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Old 09-05-2011, 05:56 PM   #1
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confused newbie!!!

i am a novice when it comes to this hobby..i am a bit confuse when i went to the pet store..i saw a SEA SALT and a REEF SALT..also, i saw a LIVE SAND and REEF SAND..what are the difference..i am planning on putting a 75 gallon fowlr but eventually be transforming it into a reef aqaurium..what are my options that you guys can give me..TIA..
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Old 09-05-2011, 10:31 PM   #2
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Live sand and reef sand are the same thing except reef sand doesnt have any bacteria. You can seed it with live rock. It doesnt matter what you get. Sea salt and reef salt will both work too. Good Luck!!! Also, remember to only stock for the reef tank because you will do that eventually. GL!!!!!!
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:20 AM   #3
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right, and the amount of bacteria in a sealed bag of sand sitting on a shelf in a pet store for who knows how long is debatable. i would use the dry sand (thoroughly rinsed before adding to the tank so to remove any dust).
i like to use buckets of salt labeled "reef grade" or "reef salt" because they are supposed to be closer to natural sea water. while no salt mix is consistent due to settling, i have found this to be true, for the most part.
would i use a reef grade salt for a fowlr? nope. instant ocean would be my choice until i was considering adding corals.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:53 AM   #4
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I'd agree with the above. I started out with regular instant ocean and upped to reef salt after I started filling the tank with corals.

I have used regular aragonite sand, crushed coral, pool filter sand and once time "live" in a bag sand. I prefer the pool filter sand myself. I only got the live sand cause it was the color I really wanted not for any benefits that they say comes with it. I mean really, how live can sand be in a bag in a store on a shelf for who knows how long? And the price is expensive in my opinion.

I'm sticking with the pfs for my upcoming build, $5 for 50lbs. Just have to wash the beejesus out of it first, but then again, you should be rinsing any sand (except live) anyway.
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180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:20 PM   #5
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so pretty much buy bags of sand, rinse it thoroughly, dry it out, then put it in the tank right???..i have a lot of question in my mind..but for some reason reading the book that i've bought is not really convincing me..that is why i would like to hear it from the pro's..once i finished cycling my tank with LR and some dead shrimps..do i add corals first or fish??..i am really confused..i wanted to impress my brother that is coming home from deployment in 3 months..help me guys..TIA..
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:23 PM   #6
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You can start with fishor corals after your cycle. Most people start with fish though, LOL, after waiting so long for a cycle to complete most just want to have some sort of fish. heheh....

But if your water is good after it cycles then I don't see why you couldnt' start with some easy corals like zooas, leathers and mushrooms. The zooas and shrooms can add ALOT of color to your tank for a relatively low cost.
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180g Reef - 60g Rimless Reef -90G FOWLR- 125g Malawi Cichlids- 40b REEF- 34g Fresh Planted-working on- 20L FOWLR- working on
I have a mix of many different saltwater fish amongst my tanks, but I love my Tangs most of all.
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:37 PM   #7
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thanks carey!!!..now im a little bit relieved..my brother and i are avid scuba divers..but we dont get to do it very often..so i decided to bring the ocean to our house..yeah i know..patience patience!!!LOL..
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:39 PM   #8
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You'll do fine! Any questions just ask.

Also, you don't have to dry out the sand after rinsing, just make sure you rinse as much as you can, you'll appreciate it more the more gunk you rinse out. Also if adding the water after the sand, use the plate trick. Place a bowl or dinner plate in the tank on the sand and just pour the water slowly into the plate/bowl and you will have less of a sand cloud.
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