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Old 01-23-2004, 03:39 PM   #1
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Crushed coral, Sand or Both?

I have a 72 gallon bow front tank. I have had it set up for about 8 weeks. It has cycled. I have a wet/dry filter and protein skimmer. I have about 65 lbs of live rock so far and 3 clowns and 2 convict gobies. I intend for it to be a reef tank. I started out with crushed coral on the bottom. Then someone told me that I needed about 3 inches of sand. He is from a reputable aquarium store in my area, he said that it would be perfectly fine to add it on top of the crushed coral. Now another pet store says, absolutely not! Take out the crushed coral or it will die and start stinking and eventually crash my tank. I have since asked several people and get the same two answers back and forth. Can anyone give me some good advice on the matter? PLEASE?!
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Old 01-23-2004, 04:32 PM   #2
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take the CC out. I believe it would eventually come to the top which would defeat the purpose of adding the sand to bury it.


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Old 01-23-2004, 10:45 PM   #3
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Sunshine, did the LFS say why you needed three inches of sand? There a lot of opinions out there about DSB. Personally, I do not use CC because it doesn't look as natural. But that is a personal issue. I am planning to put a 3-4 inch DSB instead. But, ask 10 people and you will get 10 different answers.
As for the CC dying and stinking up your tank, there are numerous articles out there about DSBs that tell you the same thing. If I can find those links I will send them to you. I think you need to read up on DSBs and make the decision for yourself. Just to make things more complicated, there are a growing number of people that have gone with a "bare bottom" tank. In some cases they put some sort of "cover" on the bottom of their tank so that the LR will not scratch it. Their are for doing this is intriguing. I have seriously thought of it myself, but I really like the look of sand. I know my reply may have raised more questions, for that I apologize, but I think you need to take people's advice, including my own, as a guide and not law. You need to make the ultimate decision because you are going to have to live with it.
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Old 01-24-2004, 03:16 PM   #4
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The main problem w/ CC is not that it can very easily begin producing a lot of nitrate because waste and what have you will get stuck in it. A sand bed (whether deep or shallow) will not do this and can aid much more in biological filtration; especially if it is a 3-4 inch deep sand bed.
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Old 01-25-2004, 05:59 AM   #5
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One problem with sand is that it has a tendency to compress over time.
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Old 01-25-2004, 02:27 PM   #6
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Live DSB. No CC.
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Old 01-25-2004, 07:13 PM   #7
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Sand will only compress over time if you do not have infauna in the tank to keep it turning. This is rarely a problem if you add in new pieces of liverock, pod kits, detrivore kits, live sand, etc. from time to time to renew infauna that may have died out.

As for the CC, it is a personal choice. But DO NOT add sand overtop of it. The CC will eventually rise to the top which will in turn hinder some of the infauna from turning through the sand below. This will likely cause problems.

If you keep the CC, the simple rule is that it needs to be vacuumed thoroughly when you do water changes. It is common for it to build up wastes, but with the right maintenance it can be successful.
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