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Old 08-12-2013, 08:22 PM   #1
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Looking to switch to black sand. Do I need to buy live black sand? Can I just use black substrate? My tank is already well established, just want to switch, also have tons of pods, any ideas on how to switch without shocking the system, or losing all my pods? Only have one blue damsel, and a few coral colonies. 55g/10g sump.
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Old 08-13-2013, 01:11 PM   #2
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Bueller....? Bueller....? Bueller....?
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:15 PM   #3
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You could change it out, though its a pain to do. Id want to cycle the sand after a good cleaning. You'd want to do it all at once to avoid any white sand left with your black, so it'd end up having to take the whole tank apart...at least I would to hose the last of the sand out with buckets of the old tank water for the rock and fish. But that is how I would do it to make sure I could just put it all back together and not worry about it with no dust or anything floating around for quick setup.
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:20 PM   #4
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You could change it out, though its a pain to do. Id want to cycle the sand after a good cleaning. You'd want to do it all at once to avoid any white sand left with your black, so it'd end up having to take the whole tank apart...at least I would to hose the last of the sand out with buckets of the old tank water for the rock and fish. But that is how I would do it to make sure I could just put it all back together and not worry about it with no dust or anything floating around for quick setup.
I just don't want to lose my established life in the sand.
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:07 PM   #5
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If you want to keep your establish biology going, don't change out the sand. You will probably start another new cycle.

I am not much of a fan of silica based substrates. IMO it can be a source of silicates that will help grow diatoms. Black sand is volcanic glass. So I don't know how many silicates it might shed.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:10 PM   #6
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If you want to keep your establish biology going, don't change out the sand. You will probably start another new cycle.

I am not much of a fan of silica based substrates. IMO it can be a source of silicates that will help grow diatoms. Black sand is volcanic glass. So I don't know how many silicates it might shed.
I have a sump with white sand. Gonna keep it white for now, may reduce the chance of cycling?
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:17 PM   #7
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That will help, but removing all the sand from the tank will either require a tear down or risk of shock to the tank by stirring up the substrate. Either one can cause your system to spike in a bad way for the existing livestock. If everything is healthy now you might weigh the risk to reward ratio.
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:38 PM   #8
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That will help, but removing all the sand from the tank will either require a tear down or risk of shock to the tank by stirring up the substrate. Either one can cause your system to spike in a bad way for the existing livestock. If everything is healthy now you might weigh the risk to reward ratio.
I'm gonna try to gently siphon it out, maybe half of one side, then half of the other. Maybe I can get out the pods and bristle worms like digging for gold in a river?
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:13 PM   #9
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Highly doubtful. With that plan you'll end up with black and white sand. You won't get it all out.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:57 PM   #10
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You will notice more poop and debris on the black sand and it will be hard to keep it all black with minimal spots, but thats just my opinion. It would bug me definitely
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