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Old 12-07-2013, 01:49 PM   #1
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New 55 gallon-substrate suggestions

Hi everyone! I'm looking for some options on my substrate. I've used crushed coral from my LFS in the two tanks I've had in the past but my new tank I was thinking of going the deep sand bottom route. Of course the LFS is trying to talk me out of sand and into crushed coral. Any opinions or experiences would be great?
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:20 PM   #2
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I don't like crushed coral due to it trapping detrius in it and prefer the sandbed route. You can get either a silicate or aggregate sand, there are pros and cons on both but that'll be up to you. In terms of a deep sand bed, I'll be honest I don't see a reason for them. Even if you wanted to keep a jawfish or something that needed a 4inch sandbed, most are deeper than that from what I've read. Add that into not being able to disturb it...just sounds like a waste of time and money to me when you can just fill it with rock to do the same.
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:34 PM   #3
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I was planning to do 4". I think anything deeper is too much also. I didn't mind the crushed coral before but it was messy as far as trapping waste goes. I just want it to function as a filter like it's supposed to. The LFS suggested crushed coral with an underwater filter. I feel like that would trap even more waste.
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:43 PM   #4
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Yeah...you shouldn't listen to them ever again. Things like bubblers and undergravel filters create salt creep.
What are you trying to do with the tank? FO, reef?
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Old 12-07-2013, 03:51 PM   #5
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Reef for sure. I want it as close to natural as I can get. I trust the fish store, they're the biggest in Michigan. Great people and stock. They know what they're doing for sure. But the person that told me this is new, which is why I questioned the suggestion. Lol
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Old 12-07-2013, 04:37 PM   #6
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Well there's your problem, it's Michigan. Just kidding... Haha. I just bought some Quickrete white patio sand. 100 lbs for $7. Has anybody used that or think its okay for a saltwater tank?
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Old 12-07-2013, 05:47 PM   #7
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If you are aiming for a reef, you want to minimize as much detrius as possible. The parameters should be close to pristine, and as poop and food build up it will cause higher nitrates and issues later on.
If you want to save money, people use pool filter sand in their tanks with success. Just an idea for you to think about.
Have you started thinking about what kind of coral you want to keep?
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:42 PM   #8
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I read you can use play sand also. That kinda freaks me out though. Lol I can't say for everyone in Michigan, but at least I have enough common sense to have questioned that suggestion. Lol I used to keep freshwater and had under gravel filters. Definitely pretty gross under those suckers! I'm still not sure what I'm going to do. Is pool filter sand expensive? The LFS charges $3.50/lb. Not sure if that's reasonable.

Oh and I just picked up the tank, it's actually a 75 gallon bow front! Pretty excited lol I'm going to need to re-seal it though. I read on here somewhere that GE 1 window and door is ok? I thought about just paying a professional lol my brother inlaw tried and failed miserably to seal it and gave up after one try. Lol I have patience but I'm not sure I trust myself with something this big.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:46 PM   #9
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As long as the silicone you are using doesn't have any anti mold or fungus stuff in it you should be ok.

In terms of the price on sand, it is better than some I've heard of. I'd personally save my money for lighting and a skimmer.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:10 PM   #10
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Luckily enough I have a light and skimmer/refugium from an older tank I took apart. I just need to replace the bulb. I also have live rock ready from an established tank. So really it's the sand and I have to order my power heads still. I'm sure small stuff here and there of course.
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