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Old 11-22-2011, 11:34 PM   #1
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Crush coral

So my whole sand bed is well crush coral in my 80 gallon reef and I was wondering do you ever clean them like gravel vac them I heard some ppl say to never mess with it but others who are very successful tank keepers say to gravel one or areas intensely during water changes whats your guys opinion? Thanks in advance

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Old 11-23-2011, 12:55 AM   #2
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i have a deep sand bed in my tank and i know if i disturb to much of it then it can release toxins that were trapped in the sand bed. not sure if that its the same with the crushed Coral. but if you are doing it during a water change it should be fine but not sure. just wanted to let you know what i have heard gird luck hope i helped

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Old 11-23-2011, 11:50 AM   #3
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Crushed coral substrate allows alot of space between the pieces to let food and detritus to get trapped. This will increase nitrates and possibly phosphates in the tank which can be bad for algae growth and even livestock.

This is a different matter than a deep sand bed. The depth of the sandbed isn't concerned with the material in order to perform the function intended.

Deep sand beds are used to allow aerobic nitrification to take place. That is, the end of the "cycle" is the creation of gases from broken down waste (such as that generated from feeding". When that waste breaks down, it goes through the typical decomposition which creates ammonia, then nitrites, then nitrates.

With shallow sand beds, you have to export that nitrate via water changes. The theory is, with a deep sandbed, you provide an environment for the final phase of the decomposition process to take place and that's the creation of aerobic gases from nitrates.

So to answer your question. If you have a shallow sand bed (under 4") you need to gravel vac crushed coral as you don't want a build up of nitrates, and you don't have a deep enough sandbed to allow aerobic areas to generate.

If you have a deep sandbed, you want to leave the substrate alone.

Sorry that was so long, I felt it needed more explanation.
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Old 11-23-2011, 12:02 PM   #4
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If it`s crushed coral then I would use a gravel vac to clean out the trash that can trapped. Jcar has you covered.
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