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Old 02-11-2005, 12:03 AM   #1
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does subtrate ever need to be changed?

Just wondering if aragonite based sand ever needs to be changed? does it lose its calcium and pH properties over time? wouldnt it do more harm than good to change it? if it does have to be changed, how much at a time?

And one last thing, Does sand ever need to be cleaned or does it just need a bit of a stirring every water change?
thanx
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:05 AM   #2
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Yes aragonite should be changed. As it buffers the PH of the seawater and keeps up the hardness, and especially if you have invertibrates or coraline algae, the calcium in the aragonite will be depleted. To keep up the benificial properties of the sand bed, replace 1/4 of the sand in a strip every 6 months. 6 months later, replace a different strip. This will keep the nitrifying bacteria more or less intact in the sand bed. I just got through replacing 10 pounds of aragonite sand in the bottom of my tank. More than 25 %, but I did a complete tank restart (egad I hate Brooklynella!)

Of course, if you dose with calcium suppliments, the whole depletion speech above goes right down the johnnie flusher You don't need to stir sand unless the calcium suppliment is starting to make the sand clump up. I wouldn'rt recommend vacuuming the sand, just vacuum the gunk off the top of it. Unless it's covered in red slime algae (cyanobacteria). Then vacuum the bejeezees out of it.
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Old 02-11-2005, 01:58 AM   #3
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dave beaty hit the nail on the head. couldn't agree more
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:56 AM   #4
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Well then thats all I wanted.
I think I'll "cure" the sand before too

Thanx DaveBeaty
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Old 02-11-2005, 10:12 AM   #5
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Aragonite sand actually DISSOLVES to some extent, from what I've been reading. I've read numerous articles about people having to ADD sand to their sandbed and of LR displays collapsing or deforming as the sand under them dissolves (LR structures can be undermined by burrowers, also, of course.)
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 02-12-2005, 12:01 AM   #6
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say if i want to have 40 pounds of sand in my tank is it beneficial to mix like 20 pounds live and 20 pounds aragonite
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Old 02-12-2005, 03:32 AM   #7
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yah. it will help. but if you want to save money but have a longer cycle time, you can have all aragonite and it will become live in time. but its defenatly very good to do a mix
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