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Old 12-01-2004, 03:28 PM   #1
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Changing Substrate

First off, I wish I had known about this site before I had started my tank. I used CC for my substrate and have not been very happy with it. I am going to switch my substrate to sand. I have read some articles on the best way to do this. I plan to have my fish in my QT tank so that I don't have to worry about them too much. My only question is, by removing the CC that has a lot of good bacterian and such in it, I am going to cause another cycle by adding new sand? I was thinking about putting some of the CC in a mesh bag and leaving it in the sump for a while so the bacteria can remain in the tank. I do have 80-90lbs of LR though that will stay in the tank. Will I have to wait a while to add the fish back into the tank?
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Old 12-01-2004, 08:55 PM   #2
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Well I am kinda new to the hobby but I cant see how adding clean sand to an existing tank would cause another cycle. I could be wrong but that's my opinion. As for keeping a pouch of CC in your sump...I guess it cant hurt. You still will have beneficial bacteria on your Live rock which will end up seeding your sand anyways.
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Old 12-02-2004, 10:23 AM   #3
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Well, the new sand would not cause the cycle, the lack of enough bacteria might though. That is why I thought it would be good seed the sump with some of the original CC. LR will definitely seed the sand eventually, i just am worried that I am losing a large percentage of bacteria by removing all the substrate.
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Old 12-02-2004, 12:17 PM   #4
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You will be losing some but not all. The sand will cause a huge sandstorm covering your rock for a week or more. The sand won't settle till it gets coated with bacteria, making it heavy enough to settle down.

I left two PHs running after putting the sand in. After the sandstorm was finally over (about 2 weeks) I pulled the powerheads and thorougly cleaned them.

Putting some of the CC in the sump may help.

Now I can pick up a handful of sand and it will settle in a matter of minutes.
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Old 12-02-2004, 10:56 PM   #5
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When I helped my friend do his 180 we did it in 6 stages. 1 foot at a time on a 6' tank. we removed the crushed coral and replaced it with sand waited a week or 10 days and did the next 1 foot section until it was done. Some of the coral ended up staying in there but it eventually comes to the top and can be taken out. He noticed very little change in his water parameters doing it this way. HTH
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Old 12-03-2004, 11:21 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the advice.

Luckily, I do not have any corals (or much at all) in the tank right now so I think I am going to do it all in one pass. Should be interesting. I am going from CC to Tahitain Moon Sand. Should be a good luck with black sand and the LR. In 2-3 months I will start to really build my reef.

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