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Old 07-05-2009, 03:22 PM   #1
winnker
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changing substrate


ok, so I have a beautiful tank I know but.... I wasn't going to do a reef from the start so I have the crushed coral bottom. Now, a friend just changed her tank to black sand but it was a fish only she is making her new reef. She gave me her old white sand after she rinsed it out. How would I safely change my substrate to the sand? I do not have an additional tank to put all of my corals. Would the bacteria in my rock be enough to filter the tank while the sand seeds?

Since I have the aquapod I do have carbon and a sponge in the back.
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:14 PM   #2
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anyone? I was hoping to do this tomorrow.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:31 AM   #3
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I would not reuse old sand. Sand in a reef tank has a limited lifespan. Once it's loaded with nutrients there is no way to sufficently clean the sand for reuse. Given the size of your tank, save yourself a potential headache and spend a few bucks on a bag of sand.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:47 AM   #4
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Even if I do that, will the tank have to cycle? I don't have anyplace to put my corals and fish while it cycles.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by winnker View Post
Even if I do that, will the tank have to cycle? I don't have anyplace to put my corals and fish while it cycles.
I don't think you will have an issue with new sand... Some reefers clean the sand, others do not... We have obtained "live sand" in the past to seed the new, although not imperative.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:35 AM   #6
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reuseing old sand?


I am just setting up a 55g that a friend gave me. He had some sand in there, but the tank has been out of commission for over a year now. I have been putting hot tap water in there and then siphoning it out to remove any detritis. Any thoughts? Is this a BAD idea?

Also, I am using this tank as a "local" tank. No corals or inverts.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:40 AM   #7
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ok, as long as you don't think it will have to cycle. I mean all of my corals and everything will have to go back in it today so I will give it a shot. I mean I can mix a bit of the crushed coral in with it to seed and I have the rock, the sponge and hte carbon bag. I just worried cuz I have 4 fish. lol
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:44 AM   #8
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Just go slow, a little at a time.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:21 AM   #9
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depending on the size of your tank i would either take half or a third out replace it with the new sand waite a little bit and change out the other side.
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:49 AM   #10
reefcrazydude
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if me i just add nice sand on top and dont worry about changing anything in the tank, more sand is better...
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:55 AM   #11
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if me i just add nice sand on top and dont worry about changing anything in the tank, more sand is better...
IMO CC is bad and sand over it is not the best idea.
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:56 PM   #12
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I just did a complete substrate switch in my 55 gallon fish Only with live rock. The original sand had been in the tank for 7 years and when i attempted to covert my tank into a reef tank the nutrient build up in the substrate was way to high and coral could not survive (Old Tank Syndrome) So, with the help of Tj (from the reeftank) we emptied all the water into large garbage cans, took all the live rock, corals and fish out of the tank.
Then, we removed all the old sand out of the aquarium and replaced the sand with new fine white calcium sand (make sure you wash all the new substrate off well). We then replaced a little over 1/2 the old water and 1/2 new fresh water then the rocks, corals and fish. Make sure you also seed the new sand with some of your old substrate.

Everything survived! and I'm assuming because of the amount of live rock and the fact that my tank was well est. the system did not recycle.

Just take it slow and everything will be fine, but be ready to put a lot of work into it, sand and water are not easy to carry around haha

Good luck
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:21 PM   #13
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IMO CC is bad and sand over it is not the best idea.
Agreed...and the smaller sand particles will end up working their way to the bottom over time.
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Old 07-06-2009, 03:10 PM   #14
winnker
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ok, I will do it half at a time. good thing I hadn't glued the rocks together.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:08 PM   #15
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A quick tip. Once you have all the water siphoned out, a wet/dry vac makes removing your old substrate easy.

You have to be very careful removing crushed coral because it will scratch if you scrape it along the glass . Learned that the hard way when converting my 75g to sand.
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