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Old 09-07-2009, 10:04 AM   #1
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Sand or Coral Gravel?

Ok guys, so I'm setting up a new tank soon and I was wondering what the pro's and con's of sand and gravel are.

Any help and opinions will be a great help!

Thanks

GS
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:42 AM   #2
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I've heard Aragonite is one of the best sw substrates. Don't fall for the live sand trick tho, most of the bacteria are already dead when you buy it because of all the different temperatures its been subjected to.
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:49 AM   #3
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Yeah thats what I was thinking of getting, I know about the whole live sand trick, it'd be amazing if the bacteria could actually withstand sitting on the shelves for months on end!
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:14 PM   #4
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Crushed coral can turn into a nitrate factory if I remember right. I have aragonite. It looks lovely, wont hurt any corals sitting on the bottom and gives the tank a more natural look.
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:20 PM   #5
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To be honest I've got crushed coral in the bottom of my 62L now and my waters absolutely perfect, it might be just because I use microbe special blend and nite out 2 with every water change.

I think I'm going to go for aragonite because like you said Flake it does look lovely.
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:51 PM   #6
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How long has your tank been running with the crushed coral? It can take a while for water parameters to start showing up. One of the main problems with CC is that the pieces are large and rigid.. so it makes a perfect place for waste and detritus to build up. Also, it makes it alot harder for things like snails and other detritus eating things, to get down there, to dispose of the waste. I just think its a bad decision overall, since it may not be looking bad now.. but it will sooner or later. As for the sand, i think it just makes a lovely home for just about everything. Alot of things in the marine world thrive in sand. but thats just my opinion.
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:02 PM   #7
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I've had CC in my 62L for about 4-5 months now, I rake it over everyday and take out any clumps/debris along with waste. My sandshifting starfish seems to be happy enough in it, I've had him for a good 3 months now.

Once I get my new tank up and cycled I'm thinking about emptying my 62 and filling it with R/O water (the new tanks going to be filled with it straight away) so I might switch from CC to sand if you advise it.

Thanks for your help Zer0 (pumpkins fan?)
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:10 PM   #8
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Well, ofcourse if you do heavy maintenance on anything, it won't really be doing what everyone says it would, as far as giving off nitrates goes. As for that sea star.. that really is not a good place for it. It's called a sandsifting sea star for a reason. That CC can damage its body, as well as many of its tube feet. It may not be showing any signs of distress or damage right now, but prolonged use of the CC with that type of sea star is only asking for trouble. And yes, i would advise against CC.. but that's just MY opinion. You can do whatever you feel is best, and just see how everything fairs out. Sand is just easier to take care of, in our case, and in the livestocks case. Things like nassarius snails, plow through sand and eat detritus and keep up maintenance on the sand for you. As well as other things like gobies, some blennies, and some shrimp. I can assure you that if that sea star was able to sift through sand, instead of dried up pieces of coral, it would be alot happier. Not even going to go into the discussion of sandsifting sea stars in aquariums..

But overall, if it was my tank.. i would be switching to sand the first chance i get. And im sure alot more people here would back me up on that.

Good Luck!
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:16 PM   #9
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You just said the magic words I was looking for, "Sand is just easier to take care of, in our case". The starfish was going be moved into the new tank once it had cycled, I only got it for that and because my LFS don't get many in.

Thanks again for your advice, I really appreciate it
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:24 PM   #10
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No problem. That's what we at AA are here for.
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