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Old 12-01-2004, 12:46 AM   #1
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Live sand or no?

I've got an 80 gallon aquarium w/ 440 watts of VHO floro lighting. I'm going to order 80 pounds of LR but I need to know if I should use live sand also? The guy at my LFS said he hates live sand because it can be breeding ground for bristle worms and fire worms.

Is this reason enough not to purchase live sand? Can anyone recommend an alternative? Thanks guys.

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Old 12-01-2004, 06:44 AM   #2
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water+sand+bacteria=live sand. Your fish guy is an idiot. Having said that. Sand+LR+bristle woms= less detritus. Less detritus=better water. So again, your fish guy is an idiot.

Sorry, I've had a long day. Anyway, if you have live rock you are going to have any number of hitchikers. Bristle worms, spaghetti worms, pods, etc. Bristle worms are good, fire worms are bad. Fire worms however are fairly rare, so generally not a concern. Your hitchhikers will migrate down to your sand over time and make the sandbed healthier and more efficient at what it does. You do not need to buy "live" sand to do this, it will just happen. "LIve" sand that comes prepacked is just sand and water. A very expensive way to fill your tank.
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Old 12-01-2004, 10:18 AM   #3
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LR for filtration is recommended at a rate of 1¬Ĺ-2 pounds per gallon of tank capacity. You might want to order more rock.

Most people just just use Caribbean play sand from Home Depot (if they can get it). and let it become live from the LR. You can always seed your sand with a cupful or two from a friendly neighbor hood reefer too.
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Old 12-01-2004, 10:58 AM   #4
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80 lbs IMO is fine I have been running 125lbs in my 125 reef for over 2 years with no problems.
LS is not needed go with a cheaper sand. That LFS does not know what he's talking aobut when it comes to bristle worms. They are a good thing part of the clean up crew, but over time can get large.
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Old 12-01-2004, 11:31 AM   #5
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I agree, live sand isn't needed if you're getting live rock.

My LFS also thinks of bristle worms as pests.
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Old 12-01-2004, 03:20 PM   #6
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Indy...you crack me up!
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Old 12-01-2004, 07:20 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies, guys. I really appreciate it. Plus it saves me from having to buy expensive (and apparently unnecessary) live sand. The Home Depot sand is a good suggestion. What else could I use? Anything with a bit more color? But not the fake color like goldfish tanks or anything.

And thanks for letting me know to steer clear of that store. It was the only one open last night at six thirty, so I thought I'd give it a shot. It was small, and apparently ignorant.
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Old 12-01-2004, 11:33 PM   #8
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CaribSea has a light pink and a few others. Not sure which are are aragonite based or oolithic. Grain size is important for a DSB if that's the way you want to go. Aragonnite based is suposed to help stabilize pH.
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Old 12-04-2004, 12:41 AM   #9
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You could try again just to make sure. Sometimes you can get an ignorant one or one that doesn't know any better. I go into stores, and play ignorant just to see what they say. Sometimes it's great fun just to listen to bad advice.
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