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Old 06-21-2004, 05:19 AM   #1
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changing from crushed coral to sand

My tank has been establised for 12 mths. I started with an undergravel filter but recently pulled this out and added a crushed coral base. I left a layer of the gravel there to speed up growth of bacteria in my crushed coral. Problem is now after reading about other peoples tanks, i think my crushed coral particle size to too large for burrowing animals to thrive - now i want to change to a sand bed
So the question is CAN I JUST DUMP THE SAND ON TOP OF THE CC
I was thinking maybe i could mix some sand thru and then add sand in layers giving time for bacteria growth in between adding each layer
All advice is appreciated 8O
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Old 06-21-2004, 08:35 AM   #2
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Adding the sand on top of the cc would be a very risky thing to do. What would happen is detritus/food etc would find its way down and eventually start to clog the gaps in the cc. Like you said the burrowing critters can't handle the coarseness of the cc so there's no way to keep it clean under all that sand. It's also possible that the lack of turnover at the bottom would create a sulphide trap and then you're really in big doo doo.

You won't need to worry about losing bacteria if you change the substrate bit by bit over a long period, especially if you have plenty of LR.
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Old 06-21-2004, 12:41 PM   #3
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Swapping out CC for sand is relatively easy and as Atari suggested can be done a bit at a time. I did mine over a few months (primarily because I'm lazy) but keep in mind you will still have some CC rearing it's ugly head later on. You can also do it all at once as long as you save a small amount of the surface CC and place it in nylon bags to reseed the new sand. A pair of unused nylon stocking works well.

Here is a good step by step article... >>Sand Swap<<

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Old 06-21-2004, 01:01 PM   #4
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Old 06-22-2004, 01:14 AM   #5
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OK, Cheers for that, very helpful. Looks like i'm doing another total change.

On the topic of sand i am thinking about collecting it from an offshore reef when i'm diving. I live in Darwin Australia (a city with no useful aquarium shops and apparently no playsand) which is pretty remote so i'm fairly confident that toxins/pollutants will not be a problem.
Got any tips for me?
I'm wondering how i will know what type of sand i'm looking at - cause i dont want silicates, do I ??? 8O
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Old 06-22-2004, 10:10 AM   #6
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If the sand is coming from an actual reef I think it'll be pretty safe to use, but you might want to check with authorities if it's legal to collect it.
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