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Old 08-19-2013, 10:13 AM   #1
ajohnson96
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May have made a bad decision


Hey TRT,

I recently visited my brother in Seattle (I live in Texas) and while I was there went to the Seattle Aquarium. While there, I noticed, again, that most public aquariums use crushed coral for their substrate. So I got to thinking and well just the other night I converted from bare bottom to crushed coral.

I love the look of it and I have read the repercussions and responsibilities that come along with having crushed coral as a substrate. From what I have read so far, I just need to keep it vacuumed which is nothing out of the ordinary for me. When I had figi pink I vacuumed my sand once or twice a month. The main reasons for me switching is for aesthetics and because I plan on adding either a goby/pistol shrimp pair or a jawfish in the near future.

Tell me I didn't make a mistake...
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:16 AM   #2
Mr. Fishy Man
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As long as you keep it clean, there shouldn't be an issue. How deep is it?
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:26 AM   #3
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yep, what is on the tank bottom really does not matter. it is what you do with the accumulating waste matters.

BB just makes it easier to see the detritus.

CC makes it easier to siphon out the detritus without removing the sand.

oolitic sand makes it easier to ignore it (hides the detritus between the grains better), but requires routine replacement in order to export the detritus.

all of the above can work. some work better for some trophic environments than others, but they can all work. the important thing is that the wastes are exported at a rate that maintains the desired trophic (nutrient) level of organisms wishing to be kept in the system.

G~
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:35 AM   #4
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what size tank are you running? Personally I'd bump the water changes up to every week to 10 days or so just to keep detritus from building up in the sand, but the bigger the grain size of the sand the easier it is to siphon it without it getting siphoned out or blown all over.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:01 AM   #5
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Thanks for the responses, guys. It is about 1-1.5" deep but I only used half the bag. If I need to go deeper, I can. Also, I placed it around the font and sides of my tank. I didn't push it under the rocks or in the back just so I can clean it easier.

I do water changes every week, but used to only vacuum the sand once or twice a month. Obviously, I will vacuum more often with the new substrate.
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Old 08-19-2013, 11:50 AM   #6
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I'm not sure how much sand a goby/pistol combo really needs, but I have 20lbs of aragonite reef grade sand in my 10 gallon tank (probably about 2" depending on where it is pushed to), my pistol moves the sand all over the place, so if he doesn't have as much as he would like he will get some from someplace else and move it where he wants it... mine is always pushing sand from under the rock he calls home, never seems satisfied as he is constantly rearranging (guess its in his nature...)

on that note, I highly recommend setting your rocks on a piece of PVC if you are able to move them enough to put the PVC in... I took a piece of 1 1/2" PVC and cut it in about 1/2" lengths and set all of my bottom level rocks on them, that way the rocks can't fall down and hurt the goby/pistol when they are rearranging sand... having the rocks on the bottom is probably better than setting them on sand, but doing this gave them more room under the rocks as well, and for the most part the PVC is covered by the rocks/sand so you don't notice it.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:04 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice. My rocks are currently sitting on the glass on the bottom of my tank and the crushed coral was added later so I don't think I will have problems with rock falls.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:10 PM   #8
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Just keep it vacuumed. You really can't keep it as clean as a BB but you can keep it clean enough. I am a BB advocate but I like the look of sand in specific environment tanks... like my current LPS system. You might also want to consider the sand a type of media that has to be changed from time to time. I replace a small bit of my sand every so often.


BTW, I think Seattle has one of the best managed/designed aquariums I have seen... at least in 2011.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:12 PM   #9
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Some of my pics so folks get an idea of Seattle...



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Old 08-19-2013, 12:14 PM   #10
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Absolutely, I agree with that. I even removed and replaced sand when I had sand. The Seattle Aquarium was really nice. Their few reef tanks they have are ridiculous. Awesome clams, montipora colonies and fish all were very healthy and looked great.
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:22 PM   #11
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Dang Doc, nice tanks the 2nd one is awesome what are the white ones they look like kenya's
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:47 PM   #12
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And what is the tan one in the center
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:14 PM   #13
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The tank was mostly soft-leather like corals. I believe the one in the center was related to a variant of Sinularia... a cabbage coral but I could be wrong.

Seattle was the point that proved to me that even "basic" corals designed tastefully are more beautiful than "rare colorful" corals designed poorly.
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Old 08-19-2013, 01:19 PM   #14
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A few more...
Aimag0756

Imag0754

Aimag0740

I don't remember if the big SPS tank had sand and none of the pics I have show any
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Old 08-19-2013, 02:30 PM   #15
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Are those green ones in the last pic a type of tree coral? That colony looks amazing next to some SPS colonies BTW.
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