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Old 08-27-2005, 10:33 PM   #1
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Substrate question. live sand?

I'm new to the marine scene.
I was wondering which substrate to use?
Live sand or crushed coral? I know i want to do a reef tank.
And if i use regular playground sand will it eventualy turn into live sand? can i do a mix?
or will the playground sand just stay regular sand?
I dont get it....
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Old 08-27-2005, 10:42 PM   #2
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For SW, I would only use sand regardless if it is for a coral or fowlr setup. I would avoid using CC. You can the sand from HD if you can find it, but make sure it is the right stuff. I just use aragomax fine sand, which you can get at any online or lfs.
As far as will it turn live or not - you can get lr to cycle the tank, or cycle your tank with a piece of raw shrimp in there and it will help create the bacteria needed to make it "live". HTH

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Old 08-27-2005, 10:47 PM   #3
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Okay. So, after the cycle is complete the regular sand will turn live?
The sand i want to use, that is not live, is basalite playsand.
So say if i do a 50/50 mix of live sand and regular sand it will turn the regular sand into live sand after time?
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Old 08-27-2005, 11:28 PM   #4
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You don't have to use live sand. You can use regular aragomax sand along with the playsand. LR will help cycle the tank for you, or you can use raw shrimp from the grocery store to get it started.
Make sure the playsand is the right stuff though. A lot of people use vinegar as a test to make sure it fizzes, which is what you want. If it doesn't fizz, you don't want it.

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Old 08-27-2005, 11:49 PM   #5
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okay. it needs to fizz.
So just use aragomax sand. is that a type of sand or a brand of sand?
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Old 08-28-2005, 12:12 AM   #6
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Aragomax is the brand of sand, and Aragonite is the actual type. I would go with the fine sugar grain size.
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Old 08-28-2005, 04:46 AM   #7
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Sweet! the play sand i have is aragonite type!
So that means that i can do 50% play sand and 50% live sand and then over time the play sand will turn live.
I will start my tank with a ton of fiji live rock and that aragomax sand.
Thanks for all your help!
How many times should a tank cycle in a hour for salt water?
how many times should my 90 gallon be cycled in a hour?
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Old 08-28-2005, 10:45 AM   #8
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You don't need anywhere near 50% LS. Use 100% of the playsand. Get some uncured LR. Get a lot of base rock (hirocks.com or Reef Rock from ThatFishPlace.com.

Place the base rock on the bottom of the tank in the arrangement you want. Dump in the dry sand. Cover the sand with trash can liner and partially fill the tank with s/w mixed from ro/DI water. Remove the plastic liner. Continue the aquascaping with some LR. Complete the filling of the tank. Let the tank cycle.

The sand will create a cloud in the water column which will settle as the sand gets coated with bacteria. The bacteria will come from the LR. Alternately, you can hold off on the LR for now by adding a cocktail shrimp to start the cycle. See How to cycle your tank with out the use of fish for information on how to do that. Once the tank has cycled prepare for a 25%-30% water change. Remove that amount of water and add some LR, then fill with the freshly made s/w mix.

Your tank will start a new mini-cycle depending on if you are using fresh rock from liverocks.com or uncured rock from other sources (Walt Smith, etc.) You can keep this cycle by doing PWC every day or as needed (as noted by testing for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate).

The best part is that the sand will be seeded with the critters that come along with the rock (worms, copepods, amphipods, etc.) making a healthy sand bed.

You do want to have a powerhead or two going while you are cycling. You can run a skimmer but your cycle will take longer. I would hold off on the skimmer until the LR went in.

When your tank is ready you should have 10x-20x water flow per hour. FOr a 90 that should be 900 -1800 gph flow from all pumps. Arrange the pumps so they point to each other or to a common spot e.g the center front pane of glass. This will cause a chaotic water flow which is what you want.
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Old 08-28-2005, 03:23 PM   #9
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Thank you.
So i want that chaotic water flow the whole time i i have the tank running?
And i want 900 to 1,800 gph flow from all pumps in total or should that be for each pump?
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Old 08-28-2005, 07:55 PM   #10
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is it true that in the long run, the play sand can harm the fish'd gills?

or is playsand safe, i have a 75 gal tank and wish to start out in the right direction.

btw, how much lbs or bags of sand do i need for a 75 gal tank, 48" long x 18" w x 22" deep
thanks
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