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Old 11-03-2010, 12:58 PM   #11
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My sand bed is about 1.5 to 2 inches and my tank is like 8 months old.

I figured temp wise it's in the mid 70's here and my tank stays at about 77-78, trying to conserve slots on the inverter for air pump and power heads.

Should I mix fresh salt water and bring it down with me as my ro/di unit won't have time to make water once I get down there?

I've read in a few forums that it's best to scoop out your sand bed and replace, Im just scared of having my water quality go bad due to the large change?
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Old 11-03-2010, 05:38 PM   #12
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Could you not leave couple inches of water in the tank for the sand and let it be with a powerhead. Yeah it'll be heavy but you wouldnt have to screw around with new sand etcetc.
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:30 PM   #13
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That was my idea, just no power head i was gonna leave about an inch or two of water over the substrate
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:56 PM   #14
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then here is a good gauge to go by- drive to your new location like above mentioned. if the 2" of water that was supporting the sand bed is filthy brown, you will need to at least rinse the sand out thoroughly. you don't want that filth in your tank.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:24 PM   #15
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Good point Doug.

Yes, make the RODI water and mix it before you leave if you can't make it there a day ahead, and have it waiting for you. More buckets....
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:24 PM   #16
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Just to clarify on the substrate, since I may be moving soon as well...

Some are saying that keeping the old sand is bad because it will inevitably be stirred up, which means all of the die-off will cause an ammonia spike, etc.

Some are saying that keeping the old sand is OK, but rinse it out (I'm assuming using SW) before putting it back in the tank.

Some are saying new sand should be bought, but since there really is no such thing as "live sand" (anything that says it is live sand really isn't), wouldn't adding dead sand (new sand) or "live sand" that has become dead cause the same ammonia spike that re-using the old sand would?

This kind of thing happened in a thread I made a while back about moving -- people ended up finding problems with every suggested method of moving the sand. I asked for clarification on what would be the best way to do it but nobody responded, I guess it's worth another shot here for my sake and for SAAVE's, if that still applies.

Is there a "correct" way to transport the substrate that won't result in an ammonia spike? Does it even matter? (By that I mean: even if there is an ammonia spike, will it be large enough that the bacteria in a cycled tank wouldn't be able to handle it within a couple of hours?)
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:36 PM   #17
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I've been thinking about it and you just leave enough water so that the substrate stays barely covered then when you get to the new location while u set everything that will settle and you shouldn't have a big problem...but thats just me thinking!
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Old 11-11-2010, 12:46 PM   #18
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From my knowledge, here's what I think (please correct me if I'm wrong):

That will work fine if you have a shallow sand bed and it is properly stirred. On the other hand, if you have a deeper sand bed (maybe more than 1") or you don't have any type of sand-sifting fish or digging fish like a goby, it may not work.

In deeper sand beds, past an inch or so is a layer of sand that never gets touched, and will gradually accumulate lots of dead bacteria and other critters. If it's never stirred up all at once, there is no problem (in fact I think some people use this in their refugiums to decrease nitrates, but I don't know how that works). However, if you move, all that die-off can cause a big problem.

In my tank, I can see along the side a clear difference between the sand that gets kicked up often by my Cave Goby and other guys, and the sand that's never been touched. Sometimes when they're digging deep in one spot, a bubble or three will come up to the surface (which I believe is nitrogen gas if I'm not mistaken). I would assume something like this in your tank would mean you aren't OK just moving your sand in your tank with water.

One other thing that was mentioned was that moving the tank with any extra weight in it might cause stress to certain parts of your tank and you risk a crack or a leak or something.

I hope I'm wrong and it's OK to move sand like this, because it would certainly make my life a lot easier, but my research on this forum has been inconclusive, which is why I'm asking. Sorry...
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Old 11-11-2010, 01:12 PM   #19
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I know NOTHING about SW. I have been keeping FW tanks since I was a kid but here are my thoughts.

There is a LOT of dead in the substrate layers of tank. I have successfully moved my tank twice from one end of the room to the other with water going 1/2" over the substrate. However this is completely different as your tanks are traveling in a car. My recommendations are: remove all the fish, live rock out into a container, put an air stone in there to keep the water oxygenated, maybe a heater depending on where you live (our here in California that wouldn’t be needed). Then move all the filter media into another one again with an air stone to keep the water moving so the bio doesn’t die. Put some substrate form the top layer into a filter media bag and place this in the tub also. Then dump the rest of the water and I would trash the remaining substrate. Then have new rinsed substrate and pre-mixed SW standing by at the new location. Then you can put the tank back together and Bio in the filter should be enough to keep your levels down, but check levels a couple times a day for the first 4-5 weeks.
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:32 PM   #20
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Okay, the problem with using old sand is this,"hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas", As the sand gets older or you have a deep sandbed there is a lack of 02 and anerobic bacteria breaks the nitrate down to nitrogen gas.If there is a dead spot and you will see it as a black area in the sand, Hydrogen sulfide will build up. If this gets stirred up and a little excapes there is not problem. If left untoughed pockets of Hydrogen sulfide builds up. If released all at once by moving the tank etc this gas will kill everything. That is the main reason to replace the sand. Think about it, you have spent a ton of money on your tank and you are willing to compromise it and chance losing all your fish and or corals.
It's a no brainer....................
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