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Old 10-11-2006, 12:17 PM   #1
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crushed coral vs. live sand

I've been doing a bit of "revamping" to my FO aquarium (hence, my recent bombardment of questions), and after reading through many posts am thinking of changing my bedding from crushed coral to live sand.

But before I make this commitment, I wanted to get feedback if:
(1) the live sand is truly necessary or is keeping the cc OK; or
(2) if I can do a 50/50 mixture of the two.

If live sand is the way to go, and being that my system is 2 years old and already established, would I be able to get away with buying uncured live sand or would it need to be cured before introducing into my aquarium?

In case it matters to my questions, I'll be introducing cured live rock into the aquarium this weekend. Currently, I have some rocks and dead/frozen coral pieces. The inhabitants include a snowflake eel, tomato clown and skunk clown. No cleanup crew due to my eel.

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:31 PM   #2
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Stay way from the CC IMO. Nitrate factory as stuff gets caught up in all those little shells and other nooks and crannies and creates excess nitrates over time. Especially with no cleanup crew and that eel.

Dry aragonite sand from the LFS is all you need. There is no such thing as "live" sand anyway. It will become so after you cycle.
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:35 PM   #3
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I'll tell you from my personal experience. I started with CC/LS. I quickly found the CC kind of a pain to clean and keep clean. It also limited me on my clean up crew. I was stuck with shrimp, urchin and maybe a few snails (for glass/rock cleaning). It also limited me in any other sand sifting critters, like shrimp goby/pistol shrimp, sea stars, other snails and such. I also found the sand would sink to the bottom, leaving the CC on the top. When I was fed up enough, I decided to filter out the sand from the CC (a real pain and I'm sure my fish didn't enjoy it too much either). I did mine 1/3 of the tank at a time, to allow the CC critters/bacteria time migrate. So, that is my personal experience.
As for non-live sand, if you replace slowly, like 33-50% of the tank at once, you should be good to go.
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Old 10-11-2006, 02:03 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback!

Is there a difference between aragonite sand and Keys sand? I've been pricing online to determine the best way to buy (either shipped live or store bought dry).

One thing, I've been thinking of converting from a FO to a reef one day in the future, if that matters in the sand at this point.
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Old 10-11-2006, 02:08 PM   #5
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I would go with the dry sand. I believe it is cheaper, right?
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Old 10-11-2006, 02:27 PM   #6
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I don't know abut the dif between the two, but the sand won't matter for reef later - - unless you get the nitrate factory thing going with the crushed coral. Reef don't like 'trates.

And yes, they dry sand is cheaper. Gotta do siome rinsing though.
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Old 10-11-2006, 02:47 PM   #7
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Yup, I'm going to go with the aragonite out of the bag...calculated I would save about 40 bucks (excluding the shipping costs) as opposed to ordering live Keys sand! And over the next few weeks, I'll have ONLY sand as my bedding, heeding your advice and phasing out the CC.

Thanks again for the wisdom!
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Old 10-11-2006, 03:19 PM   #8
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Anytime! Keep us posted.
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Old 10-11-2006, 10:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austinsdad
Stay way from the CC IMO. Nitrate factory as stuff gets caught up in all those little shells and other nooks and crannies and creates excess nitrates over time. Especially with no cleanup crew and that eel.
This happened my first year as I started with CC and never could get my nitrates under 40 or 50. I got rid of the cc and got sand and I saw a dramatic difference.
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