Substrate help please!

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Aquarium Advice Addict
Aug 2, 2011
Princeton, NJ
Have aragonite but it's the big aragonite. Not the fine stuff. I want a Cortez stingray and was wondering if it would be ok. If not, how can I change the substrate?
I'm not sure but I would think they need the fine sand so they don't damage them selfs I might be wrong also if your gonna change it then good luck cause it's gonna be a big pain in the u know what lol
No you need to find the sand that says on it safe for rays and sharks. I found mine at petsmart.
That's the hard part. You would have to syphon it all out without releasing anything harmful like gas pockets into the tank . I don't think the risk is worth the reward in this case.
Sting rays need perfect water and ultra fine sand. Any rough edge can scrape them get an infection and die. the only way I see you getting the ray is to maybe break down the tank putting all your water in buckets- remove the current substrate putting rocks back in and then adding fine sand. You will have a little but of a cycle but nothing much. But they key is taking out the water first or the old substrate could release toxins in it.

Go to hone depot and buy some big garbage pails.

Personally I don't think rays are worth it. A happy ray spends all his time hidden in the sand. An unhappy one is trying to escape and splashes water all over the place.
crister13 said:
Could I mix Put ultra fine sand OVER the sand I have now to creat a layer for it?

Being ultra fine it may fall thru the other over time and then you have a mixture and the same problem.
Jlsardina said:
Being ultra fine it may fall thru the other over time and then you have a mixture and the same problem.

Not only that- rays need a deep sand bed
Yep she is right. I keep my fw ray in a tank with no decor just a sandbed. It will be hard to have a sw tank for a ray that's why I stuck with a fw one.
If I were to siphon it out, should
Ld I do it all in one foul swoop and do a pwc directly after or in really small portions. The one foul swoop might be better because of the pec afterwards, right?
Has anyone done either of these? I would prefer to do all in one swoop, but I will do what's best for the fish.
I change my substrate not too long ago. I had crushed coral but wanted a nice finer sand. I did as was mentioned above

Removed a majority of the water into a large plastic tub. Removed all my rock work and coral into that tub. Removed all other livestock (fish crabs etc). Siphoned out the rest of the water trying not to hit the substrate. Once all the water was removed I took a large plastic dustpan and removed all the old sand. When all was out I siphoned out the remaining water. I added in my new sand an began pumping in the original water replacing the rock and coral and added back in the livestock. You could take some of the old substrate and put and decent amount in a filter sleeve and buried it to reseed the new substrate. Check you levels often to monitor your mini cycle.

It worked for me. Hope this helps
I wish I could do this so much! My parents don't think it's a good idea. I'm only 13. Do you think it may work if I remove like half the sand and then do a pwc and then out like 3 inches of new sand over the old?
Bottom line is that if you are putting finer sand on top of larger grain sand over time the finer will migrate down to the bottom filling in the larger gaps and you'll end up right back where you are right now with the large stuff on top
Oh I get it now. Thanks for clearing that up. Ok. So if I took half out, did a water change, then a couple days later or later that day or something took the rest out, and then did another water change. Then add new sand. Would that work?
When you move your substrate you release toxins, gases, etc. that's why we are saying remove the water. You don't want that stuff in the water.
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