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Old 06-27-2007, 10:59 AM   #1
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Different grades of sand

I've been following the threads for changing CC substrate over to sand, and have grown a bit confused. There are several grades of sand out there, as well as the HD stuff. Most of these sand particles are fine, <.5mm-1mm,correct--give or take a mm or two? My CC is more like gravel, which I wouldn't mind switching out, but am concerned about harming the fish I already have in my tank with all the cloudy silt that seems to be a side effect of switching to sand. What's this "special reef grade" stuff? Is it like my CC substrate? (Don't want it, if so!)


At any rate, if I decide to change, what size sand particles should I be using for this switch over?? and what care should I take with the fish that are in there now?

I have a 125g, with ~150lbs of LR, and ~125lbs of CC. Numbers: 8.3pH, 1.023 SG, 0 Nitrites, 0 Ammonia, 20 Nitrates. (These numbers have been stable for at least 8 mos., no matter what I do--PWC's, which I do weekly, along with a vacuum of the substrate; adding a new fish; even after a feeding, which I do every other day or so. I even just added a couple of mesh bags of Purigen, but so far, no drop in the nitrates. )

I have one 3" lawnmower blenny, six 1" green chromis, and one 3" coral beauty, along with a bunch of snails and crabs.

Any help, suggestions, or advice is always appreciated!

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Old 06-27-2007, 11:40 AM   #2
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I switched out my CC with Aragamax Sand . I like it for my sand burrowing critters. When I switched out my CC/live sand, I did it in 3rs. I actuallt had to use a strainer to spearate the sand from the CC and I had a nasty sand storm but all my fish made it through. You will also want to have some premixed PWC (you can also siphon out a good bit of the silt that is free floating).

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Old 06-27-2007, 12:25 PM   #3
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I tried the special grade reef sand in my 29 gallon and hated it. After a while, the bigger pieces just sifted to the top and it ended up being just like CC...trapped stuff that was causing high nitrates. I switched to the Aragamax Sand that Scott linked, and I love it! It's the perfect size, IMO. A little expensive...but nice.

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Old 06-27-2007, 03:08 PM   #4
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Just keep in mind that the smaller the particle size the easier it will be to move around and blow around your tank I got the larger size sand particles so it would be harder to move around the tank. I used the same sand Scott and Lindsay were talking about.


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Old 06-27-2007, 03:26 PM   #5
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I have that exact sand in my tank - 46g bowfront. I have to say I've had no issues with it. Nitrates are at zero. I've vacuumed it a little a couple months ago, but that was after 6 months of being up and running. Looks-wise, I think I might've preferred a smaller diameter sand, but the size variation of the "special reef grade" stuff is very minimal: 1.0 to 1.7mm in diameter. To me, it all looks pretty uniform in size.

Just another opinion to confuse the issue!
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