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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so I apologize if this is a silly question, but I need to ask it because I haven't read it anywhere else.
I have an African Cichlid tank with about an inch of extra aragonite sand at the bed. This tank has been running forever now and was properly cycled from the beginning, thus I have had next to no problems with ammonias and the beneficial bacteria built up is likely substantial.
So what I am wondering is, would I be able to syphon out about 20lbs of this sand, mix it in with the substrate I choose for my soon-to-be reef tank to help get the cycle going? Or would the addition of salt kill the beneficial bacteria in the aragonite sand, altering it useless?
Once again, I apologize if this is a silly question, but I thought I would ask.
 

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zacharY
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Welcome to TRT!

There would be no benefit because the bacteria would certainly die in saltwater and nutrients binded to the sand would likely fuel algae growth in the new setup.

P.S. There's no such thing as a silly question; don't ever refrain from asking a question regarding reefkeeping on here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the clarification. I've generally always used my older tanks' sand to cycle newer tanks, but I suppose not this time.
Whilst on the topic of sand, is it best to use a coarser substrate for reef tanks considering the current?
 

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zacharY
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Thank you for the clarification. I've generally always used my older tanks' sand to cycle newer tanks, but I suppose not this time.
Whilst on the topic of sand, is it best to use a coarser substrate for reef tanks considering the current?
That depends on what animals you plan on keeping. Many fish need a really fine sand to live comfortably, but courser sand is easier to keep clean in many peoples' opinions.
 

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Something tells me you don't like sand, We can work through it this together. So, tell me, when did your affiliation with sand begin? What led you to hate it?:rotflmao:
 

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i once talked a LFS into converting an entire wing of their african cichlid row to SW. i suggested rinsing the aragonite to remove all build up detritus, then fill they system up with SW, add a skimmer and be done with it. aragonite is aragonite, assuming that no copper was used in treatment for anything. if Cu was used, then i would start over with new sand. whether the bacteria survive or not is really irrelevant. it is going to take time to ramp up the bacteria to the new bioload.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
i once talked a LFS into converting an entire wing of their african cichlid row to SW. i suggested rinsing the aragonite to remove all build up detritus, then fill they system up with SW, add a skimmer and be done with it. aragonite is aragonite, assuming that no copper was used in treatment for anything. if Cu was used, then i would start over with new sand. whether the bacteria survive or not is really irrelevant. it is going to take time to ramp up the bacteria to the new bioload.

G~
Thank you for the clarification. I was also wanting to know if I could use FW sand for an SW tank. So if I syphon out about 15lbs of aragonite, could I mix it with a 20lb bag of CaribSea to fill a 40B?

I also want to ask, when you say add a skimmer, do you mean into a sump below or just an HOB for a 40? I think the one thing I have been most confused about while learning all about SW keeping has been the sumps and skimmers. I don't want to overcomplicate things for myself being that it's my first attempt at a SW tank, but at the same time I want to do everything right. The 40B that I will be purchasing does not have a built in overflow, so I've researched how to build one using PVC piping. Then after all of that research I read a lengthy article about sumps not being used on 40's and smaller with much success, and that sumps are generally for 55 and larger. And once again it complicated things for me. I have also never seen an HOB skimmer running in person, so I have also been having a hard time imagining how that works out.
It's crazy how much research one can do, only to have it completely contradicted by another person's findings. At the end, all I want is a tank that I can be happy with.
 

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Thank you for the clarification. I was also wanting to know if I could use FW sand for an SW tank. So if I syphon out about 15lbs of aragonite, could I mix it with a 20lb bag of CaribSea to fill a 40B?

I also want to ask, when you say add a skimmer, do you mean into a sump below or just an HOB for a 40? I think the one thing I have been most confused about while learning all about SW keeping has been the sumps and skimmers. I don't want to overcomplicate things for myself being that it's my first attempt at a SW tank, but at the same time I want to do everything right. The 40B that I will be purchasing does not have a built in overflow, so I've researched how to build one using PVC piping. Then after all of that research I read a lengthy article about sumps not being used on 40's and smaller with much success, and that sumps are generally for 55 and larger. And once again it complicated things for me. I have also never seen an HOB skimmer running in person, so I have also been having a hard time imagining how that works out.
It's crazy how much research one can do, only to have it completely contradicted by another person's findings. At the end, all I want is a tank that I can be happy with.
im not geoff but a sump give us newbies more leeway for error since the solution to pollution is dilution ..love saying that.. makes me feel smart :dance:.. sumps are also a nice place to hide stuff ..and er trash
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
im not geoff but a sump give us newbies more leeway for error since the solution to pollution is dilution ..love saying that.. makes me feel smart :dance:.. sumps are also a nice place to hide stuff ..and er trash
Thank you. I completely understand that it gives us more leeway for errors. Larger the volume of water, more stable the tank. I just don't think I will find a sump that will fit in a 40B stand locally, and unfortunately shipping is not something I can do at this moment, especially since I reside in Canada. Usually there are major delays this time of year (snow delays) or I have to bring it up from the border, in which case it costs a fortune. So I figure I will just used a 20Long as a sump and make it myself, but I already contacted a glass cutter and the dang sump will end up costing me a small fortune as well. Is there another way of making a sump without having to get glass cut to fit?
 

