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Old 09-19-2013, 12:56 AM   #1
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How to add sand to reef.

Hi. I have a 55 gallon reef aquarium. About 7 months old. 15 gallon sump refugium. I have a very shallow sand bed for what most would advise for a reef aquarium. I was wanting to add another 20lbs of live sand to the bed and was wondering how others have gone about doing so? What measures need to be taken to protect the coral and so on so forth? Hope to hear back soon. I will include some pictures of the tank as well.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:56 AM   #2
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Looks deep enough to me. 1-2 inches? If you want it deeper for aesthetic reasons then you can add more but IMO I would leave it like that.
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:07 AM   #3
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When putting in new sand:

1. Wash it well. (If "live sand") wash slightly, but not vigourously.
2. Put it in a cup at a time, dumping it directly and slowly on the bottom.
3. If putting in 20lbs, do a very small water change to remove any particulate matter that is in the water column to avoid irritating your corals (mushrooms, candycane and torch.)
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:53 PM   #4
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I was also thinking of adding some caribsea dry sand so it will eventually become "live". Any opinions on that?
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:20 PM   #5
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Caribsea is a good brand, nice choice Basically, follow all the steps I included, but wash it VERY well. The dry stuff has more particulate sand dust than the live stuff will. If you have a small holed strainer, I've found they work well.

May I inquire as to your reasoning for adding the sand?
Is it mainly for aesthetic quality or are you planning on creating a deep sand bed for small scale nitrate removal purposes?
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:27 PM   #6
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You can always use a PVC tube and dump the sand into that as it slides down the tube into your sand bed you wouldn't have to worry as much about going all over the tank.
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:36 PM   #7
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Freshsaltgirl, I was wanting to have a deeper sand bed for the nitrate removal purposes as well as aesthetic. Mainly for nitrate removal. I also heard having a deeper sand bed helps store the nutrients the corals will use to grow?
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:49 PM   #8
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When adding sand to an already established tank you have to be careful, like what was covered above. Doing it in small chunks is necessary to prevent the sand from harming fish, coral,...so on. I challenge the cup idea as this will put the sand all through your system and on the rocks. Get a piece of PVC and stick it into the sandbed. Then pour your sand into the tube and slowly pull the PVC out. This will prevent the sand cloudiness.
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:56 PM   #9
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I would put the DSP in the sump this way it can be removed if needed. 6-8 inches will be needed for it do what you want.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:26 PM   #10
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DSP? Sorry. New to all the abbreviations.
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