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Old 05-27-2014, 07:21 PM   #1
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Adding live sand to established reef tank

I'm looking to add 20 lbs of live Fiji pink aragonite sand to my 1 year old reef tank. The tank currently has about 20 lbs of the same type of sand, but the amount of sand has been decreasing due to it being siphoned out during pwcs.

Does anyone see any issues with adding the sand all at once? I know ideally I would add dry sand and rinse it really well before adding but I already bought the live sand. What's the best way to add the sand? On top of the existing sand bed, or move some of the old sand aside and add the new sand in the vacated space?

Thanks in advance.


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Old 05-27-2014, 07:32 PM   #2
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Pour it down a PVC tube wherever you want it in your tank cuts down on cloudiness and sand going everywhere
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Pour it down a PVC tube wherever you want it in your tank cuts down on cloudiness and sand going everywhere
That is what I would do also.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:10 PM   #4
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Any issues with adding all 20 lbs at once? Pour it on top of the existing sand or move some sand aside and then pour?


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Old 05-27-2014, 08:38 PM   #5
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How deep is the bed now? Adding a lot of sand on top may kill what life is in the bed now. I think I would add a little each week, just to be safe.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:41 PM   #6
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How deep is the bed now? Adding a lot of sand on top may kill what life is in the bed now. I think I would add a little each week, just to be safe.

The sand bed now is about 3/4 inch. I would just about double my sand volume. Would moving sand aside when I do my pwc and then adding the new sand in the empty spots solve that issue?


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Old 05-27-2014, 08:46 PM   #7
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Yes, but if you are only adding 3/4" to a 3/4" bed, I wouldn't worry about it. That little won't cut off oxygenated water.
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:53 AM   #8
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Yes, but if you are only adding 3/4" to a 3/4" bed, I wouldn't worry about it. That little won't cut off oxygenated water.
Thanks Mr. X.
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Old 05-29-2014, 02:40 PM   #9
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Add it all using the PVC pipe method, then lightly mix it in with the current substrate (move your fingers around in it or similar) and your done with no real danger to the established bed.
I just last weekend removed about 10lbs of substrate because I had lots of different grain sizes. I literally sifted every ounce of substrate to get the grain size I wanted.
I still have a 2"-3" deep sand bed. My 3 Super Nasarius snails (they are huge, about 1.5" shell) love the more uniform grain size, they can burrow much easier/faster now.
Absolutely no adverse effect on the BB at all, at least according to water tests.

BUT!!!!!
One important note!!!
check the expiration date on the bag. If it expired or close, I would recommend rinsing it good first to avoid introducing dead bacteria and the byproducts into the tank.
In setting mine up I used the same Fiji pink from two different LFS. One was close to the expiration date, the other had just been bagged a month earlier and still had 6 months+ according to the label.
there was a noticeable difference between the two in odor and how cloudy it made the water. I would avoid using "live sand" that is old without rinsing first.
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:53 PM   #10
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Put the sand in a water bottle, and then pour the sound out of the water bottle. All the cloudiness gets trapped inside the bottle. I did it with unrinsed play sand in a FW tank, very very minimal cloudiness
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