting goby's or wrasses whioch use the sand bed alot.

    White or Black??? the only realy difference that ive been able to find (other than persobal taste) is that white reflects a significant more light back up into the tank for use of corals and or ambient viewing light for humans.

    personally i would go with a sugar grained white aragonite with a sand sifting star or pair of goby's after a few MONTHS once the sand bed is established and can sustain them.
     
  9. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    Not to hijack the thread here. In my first 2 tanks I used sugar fine aragonite and had great results. No algae or nutrient issues. In my last 2 tanks I've used sea floor grade aragonite (bigger sand particles 1-2mm) and have had terrible results. I always have to vacuum the substrate and am constantly battling nutrient issues. Do you guys think the bigger particle aragonite is not suited for a reef tank?
     
  10. 2balive

    2balive

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    Been reading a lot on this and research definitely points to the finer the better. Best results are actually achieve with a mud like substance.

    I did the same as you with my current tank and opted for the sea floor grade as I was worried that the suger fine will be blown around. Compared to by previos tank that had suger fine, the life in my DSB is about 1/4 judging from what I can see through the glass. Wished I have put suger fine in (and did not wash it either).

    Considering adding 2 cm of suger fine on top of my in DT DSB to see if it will help?
     
    Last edited: 9 Apr 2012
  11. JsPLAYn

    JsPLAYn Thread Starter

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    thats the point everyone makes concerning black is less reflective.... but with enough light it shouldn be a problem then

    as for arag and black "arag" im refering specifically to arag-alive. i mean its a product of caribsea so i doubt it could be less beneficial in any way???????????
     
  12. JsPLAYn

    JsPLAYn Thread Starter

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    finer is better in all regards but will it be a good idea in a high flow sps tank????? i personally dont think so
     
  13. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    This is true, hence me suggesting bigger particles as they wont lift up so high but the high flow will help to avoid detritus.

    In my old detritus i had super fine beach sand and I also had a lot of flow in there and that sand picked up nonstop. It was like a sand storm all the time, landing on my corals and rocks...

    But as crispy says, there are critters that will help with detritus..
     
  14. JsPLAYn

    JsPLAYn Thread Starter

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    so i should just go with my 1st preference which is thin layer of black arag just to cover bottom. arag alive isn too small but it bigger than the average used white arag but if its thin, with the help of dwarf hermits and high flow, i should not have a problem??????????
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 9 Apr 2012
  15. crispin

    crispin

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    personally i dont think 'finer the better' in all regards. there is a distinct limit to the permiability of your substrate (the way water moves down and through it) and you can get substrates so fine that they compact. But thats not an issue you are likley to encounter with aragonite.

    i think you will find that a decent finish aragonite is heavier that you anticipate and your high flow rate required for sps growth and low detritus settlement will NOT be a problem. You might need to experiment a little with pump placements etc, but with decent aragonite you shouldnt create a sand storm issue at all.
     
  16. crispin

    crispin

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    Jsreefn the way i would approach this question is to detirmine waht it is you want to achieve in the long run and what inhabitants you want to keep. Have an end goal and plan to that.

    I get that you have a nano tank, which you want to be sps dominated with low nutrient and high colour to the corals. Thats easy to do (ish). To achieve that you will need good water quality (check the macines and reactors you have to achieve that) with high flow (check the internal pumps you plan to have and make sure they are on controllers), good lights (i assume the lights you have will be sufficient, but check that) and a relativley LOW stocking of fish.

    with a low stocking of fish you need to choose your fish carefully, specifically taking ito account that its a small vollume tank with certain environmental restrictions.

    If you realy want wrasses then you need to give them an environment to sleep and feed from (ie sand). If you domnt want wrasses or sand sifting goby's then you dont realy need a thick layer of sand.

    What I am saying is plan backwards. see what it is that you want to achieve and apply various technlogies to achieve that goal.

    I will say though, if you go with a thin sand base and your pumps do move the substrate you will get areas of exposed glass and a few piles of sand, and that in my view is the worst look of them all. if you use substrate (whioch ever you decide) then it must be enough to cover the base and resist the internal flow you have.
     
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  17. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    Black substrate is really cool till it picks up a little dust and it then looks plain nasty and ugly! Do white it keeps tank bright!
     
    Last edited: 9 Apr 2012
  18. Helga

    Helga

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    I have the same problem. I have said, if theres 1 thing I could change on my tank is that I would not put the Sugarfine in the tank again. I have added a coarser Aragonite lately and it a bit better. I have a Sandsifting Goby and a Maroon Clown and together they always kicking up fine sand onto the rocks and corals. Also have to put sleeves on the Vortech pumps otherwise I have sandstorms.

    But I also have to admit, I have much less detritus building up around the rocks than in my previous tank with the coarser substrate. So at the end I suppose its good and bad. Its going to come down to personal choice!! ;)
     
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