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Old 08-21-2003, 06:54 PM   #1
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crushed coral substrate....doomed????

I have a cc substrate right now. It is about 4 1/2 inches thick. I have been reading that sand is what you want and not cc. Well i have a 65 gallon tank it has been running for about 7 weeks and has 45 pounds of live rock and fish in it. Am i doomed by having this crushed coral? The guy at one of my lfs said that i should still add some live sand to it even though it will sinck to the bottom of the cc. What should i do. I really don't want to take it all up and risk losing my fish and stuff. Will i be alright?

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Old 08-21-2003, 07:42 PM   #2
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as is, you'll survive but you will be constantly fighting higher levels of nitrates than if you had a DSB.

You have two options really. 1) leave it as is (adding the LS to boost the number of critters in the bed) and be diligant with water changes, probalby at least every other week.

2) make the effort to replace the CC with argonite sand. (get sterilized argonite PLAY SAND from a home improvment store, don't let the LFS con you into paying $1 pound for their sand) we've actualy just added an article that discusses how to swap out your substrate. Take a look and, IMO, this is your better option (it is also something I have to do for my 55)
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Old 08-21-2003, 07:59 PM   #3
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thanks for the input. so would it be a waste of money to add the live sand to the cc? and would that help lower the nitrates by adding live sand to the cc substrate?
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Old 08-22-2003, 01:42 AM   #4
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The guy at my LFS was just telling me to leave my one inch of CC. I am getting confused by everyone telling me different things. I believe that the DSB would be the best way to go. I will probably end up with the DSB also.
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Old 08-22-2003, 11:20 AM   #5
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I think that while a DSB is a better substrated for bio-filteration, you are not doomed by any means staying with CC. In my experience Adding an inch of LS to a CC substrate is a waste of money providing little or no value.

You have a decent amount of LR, but if you are concerned, your money would be better spent on more LR.

I made the same mistake you did. New to the hobby I went with CC sub in my 30 gallon. It's been running for nearly a year, no problems with nitrate spikes. I test the water regularly and do regular water changes and am careful to not over stock.
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Old 08-22-2003, 12:08 PM   #6
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http://www.fishwhisperer.homestead.com/articles.html

Here is the article on how to change your CC out with sand. I did it last weekend and it was a snap.

Took out the LR, scooped out the substrate, made some nylon footballs, put those back in, added 20# LS to about 60# Aragonite, put the LR back in, and VOILA! Took about 48 hours for the water to clear up completely, but the fish didn't care. Tank looks awesome with the white sand instead of the dull CC. Footballs are coming out this weekend, I think that the 2-3 weeks that they suggest is a bit long, especially with the seeding LS and all the LR. My levels all looked good from the start, no spike.

Next project is to convert my wet/dry into a refuge. Hmmm.
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Old 08-22-2003, 12:29 PM   #7
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that's an interesting article. I do like the idea of the nylon balls. I think I'd intentionaly make afew holes in them to assist the "escapees" as I'd want to keep as many as possible. I think I'd rinse them out before using them straight out of the "egg" they come in. but i'm paranoid so maybe it's just me.

I didn't like the mention of boiling water... I think I would deffinitly suggest bringing the water up to temp with a heater before starting your process.

Polecat, let us know how things go for you, I'm quite interested to see how this process turns out.
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Old 08-22-2003, 02:03 PM   #8
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Yeah, the boiling water thing was kinda odd. I also didn't bother with the heaters, considering I am in TX and room temp is 77, thanks to a generous donation to TXU Energy.

The nylon balls of substrate were pretty cool, and very easy to do. I made my balls a little bigger than the article suggested, in part because I am lazy, and in part because I'm ready for football season. A couple days after, one of my "footballs" was partially uncovered and I could see spaghetti worms (or something akin) feeling around. I think the critters won't have much of a time getting through the nylon, that's some stretchy stuff.
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Old 09-11-2003, 10:40 AM   #9
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Polecat, let us know how things go for you, I'm quite interested to see how this process turns out.
Four weeks in and things couldn't be better. I had a bit of a diatom bloom, but that lasted only a week. Sand is sugar white now, thanks to my super duper cleaning crew. Lots of critters in the sand and on the LR, so I think the transition went well. I'd certainly recommend this method to anybody who wants to switch.
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Old 09-11-2003, 01:03 PM   #10
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Thanks for the update polecat!

I'm actualy going to be doing a major move/renovation of my system soon and will probably use this technique to some extent.

Glad things worked out for your system!
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