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Old 05-27-2007, 06:08 PM   #1
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Transition to new tank

We've found a nice 65-gal tank that will fit our area, and are getting ready to buy it and necessary components, to upgrade from our 36-gal tank. I'm trying to plan ahead for a smooth transition, and have a few questions.

1. We are going to need to treat our home for termites sometime in the next couple of years. LFS owner told me I could just cover the tank with plastic and do it without moving the fish/sand/LR, as it doesn't seem to affect them. I presume he meant covering whole tank with heavy gauge plastic and sealing it with duct tape. Is this save for the fish et al?

2. Considering changing our substrate from CC to sand. I have Monty C's article on sandbed swap, in which he mentions that good sand is better than the coarser CC. Appreciate any advice on sand vs CC and what type of sand is best. His article also has tips helpful for the tank change-over.

3. Refugium? LFS owner we were talking with about the tank said most people use them with such tanks. Seems obvious these need to be closed systems, as they reside below main tank. Appreciate any advice on their benefits and plumbing.

TIA

Bob Peitzke
Pacific Palisades, CA
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Old 05-28-2007, 12:38 AM   #2
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1. I have never done this but I don't think it would be a good idea to seal a tank like that. You need oxygen exchange. If you need to do a fog type extermination, then I would think it would be necessary to seal off an area around the tank but still have access to fresh air. Would not be easy to do, I don't think.

2. Sand is nice for reef tanks. CC can work but seems like a Nitrate trap over time. Some still use them on FO systems. I used a sugar size sand (Aragamax) this last time and I like it. It is hard when new as it flies away a little too easy but it looks amazing. I used a mixed courser sand the 4 yrs prior and it worked good too. You want snails and sand dwelling critters to be able to move through it.

3. Refugiums are great for additional filtering. AS for plumbing them, the can be anywhere that you can feed water too them and get them to drain. Most people put them out of site but I have seen some that sit in the open and looks as nice as the display. They could be incorporated into your sump to make it simple.
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Old 05-28-2007, 02:53 AM   #3
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Hey, EllisZ, thanks for the advice.

>>You need oxygen exchange<<

That's what I was thinking. This may delay the whole project - don't want to do two tank transitions.

Is sand OK without critters to stir it? We have a 5" green spotted puffer who I'm afraid would eat anything like that. He limits what we can have in our tank.

Still undecided on need for a refugium. Our tank & fish have been fine without one for several years. But this new tank would be almost double volume. We'd get more LR of course.
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Old 05-28-2007, 08:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeitzke

Is sand OK without critters to stir it? We have a 5" green spotted puffer who I'm afraid would eat anything like that. He limits what we can have in our tank.
Sand sifting goby will take care of the sand. Bullet Goby is the best in the business of sand sifting IMO
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:09 AM   #5
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If you have a lot of waste producers, CC might be good as it would allow you to manually siphon the CC bed.

If you have the room, you could do CC in the display or a shallow sand bed and then have a remote DSB with a refugium outside the display. This would allow for the display to be maintained easier and the DSB and refugium would help battle any Nitrate issues you might have.
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Old 05-28-2007, 05:47 PM   #6
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We can't have any bottom fish like gobies, as our puffer just eats them.

So the main advantage of CC vs sand is that you can vacuum it? We do vacuum some at water changes, but can't do a thorough job without moving all the LR. Is sand a no-no without critters to stir it?

Still wondering about the ability of the fish et al to tolerate the fumigation for termites. Reviewing the conversation with the LFS owner, I think he meant don't seal the tank, just cover it. Better would be non-toxic termite treatments, but I'd have to be convinced of their effectiveness.

Enthusiasm for this new tank is building, may just have to go ahead and worry about treatment later...
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Old 05-28-2007, 08:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeitzke
We can't have any bottom fish like gobies, as our puffer just eats them.
Is this from personal experience? You get a bullet goby or a pink spotted goby , I dont think your puffer is going to eat them. Never heard that before.
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Old 05-31-2007, 12:55 AM   #8
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A year or so ago we got a lawnmower blenny and a goby whose name I can't remember but was not bullet or pink spotted. Puffer killed them both within a half hour. Later we tried a Mandarin Dragonet, a charming little fish that thrived for two or three weeks before puffer caught it out in the open. I think it survived that long by staying close to the rocks & coral. Puffer seems to view bottom fish as food, whereas he ignores others (Tang, Damsel, Angel) unless they are sick. He is well fed, so it's not hunger.

I'd love to try one of the gobies you suggested. Do they have some protection the ones he killed lack? Did I mention that our puffer is about 6" long, fat, and can break the skin on my finger if he misses the shrimp?

Anyway, back to original question, is sand good even you don't have critters to stir it?

And I'm still looking for more info on refugiums.

Thanks,

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