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Old 04-28-2013, 12:57 PM   #1
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I'm setting up a 100 gallon fowlr/reef tank and am trying to find the best and easiest to clean substrate to use. I really want my tank to be as natural looking as possible but ive heard sand can be very difficult to clean. Is this true? Also I have a gravel vac so is there anyway to clean sand with one if I ended up getting the sand?
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:59 PM   #2
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here's a pic of my tank Click image for larger version

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Old 04-28-2013, 01:01 PM   #3
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Live sand is the best choice I have live sand and I just siphon the top layer every time I see that I needs a cleaning usually 1 time a month
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:04 PM   #4
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Play sand, live sand, pool filter sand will all work. Stay away from crushed coral ime/imo.
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:14 PM   #5
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What is wrong with crushed coral? Actually, at my lfs that's what they suggest for saltwater use and I found some that's not as fine as sand and looks like it would be ok to use a gravel vac without sucking out all the substrate. I've checked out play sand and though its extremely affordable its not my 1st choice haha but thanks! oh, and what is pool filter sand?
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mr. FishMan View Post
What is wrong with crushed coral? Actually, at my lfs that's what they suggest for saltwater use and I found some that's not as fine as sand and looks like it would be ok to use a gravel vac without sucking out all the substrate. I've checked out play sand and though its extremely affordable its not my 1st choice haha but thanks! oh, and what is pool filter sand?
Its a matter of preference and what type of tank you want. Crushed coral is more porous and has too much surface area to accumulate diatoms and algae IMO. Sand is not hard to card for, and that's what I use in my setups. You may also consider what your stock will be and if there will be any burrowing fish/inverts. Some even go with a bare bottom tank, and no substrate.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:08 PM   #7
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sand or nothing
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:09 PM   #8
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Personally I prefer crushed coral. As an avid diver, crushed coral is more natural in a reef environment. Beaches in the Mayan Riveria and off the Australian GB Reef are almost entirely coral sand worn down from the actual reefs. Hawaii as well, although there are also many volcanic sand beaches there too.
Pool filter sand can be found at most hardware stores and is exactly what it sounds like.
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:16 PM   #9
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Personally I prefer crushed coral. As an avid diver, crushed coral is more natural in a reef environment. Beaches in the Mayan Riveria and off the Australian GB Reef are almost entirely coral sand worn down from the actual reefs. Hawaii as well, although there are also many volcanic sand beaches there too.
Pool filter sand can be found at most hardware stores and is exactly what it sounds like.
you sure its not because the actual sand settles to the bottom and the larger granulars stay at the top. i've had this happen many times in my aquariums where i use a mix of large granulars and sugar fine sand and over time the sugarfine sand finds its way through the courser substrate to the bottom. in nature this wont have much of an effect on nutrient levels as the waste will eventually get consumed but in a glass box with only crushed coral or course substrate it will trap detritus in areas where worms and sand dwellers are not due to the oxygen rich areas, thus causing a nitrate spike in a small closed system. thus causing algae issues and livestock health issues. it is not the idle substrate to use in an aquarium and only makes sense if using an undergravel filter where the detritus can be sucked out and removed when the filter is cleaned
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:46 AM   #10
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I have always used crushed coral sand and havent had issues. The sand becomes live and all the micro fauna stir it up. Also the addition of sand sifters helps alot, nassarius snails, conch, gobies.
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