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Old 11-03-2005, 11:31 PM   #1
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live sand or crush shell gravel

any know what are the benefits of live sand or crushed gravel rock,..?

i have crushed coral gravel rock (what they call it now a days) now,..

and i am thinking about switching to live sand

i have a bad algea problem and i hear at the lfs that with live sand algea does not grow that easy in the tank

many thanks


125 gallon tank
about 75 pounds of live rock
10 fished
1 sea horse
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Old 11-03-2005, 11:44 PM   #2
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Live sand is for sure a better bet than Crushed Coral. CC most always leads to high concentrations of nitrates. Since you have live rock, some of the nitrates will be used up however, you will be fighting a losing battle.. I would go just as the LFS advised and get the sand.. You won't need live sand persay, because you have enough biological enhancement in the CC. You can get dry aragonite sand and start slowly replacing the CC with sand.. A little at a time say 1ft a week or so...This will allow the critters in the CC to migrate into the new sand and making it live sand. Thsi method will also save you money..

The Algae is growing because your CC is providing a safe haven for its fuel source: Nitrate and Phosphate... While you change the CC out for sand, do a 20% water change each time you replace CC... This will in turn help your aquarium look better...

Best wishes
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:24 AM   #3
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Live sand > CC
37 gal all glass
50lb LR
3' fine sand bed 1x Orange Stripe Prawn shrimp goby, 1x sixline wrassemated pair of true percula clowns, 1x CBS shrimp, 2x peppermint shrimp, 1x pistol shrimp, 1x tiger tale cuke, ~20+ snails, ~10+ hermits, 1xserpent star.
green Bubble coral, hammer coral (8 heads!) ,various Zoos,green finger leather, green star polpys ,shrooms
175w 10k MH
28w actinic 03
2x maxi jett 1200
Prizm skimmer (modded)
Hagen powerfilter(for running carbon 24/7)
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Old 11-04-2005, 05:52 PM   #4
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You cant explain it any better than what Timbo just did. I agree with him 100%


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Old 11-04-2005, 06:05 PM   #5
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I don't mean to hijack this thread, but I just have to ask. I have a CC substrate but it is very, very, fine.....almost like sand. Should it be a concern? I am slowly losing it, however, as everytime I do a water change I vacuum up some of it. I't only about an inch deep now. Thoughts?
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Old 11-04-2005, 06:12 PM   #6
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I would definitely choose sand over CC.
Dr. Nate: If is as fine as sand you are probably OK but why are you vacuuming it at every water change?
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Old 11-04-2005, 08:06 PM   #7
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There is a brand of sand here called "Natures Ocean". It says on the bag, "Florida Crushed Coral". It is CC but ground down to sand grain size... This would be a good choice... Got some and love it... Very white.. It is the large chunk CC that we are talking about in this thread. Looks like non-scoopable cat litter or even bigger.

The Sand type of CC should cause no concern except that you are vacuuming money away...Providing you have a good cleaning crew, you should really never have to vacuum the sand... If you are getting a lot of detritus, you may want to cut down on the feeding or acquire more detritus eating critters... Cucumbers are good detritus eaters but they come with a price of devouring other useful things in the sand that they clean for you.. You should replace slowly, the sand you have vacuumed out. Little bit at a time until it is back where you were... If it an inch now, where was it before you vacuumed?

A good rule of thumb for a sand bed of any sort is, "Once it is laid, that is where it should stay". Try your best to not disturb it. The sand is part of your de-nitrification, if oxygen laden water gets down in the anaerobic zone, it kills the bacteria that de-nitrifies your water.

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Old 11-05-2005, 11:12 AM   #8
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is there anything wrong with using beach sand i can collect myself?
15 gallon nano-reef (4 months old)
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Old 11-05-2005, 11:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Genix
is there anything wrong with using beach sand i can collect myself?
I wouldn't, possiblility of introducing all kinds of unwanted pests, parasites, and diseases that your fish have never even seen.

I've spent way to much in this hobby to take the risk of loseing everything to save a few dollars.
29 gal tank since June 2005
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Old 11-05-2005, 04:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Genix
is there anything wrong with using beach sand i can collect myself?
I used beach sand for my tank. My recommendation is that if you do use sand from the beach; make sure you get it from as far from the shore as you can possibly reach sand. I would also make sure that I rinsed it very well with an RO/DI saltwater mixture prior to allowing it to even touch my tank.

If you live in areas where there are not that many tourists to muck up the beach, you will be better off. If not, I would try to find a beach that is pretty secluded.

Furthermore, check your local beach laws prior to removing anything from its natural habitat. There are laws out there that can cause you to have a major fine for taking sand from the beach (how ridiculous is that!?!?!).

Originally Posted by remob
any know what are the benefits of live sand or crushed gravel rock,..?
There are gobies that can only live in a tank that has live sand. The crushed coral and gravel rock will kill them because they are sand sifters.

If I had it all to do over again, I would have actually purchased all my sand and bought only live sand. Because I took mine from the beach, there are lots of coral and small shells in mine.

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gravel, live, live sand, sand

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