New tank design questions

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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Jun 23, 2003
Atlanta GA

I'm new to this site and have alot of questions about setting up a new SW tank. I kept freshwater tanks for several years, and am considering setting up either a 29 gallon or a 55 gallon SW tank. I am really only interested in keeping fish at this point. I've been told that using ordinary sand and seeding it with live sand is good for a substrate- what type of "non-live" sand should I use, and where can I purchase it reasonably? Also, is live rock necessary to have for filtration purposes? I am not sure if LR needs special care in terms of light and such (I wasn't planning on improving the stock fluorescent lighting). Thank you very much for your help!!!!!

Hello GtFish.

If you have a choice between a 29 and a 55 then I would go with the 55 for water stability. You can seed any sand you want but the sand that is prefered can be found at home depot under the name "Southdown" or "Yardright". Sand that is overall the grain size of a suger grain is best and if you can find argonite based sand over silica based sand thats a bonus.

The last southdown sand I got I paid $5 for a 50lb bag.
I really want to find some southdown, I want to add another 4 inches to my fuge. Would it do the same thing in the fuge? Also, is there a way to add a bunch of sand and not make the corals and fish unhappy by cloudying up the tank for like 3 days? I could wash the sand off, but would rather not.
dhp9, you could add the sand by pouring it through a piece of PVC pipe so it doesn't make as much of a mess. also i don't think that the corals would be that unhappy simply because sandstorms occur in the wild so they should be prepared for it.
ok, good thinking. BTW that is a great signature. My favorite teacher used to tell me that all the time.
Don't believe you'll be able to find the Southdown in Atlanta. If you do, let me know cause I'm going to buy all of it that you don't want. CaribSea Aragamax is about the same thing...costs more though. I agree with fishfreek...go with the 55. Two 40w bulbs will be enough for LR if you want to add some. You just won't be able to keep any corals or other photosynthetic inverts. You'll want to mix a white (6500-10000k) bulb with an actinic.
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