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live sand or live coral

  • Live sand

    Votes: 55 83.3%
  • live coral

    Votes: 11 16.7%
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I think most people anymore have gone to sand as the crushed coral can store up detritus and leach nitrates into your system, at least that is my understanding of the downside with crushed coral.
 

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I asked the same question kinda:D I have already had my tank established for two years. 4 months ago I added crushed coral and more recently mixed in about half sand along with that. Anyway, I asked hardcz and this is what he told me, and this is what I am going to do

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I'd get about 30-40 nassarius snails, look for nassarius vibex specifically They'll hide under the sand, and sift everything good to help keep the detritus and such stirred up. And about 30-40 dwarf hermits. If you're not going to sift the sand then you'll want to make sure you have power heads pointed in different directions to cause the detritus that would settle on the substrate and the rocks to float up to your skimmer or overflow.

But yea, look at the other sifting creatures, but not a star.

Im not sure if I'm getting the hermits but deffinatly the nassarius and definatly keeping the crushed coral substrate. I also run a 20 gal. refugium/sump and my skimmer which both help keep nitrates nitrites and ammonia in check(in most cases)
hope this helps
 

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Absolutely NO crushed coral for substrate = Nitrate.

Fine aragonite sand is ok if you wish to have a sand bed in the display tank.

I prefer a bare bottom tank and sand in the refugium.
 

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Help

So now that i see im the only one with crush coral im going to buy some sand now so what is the cheapest route? Where is the best place to buy it? and what about black sand ( is it messy)
 

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dentdominator said:
Absolutely NO crushed coral for substrate = Nitrate.

Fine aragonite sand is ok if you wish to have a sand bed in the display tank.

I prefer a bare bottom tank and sand in the refugium.
i completly disagree :) i have crushed coral, i have ran this tank as a fish tank for over a year with zero issues. now i have wsitched to a reef tank with 2 fish and i am still seeing zeros acrossed the board.
IMHO crushed coral is GTG
 

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toobrie said:
I think most people anymore have gone to sand as the crushed coral can store up detritus and leach nitrates into your system, at least that is my understanding of the downside with crushed coral.
agreed :cool:
 

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tntviper1 said:
i completly disagree :) i have crushed coral, i have ran this tank as a fish tank for over a year with zero issues. now i have wsitched to a reef tank with 2 fish and i am still seeing zeros acrossed the board.
IMHO crushed coral is GTG
Good luck - I hope your are one of those exceptions using freshwater substrate in a saltwater aquarium.

Crushed Coral = Nitrates

It's the perfect sponge.

Don't get me wrong - I use fine aragonite sand in my refugium, reason being if there was a problem. It's easy to take care of without disturbing the display tank.

My display tank is bare bottom for those reasons.

However, the poll shows it all !!!!!
 

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Live sand vs. crushed coral

I have crushed coral with just a few pounds of live rock that I've had 5ish years now, and have never had a problem with nitrates, but my dad set up the tank about 20 years ago, so it was well aged before we even got rock. It's a 65 g acrylic tank with under gravel filters, a hang on the back biowheel filter, and power compact lighting. If I were to set up another tank however, I would definitely choose live sand, and go for a sump. I have helped a few friends set up tanks over the last few years and the ones that have used live sand have had much less hassle, and better success.
 

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I say sand all the way 2. I have had both over the last 3 years. IMO the problem with CC is the nitrates. ANd from an apperance reason its harder to keep CC clean and looking nice. Sand sifter do wokinda work with CC but not a sand sifting gobie. and both of them work great with a sand bed. Just make sure its deep enough or put in a plentium. Which is what im doing on my 200 im setting up
 

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Hi,

I would use a mix.

I had a plenum and a 6-7" bed of CC in a 120. I started with CC alone, and I cycled very quickly. There was a problem with appearance and with trapping of food and waste particles as has been stated. I didn't give it a chance for nitrates to drop completely to 0, and I don't know if they would have, had I waited.

Due to the desire for certain gobies and the things above, I added live sand in 2 grades, in increments. Some of it has drifted down into the CC bed, some remains on top. It looks nicer, my gobie is happy, my N'ates are nearly 0.

The advantage to having a mix, is that there is no compaction--the bed is always "light," and I think that is good for a plenum system.

Also--I noticed that when only sand was exposed, there was a lot of fly-around, especially if a powerhead slipped a suction cup. With the more mixed substrate, things seem to stay put better.

Mike
 

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crushed coral

you can use a gravel vac right? thats how I dealt with crushed coral I. Every time I changed water I sifted through the gravel. I didn't have elaborate rock work to move around though, this was a 20 g hex tank with one nice big piece of LR. It was really easy to move and vac underneath.
 

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If you have a setup with crushed coral, it's easier to vacumm the substrate, so you won't need to have the snails or hermits. However if you leave the crushed coral for too long without cleaning, it will cause issues. It will also begin to look dirty if not kept up.

If you go barebottom it's the same thing. The bottom will need to be cleaned once in a while unless you have flow pointed at the bottom that way the detrius can stay suspended in the water column. Also, you may have issues with the detrius getting caught up under rocks.

If you use sand you will want to have some cleaners to make sure the sand is sifted and so that it remains clean. Otherwise it will look dirty.


I have used all three before. I prefer sand. Looks the best and is the easiest to deal with IMO.
 
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