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Old 04-25-2007, 06:04 PM   #1
NewFishGirl
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Changing out sand


Well, I'm having trouble trapping a PITA fish in the tank, so I am starting to think I will have to break down the tank to get her out.

As long as we have to do that, I really wanted to change our sand. Right now we have crushed coral, which I hate the look of. I was wanting a finer grain sand that looks white. What should I be looking for? Where do I get this? A LFS or somewhere else?

Will doing this cause any problems when I reassemble the tank? I was thinking of taking out the live rock and scrubbing a few pieces that have bubble algae and hair algae, too. And perhaps adding a few more pieces of live rock. Will all this messing around harm my fish and corals?

Oh yeah, we also have a sandsifting goby. Does that limit me to the kind of sand I can add???

Many thanks!
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:10 PM   #2
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I would get oothlic (granes about the size of sugar) sized Araginite sand, but I would not use live sand I would use normal dry sand.

Companies like Carobsea make this stuff, and unless your doing a DSB in a large tank it's probably your best option.

Oh,.. you can get it at the LFS,.. And provided you DON"T use live sand there should be no cycle,.. though the sand will cloud the tank at first a bit.

HTH,
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:11 PM   #3
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OH! Adding more LR could be trouble though. Make sure your new LR is fully cured.

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Old 04-26-2007, 10:59 AM   #4
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Just so you have a second opinion, ditto what wiskey said!

I just did this very same thing 6 months ago.

Had Crushed coral...switched it out for the same substrate Wiskey recommended. Tank's been 10 times healthier!!

One thing I'll add...while you're in there doing all that, I HIGHLY recommend adding some sort of Rock lifts. Easiest way is make some PVC risers.

see this thread for more info (specifically post #9):

http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/sh...&highlight=PVC
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Old 04-26-2007, 11:54 AM   #5
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Thanks for the comments.

Will my sandsifting goby be okay with the oothlic sand instead of crushed coral?

How long do you have to let the new sand "settle" before you put the fish and corals back in?

Also, where can I house the fish and corals while we do this? Rubbermaid containers? Should we put a heater and powerhead in with them?

How much new water can we or should we add when we change out the sand? Like 50%?

And with the rock lift, do you find it's more necessary when you have the oothlic sand? Right now, we have our rocks sitting on the bottom of the tank rather than in the sand.
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:23 PM   #6
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Your goby should be fine. As for letting the sand settle - it will probably take a minimum of 24 hours, probably longer, to clear, but corals and fish are used to sandstorms (any time there is a storm on the reef similar conditions will occur), so I would probably put them back in, say afte 24 hours.

Rubbermaids are a good solution - make up new SW and put your heater and PH in there ahead of time to get everything equilibrated (check your SG and temp before moving the livestock). I wouldn't use any of your old water - almost certainly you'll have stirred up stuff in the old sand during the change-out that you don't want hanging aoround. Make up a completely fresh batch of SW to put the inhabitants back into - again just make sure your SG and temps are constant.

As for the rock lifts, I haven't used them myself. People swear by them to allow gunk to be flushed out from underneath (a lot of folks use them in conjunction with a spraybar on the back of the tank) - but if you're doing that you may also find yourself blasting your sand all over the place...better used with a barebottom tank maybe?
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Old 04-26-2007, 01:25 PM   #7
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Is there anything else I should worry about? I'm pretty nervous since I am still pretty new to this. I don't want to kill everything because I do something dumb that experienced people would do without thinking!
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Old 04-26-2007, 01:49 PM   #8
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With the pvc lifts I was worried about the sand inside not getting any flow. When I switched tanks from the 75 to the 90 I noticed that the sand inside the pvc was starting to get clumpy. Thats why I think the acrylic rod stands are superior
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:34 PM   #9
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Where should I get the sand? Is there a brand I should look for? What should I stay away from?
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:41 PM   #10
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i use black Tahiti sand made by Super naturals it also comes in white 20 lb bags. are you gunna drain the tank to add the sand? rinsing your sand and adding it slowly with a cup will take longer but it won't cloud the water much if you empty the tank add the sand and use a flat dish to add the water it won't cloud as much either becarefull of the floaters

Quote:
When I switched tanks from the 75 to the 90 I noticed that the sand inside the pvc was starting to get clumpy.
sometimes sand clumps just from bacteria and trapt air more so on new fresh sand you can break it up with your fingers and it will go away. my whole tank clumped when i first added saltwater to my sand i broke it up and it hasn't clumped since
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:44 PM   #11
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As skeety posted that thread i use those rock ligts also, now i am a BB tank and they are working great....... here is an old pic of my tank but i hardly can tell they are there hehe. I just got use to them and dont see them. I would say it is a must to have!!!




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Old 04-26-2007, 03:45 PM   #12
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dup...
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Old 04-26-2007, 03:55 PM   #13
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nice tank tim
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