Urgent help needed - substrate choice

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by DUPPIE, 14 Mar 2013.

  1. DUPPIE

    DUPPIE

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    Hi !!

    I'm currently setting up a 650 litre main reef tank, with 100 litre sump. I need help with the following as i would like to fill the tank as soon as possible. I currently have a 120 litre Nano with live rock and aragonite (been running for about 3 months), and will be moving this over to the bigger tank.



    Aragonite will cost me a fortune, i calculated that i'll need about 60kg (for a thin layer in display tank, and for the DSB) I was thinking of using either sand from the beach, or fine coral sand. So the questions ...
    1. Can i use sand from the beach ?, and if so, do i take it from below the low water mark and put it straight into the tank, or do i take dry beach sand and wash it properly ?
    2. If beach sand will not work, is fine coral sand ok ? (saw something called coral balls, but this is much coarser than aragonite/sand.
    3. I suppose one would mix the aragonite in the Nano with the new substrate (lots of life in the substrate at the moment).
    4. Will it be possible to add all the water, aragonite, live rock, corals, fish, and inverts into the new tank (with new substrate and some more live rock) without having major problems with an ammonia or nitrate spike ?
    Thanks for the help !!!
     
    Last edited: 14 Mar 2013
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  3. JS

    JS

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    So many threads on this already...just do a search....:)
     
  4. Gesiggie

    Gesiggie Challenge accepted

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    Hi Duppie,
    You can use sand from the beach, but preferably water collected below the low water mark and away from any land outlets, piers, harbors etc.
    If the travelling distance is not that far, then I would guess it should be fine to use directly.



    I would not take any dry sand from the beach, you do not know what was spilled there, (eg swimming beach- sun tan oils etc...;) )

    My 2c...

    Oh, and when adding to your new tank, first add your water, then the sand. This will assure that the sand will settle without any air bubbles. And give it time to settle for a day or two, then add your other LS.
     
    Last edited: 14 Mar 2013
  5. crispin

    crispin

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    if youve read all those threads already as you know they are there, why not give the fella some help and tell him the asnwer, or at very least point him in the right direction so he can read the threads himself.

    you can use beach sand, taken from low water mark as deep as possible, best using spring low tide so you can get deeper into the water and collect there. pollution is a factor so try get to a secluded beaxch away from contamination.
    What I personally dont like about beach sand is the color it gives to the tank. its generally brown of yellow and this makes a reef tank look strange (to me anyway).

    many people have used very well washed play sand before, but this is very light and tends to get blown around the tank with the flow. It does settle after a while when small micro organisms start living in the substrate, but its not the best substrate to use due to its light structure.


    Crushed coral can be too course and thus leads to detritus settlement and that plays massive havoc on the water parameters. Also due to the crushing process its normally rather sharp and this can be difficult for organisms to live in and to use to feed off (fish like sand shifting gobies etc etc)

    aragonite is the best to use (in my opinion) as you get the best environment for micro life to live in (especially biological filtration) is bright white and heavey enough to withstand the internal flow patterns we need in reef tanks.

    Personally if at all possible I would watch for sale threads and see if someone is selling their aragonite when breaking down a tank.


    else try beach sand or playsand and see what the effects for you are
     
  6. trad

    trad Fish, thats the word!

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    buy aragonite, it's the best option and filtration is your most important item in the tank.
     
  7. trad

    trad Fish, thats the word!

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    And you're going to have to adjust your idea of urgent.... :)
     
  8. Andre@ReefAquatics

    Andre@ReefAquatics Sponsor

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    Don't skimp on this one, your tank is going to be your pride and joy later on. Do the correct thing from the start. Removing substrate later on is no no, and possibly catastrophic.

    We faced the same questions when needing to cover 9 tanks in the shop.

    Spend the money and forget about it.

    Do the right thing from the start.

    Just my opinion.
     
  9. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    answered above

    Can work


    Yes you can. But you must keep in mind that you need to acclimatize the sand. Else you loose that live.

    Yes, providing you acclimatise them
     
  10. JS

    JS

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    Exactly what I did...."just do a search"....

    Or did you want it in work instruction format? :p
     
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