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Old 09-20-2005, 06:20 AM   #1
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Coral over to sand?

Hi there guys.

I just want to know before i found this wonderful site my LFS told me to get CC as my bed and since I have been doing allot of reading on this site I am thinking of going over to a sand bed.

What is the best way to convert the CC bed to a sand bed.

Can i add a bit of sand like every month and remove some of the CC to get the sand live or must i just take out all the CC and just add the sand and wait for it to get live.

TIA
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Old 09-20-2005, 10:17 AM   #2
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See if this helps...

How to change out your substrate

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Old 09-20-2005, 08:26 PM   #3
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Replacing substrate can be a bit tricky. As mentioned in the article, the substrate harbors a large amount of your biological filtration. Replacing it all at once can be trouble for your tank. On the other hand, it is very difficult to seperate CC from LS when you switch over. If this is a young tank your best bet may be doing it all at once. I would not do this with any livestock in the tank. See if the LFS or a friend can hold it for you. Save as much of the CC as you can in mesh media bags and bury them in the new substrate. This will help seed the new sand bed and establish the bacteria colonies faster. Let you tank cycle again before adding livestock. If this is not an option, do a little at a time as the article suggests. You may loose a bit of the sand in the process but it will be better on any livestock.
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Old 09-21-2005, 04:00 AM   #4
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Ok before I am going to convert there are a few questions i want to ask.

1. Do you need to replace the sand after say 3 years or does the live sand never have to be replaced?
2. I know CC need to be cleaned does the same count for a Live sand bed?
3. What can you or any one say what the cons are with a Live sand bed?

Sorry bout the silly questions just trying to learn here

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Old 09-21-2005, 11:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omega
Ok before I am going to convert there are a few questions i want to ask.

1. Do you need to replace the sand after say 3 years or does the live sand never have to be replaced?
Depends on why and the type of sandbed you want to use but in general terms no it's not really necessary unless there are factors that would make it prudent. Of which there are few, examples would be an abused DSB/plenum or sand clumping. You also need not use live sand if you have LR, it's a waste of money.

Quote:
2. I know CC need to be cleaned does the same count for a Live sand bed?
Sandbeds are best cleaned by the inhabitants. Worms, pods, snails and whatever else can be safely and responsibley consider. Setting the system up so water flow is optimum, aggressive skimming, export and so on are the best means used to keep wastes from accumulating in the sand. The more that can be removed from the system, the more efficient the system will become and healthier in the long term.

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3. What can you or any one say what the cons are with a Live sand bed?
To be honest I can't think of any without knowing more about your final plan for the tank; the depth of the bed, set up of the tank and your final animal load. In terms of longevity and maintenance though, sand is far superior to CC.

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Old 09-22-2005, 06:25 AM   #6
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Thanks for the answers Steve.

I would like to run a reef system in about a year or two or lets rather just say once I know allot more about this hobby.

I think I will start with a 4" bed for now if that will be sufficient and then take it from there.

TIA
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Old 09-22-2005, 11:17 AM   #7
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Upto 2" is fine if the grain size is small enough (preferably oolitic). I would however suggest greatly increasing the amount of LR you have or base rock if cost is an issue. 5 lbs will not be sufficient to function as an efficient biofilter and I would not rely soley or primarily on a sandbed for that purpose. You will have far less issues and ultimately be more successful if you can export/remove rather than sorb and bind.

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Old 09-22-2005, 11:46 AM   #8
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Well then I will have to stick with the CC until I have more LR in there.

Thanks for all the help
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Old 09-26-2005, 08:21 AM   #9
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Hi there guys.

Just want to know. I am going down to the coast this weekend coming and if this is possible than I will be able to buy more LR. So the Question will be.

Can I use sand from the coast to convert from my CC to Live sand. If this is possible I don't have to buy the sand then I can rather buy LR and cure everything together in my extra tank.

What do you guys think

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Old 09-26-2005, 10:53 AM   #10
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That will greatly depend on the surrounding areas. If inhabited by man made structures, there's a large concern for pollutants that you will not be able to remove. Especially be concerned with factories, boating traffic and squatters in the area. If far from populated area's or businesses, it should be fine.

I would however quarantine the "WC" sand seperately for a few weeks in the dark if the tank already has animals in it. Run in a shallow bin with a good sized area, powerhead, heater and carbon. Don't cover it but be sure it stays in a dimly lit/dark room.

Be sure before you collect anything, check the laws of that area to be sure it is legal and there are no conservation laws prohibiting it.

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