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Old 01-08-2006, 04:59 PM   #1
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Live sand...

Is it a good idea to start with live sand, as well as the live rock? Or will your regular substrate become live over time and just not worry about it? Just curious, as if I decide to start a SW tank, would like to have as much knowlege as possible before starting. And if not all live sand, could you use regular substrate and put a layer of live sand over the top to keep the cost down a little? Thanks....
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Old 01-08-2006, 05:10 PM   #2
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LR will seed sand and make it live over time.
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Old 01-08-2006, 05:12 PM   #3
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LR and/or LS is fine to start with. I've no experience with anything but the LS that comes from Petco. It worked with all 3 my tanks so I haven't tried anything else. I have read other posts where some people were able to get silicate free play sand from Home Depot or Lowes. According to others, this works fine. The 'Live' part of rock or sand is simply the micro organisims that live within the rock/sand. Therefore over time, using only LR, you will eventually end up with LS as well. You could seed the tank with a as little as a couple small pieces of rubble or as much LR as you want.

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Old 01-10-2006, 01:32 AM   #4
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I would say the answer to your question would rely on your ability to take things slow or not. I have started with live sand and without. I gave my without sand a long time to incubate before adding a complete load of creatures. I felt like I still had to wait but not as long with live sand. You are right though, by putting a slight layer of live sand over the other sand you should be able to speed up the process quicker.

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Old 01-10-2006, 09:39 PM   #5
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If you have the means, it is always a great idea to start with true LS and fully cured LR. I would not waste my money on that "live sand" in the bag from the LFS self. It is really wet dead sand and and way too over-priced. Spend the money on good quality LR instead. Realistically, you can start with dry dry sand and seed it a few cups of LS from an established tank. Add some cured LR and your cycle should be minimal.
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Old 01-10-2006, 10:59 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the great info. If I do decide on doing it, I will be willing to pay the extra to get good live rock and some good live sand (ordering online from reliable sources) to layer over the top of the dry sand. And as for fish, I won't be looking for a heavy bio-load either. Just a few cool looking fish that are compatable, probably starting with clowns. But when I decide to do it, I'll want to do it right, and 99% of the info I will rely on is from here in the forums, and maybe 1% from the lfs on things like brand names, etc. And I'll also comb this forum and all the articles thoroughly, as I'm doing that now for starting up my first planted tank. Again, thanks all for all the great info.
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Old 01-10-2006, 11:40 PM   #7
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If you get sand that isnt Live you will most likely get a bigger outbreak of algae.
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:24 AM   #8
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The more live sand you have at the start the faster your bacteria will grow. I would say start out with as much as you could.
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:39 AM   #9
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I agree with Lando all the way. that stuff in the bag isnt really "live". theres nothing in it.
Buy better live rock and get regular aragonite sand in whatever color you want.
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Old 01-11-2006, 02:29 AM   #10
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The live sand won't be from the lfs. Will be ordered online from the same place I get the live rock.
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