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Old 02-17-2005, 10:45 PM   #1
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Substrates

My new 75 gal should be here tomorrow (I've even taken off work for this)!!!
After doing all the reading I can I'm still a little confused when it comes the the substrate. The LFS has set aside some crushed coral for me. Should I still put a sand base down? If so, how much?
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Old 02-17-2005, 10:55 PM   #2
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You can either use CC or LS. It is really a matter of personal preference. I tend to love LS and would not use CC myself. CC tends to trap bits of detritus in it and can cuase nitrate problems. the way to combat this is to vacuum the substrate on a VERY regular basis. It just takes a bit of extra work. I like LS because it require no maintance. My clean-up crew takes care of it. Less work for me, I am a happy camper. A DSB can actually help by cultivating denitrifing bacteria a bit better then CC substrate. Just another plus.
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Old 02-17-2005, 11:02 PM   #3
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So if I go with a DSB it doesn't have to all be LS does it? Can I just get play sand from toys r us or someplace to mix with the LS? If that's the case how much LS do I mix in (75 gal)? Also, do I add the LS right away or wait until after the tank is cycled?
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Old 02-18-2005, 02:29 AM   #4
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Yes you can use play sand and seed it with LS. Are you planning to add LR? If so the LR will seed the sand so you could skip the LS and invest the money you save on more LR. Plus LR has the added benefit of all the interesting hitchhikers.
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Old 02-18-2005, 10:13 AM   #5
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No need to buy LS, regular playsand will be fine. Most like Southdown sand from Home Depot. In time it will become LS. See if you can get a couple of cups of LS from a LFS or a friend's established tank to seed the sand bed with. As mentioned, LR will help seed the sand bed.
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:20 PM   #6
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If you are going with the LS you need a DSB to get the denitrifying bacteria. That means 4-6 inches. If you just like the sand you could go shallower but you wont get any denitrification.

click on the calculater heading at the top off the page to figure out how much you would need.
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Old 02-19-2005, 10:41 AM   #7
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I'm going with sand.

As for the calculator, either it is off or the weight on the bags I bought was wrong. My original plan was to make a bed 2-3 inches - the calculator said I would need 100 lbs so thats what I bought. Just by looking at the bags of sand I can tell thats not even going to be close - so it's back to Menards today (we don't have a home depot)
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Old 02-19-2005, 11:22 AM   #8
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Be aware though that you need to get argonite sand not regular silica sand. I couldn't find any here and had to go the LFS to get it... Silica will not buffer your water the way you need it to. I bought the regular argonite sand that was a little cheaper than the live sand. I also used live rock (the sand will be live in no time).
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Old 02-19-2005, 11:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Be aware though that you need to get argonite sand not regular silica sand
great point. Not just any playsand will work.
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Old 02-19-2005, 05:09 PM   #10
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Doh!!! 8O Good thing I read this before dumping it in. So how do I know which is which? The bags I bought do not say if it is argonite or silica.
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