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Old 03-13-2011, 11:23 PM   #1
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Changing Crushed Coral to Sand?

Hi,
I have a 150 gallon reef tank with approximately 150 lbs. of live rock. Measurements of the tank are 48"L x 24"W x 30"H. Tank has been up and trunning for about 18 months. It has the usual mix of fish, coral, and other critters. All water parameters are normal. Here is my problem . . . I really hate the crushed coral substrate. I would like to switch over to a sand substrate. I have been reading different forums about how other people have made the switch. Some have removed everything and started from scratch, some have done it in stages. The one thing in common was that these tanks were much smaller than 150 gallons. I really do not relish the thought of breaking everything down and basically starting from scratch, not to mention the mess it will cause in my family room (side note . . . wife will kill me if I make too big of a mess). There was one person on another forum who basically changed out the front half with sand and left the CC in the back portion that had the live rock sitting on it. My live rock runs the length of the tank and reaches almost to the top. It sits on the back 16" of the tank bottom. Is it possible to leave the crushed coral under the live rock and just replace the front 8" of crushed coral with sand? Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Paul
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:23 AM   #2
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Wow, you do have a chore set up for you for this. Once you start to disturb that CC you are going to have some mini-cycle coming up as well, so you will have something else to worry about.

Honestly, I would think that removing the rock (and putting it into a rubbermade container so it stays underwater) and then remove all CC and replace with pre-rinsed sand (to cut down on the cloudy water) and then put the live rock back in.

Be prepared to do a couple bit water changes every day to help cut down on the ammonia that will be released by the CC.

It is going to be a lot of work but can easily be done in one day. You can time it with a trip to a spa for the wife
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:33 AM   #3
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I would do it in stages. Siphon out 1/4 of it and then get you a piece of PVC and slide the sand down to where you want it. As mentioned above make sure you have plenty of fresh SW around in case you get a spike but if you siphon the old CC out there should not be much of one.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:55 PM   #4
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That is a great tip melosu I never would have thought to run it down a pvc tube like that.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:17 PM   #5
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It cuts down on the dust storm you would experience. There will still be a small one but not as bad. Good luck on the changeover.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:11 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I think I'm going to do the changeover in stages.
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