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Old 10-07-2004, 09:34 PM   #1
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Newbie Substrate Question

The plan

Tank: 20 gallon long tank

Fish: 1 clown, 1 firefish goby, 1 royal gramma brasslet

Biological Stuff: Arag-Alive! Live Sand (grain/amount to be decided)

Live Rock: No, but will put in 10-15lbs of porous rock that will become live from the sand hopefully.

Equipment: Aquaclear 200gal/hr Power Filter, Aquaclear Powerhead, 50/50 daylight/actinic 18" 20watt bulb.

The QuestionI have read tons of information regarding substrate and never really came up with any single conclusion.

I would like to try the Arag-Alive! live sand as my sole substate. My question is from this linkhttp://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...+113554+113565 which grade of substrate is the best for me and why. Should I mix and match? Also, how many lbs?

Thanks!
Aamir

p.s I have no plans to advance this tank any further than the 3 fish, gravel and some tufa rocks.
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Old 10-07-2004, 09:49 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA!!

Ok, here is the skinny on that "live sand" in a bag. It is simply not true. I don't know how they get away with calling it live sand.

The bacteria that is supposedly on that sand needs food in order to live. That food is ammonia and nitrite. Fish and food breakdown (among other things) produce the ammonia while certain bacteria convert ammonia to nitrite. Neither of those is present in that bag, so how in the world can there be any bacteria alive in those things?!?

You would be better off buying the regular Aragonite sand or try to get some Southdown sand from the HomeDepot in your area. Get the smallest diameter size you can get. Then go out and buy some LR. 25-30 lbs should do nicely if you are only wanting to have these three fish and nothing else. The LR will "seed" your sand and overtime, you sand will become real LS. It won't be anything like what you buy in that bag.

If it were me, I would also not use the Aquaclear Power Filter (unless you take out all the media in which case all it would be doing is pumping water). All you need is two powerheads in your system to move the water around. The LR will do the rest.
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Old 10-07-2004, 10:07 PM   #3
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Say I were to use the filter with its foam insert, activated carbon and ammonia remover insert, would it be causing a problem?


Is a substrate grain size of .5-1mm too small for my application?
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Old 10-07-2004, 10:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Say I were to use the filter with its foam insert, activated carbon and ammonia remover insert, would it be causing a problem?
If you have enough LR, that essentially becomes your main filtration and you don't need anything else. You can use a powerfilter if you don't have enough rock, however. The only problem is, those filter pads or foam inserts trap all kinds of debris that break down overtime. This leads to an increase in nitrates that could cause algae problems. That is why most people simply use LR with good water circulation. This is called the Berlin method of filtration if you haven't heard of it yet. We have an article about it in our article section on the site. Here is a direct link: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/showqu...q=2&fldAuto=10

I would still use the carbon though. I am a big fan of carbon as it removes all kinds of "junk" from the water. Helps keep it clear and removes smells. You don't need the ammonia remover though. Once a tank is cycled, there should be no ammonia present (at least none that is detectable).

Quote:
Is a substrate grain size of .5-1mm too small for my application?
Nope. The smaller the better, IMO. The critters and bugs that live in the LR will love the small grain size. They can't move through the sand well as the grain size gets larger.
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Old 10-10-2004, 03:55 PM   #5
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try this

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/calcs2.php?type=sanddepth
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