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Thank you. I completely understand that it gives us more leeway for errors. Larger the volume of water, more stable the tank. I just don't think I will find a sump that will fit in a 40B stand locally, and unfortunately shipping is not something I can do at this moment, especially since I reside in Canada. Usually there are major delays this time of year (snow delays) or I have to bring it up from the border, in which case it costs a fortune. So I figure I will just used a 20Long as a sump and make it myself, but I already contacted a glass cutter and the dang sump will end up costing me a small fortune as well. Is there another way of making a sump without having to get glass cut to fit?
im not sure ..mine is custom sorry.. look into the diy section.. many use rubbermaid tubs.. i would recommend you get a bigger tang and use the 40 as a sump lol :lol:
 

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Yep. If you have sand dwellers/sifters like I do then you need it. As Geoff has said - it's just another tool and like everything else, can be done properly or improperly.
agreed with its uses and the such but not with the sand sifters :D.. i don't think we as reefers should support buying most of the sand sifters except cukes, nass snails and conchs and a few more... take for example gobies and stars.. they seem cool and many buy them but the decimate the sand bed microfauna and starve.. very inhumane unless you have a huge tank.. even then i would think twice because just because i would create a demand for them and there will be people who will impulse buy and kill the poor thing ..but thats just me
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have been recommended by other senior members on this forum that a 40B is a very good starter tank. I will still with that, seeing as I do not have the space for much larger anyways. I'll look into a tupperware DIY sump.

Does anyone know if I could use plexiglass in the sump instead of glass? I can actually cut plexiglass myself, and pick up a sheet of it for under $30.
 

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Lots of people use acrylic dividers for their glass sumps. I think plexi is a brand of it but maybe not the best one, people use the term for both so not sure. I'm working on it now, and so far the hardest part is attaching to the glass (small, cheap tanks are a very common sump). The glue for acrylic almost melts it a little so the pieces stick to each other very well, but not so much to other stuff. So it is common to just make a weaker connection with silicon caulk (need the right kind) that sticks well to glass but not acrylic. helps to scruff up the acrylic a bit too. most of your sump dividers (baffles) don't have a big pressure differential between the sides so even though if you really yanked on it you could pull it out, it doesn't bear that force normally.

It sounds like you're pretty early in the planning stages, what are you thinking you'd like to have in ur sump?
If you haven't seen this yet, it's my fav simple sump explainer [Melev]
 

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Reef Junkie
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Thank you. I completely understand that it gives us more leeway for errors. Larger the volume of water, more stable the tank. I just don't think I will find a sump that will fit in a 40B stand locally, and unfortunately shipping is not something I can do at this moment, especially since I reside in Canada. Usually there are major delays this time of year (snow delays) or I have to bring it up from the border, in which case it costs a fortune. So I figure I will just used a 20Long as a sump and make it myself, but I already contacted a glass cutter and the dang sump will end up costing me a small fortune as well. Is there another way of making a sump without having to get glass cut to fit?
What did they quote you for a couple 1/4" pieces of plate glass? It's quite cheap compared to acrylic. The 10x9 give or take baffles in my 10g sump where only about $5 a piece. If they quoted much more than that for plate glass then find a new shop. A 20L tank will do nicely too for a sump.

I prefer glass over acrylic for sump baffles just because I've had more leak issues with acrylic to glass than glass to glass. Not that baffles have to be water tight but I'm anal that way I guess. Plexi (name brand) or acrylic sheets at 1/4" thickness will work fine for baffles but the silicone won't adhere very well to the acrylic. Usually a non issue with sumps that don't have to deal with high pressure. I just find glass easier to work with and cheaper.


The glue for acrylic almost melts it a little so the pieces stick to each other very well, but not so much to other stuff.
Yep it actually does slightly melt the acrylic and welds it together rather than gluing - as if the two pieces were never two pieces to start with. It's pretty nasty stuff and hard to come by locally anymore.


agreed with its uses and the such but not with the sand sifters :D.. i don't think we as reefers should support buying most of the sand sifters except cukes, nass snails and conchs and a few more... take for example gobies and stars.. they seem cool and many buy them but the decimate the sand bed microfauna and starve.. very inhumane unless you have a huge tank.. even then i would think twice because just because i would create a demand for them and there will be people who will impulse buy and kill the poor thing ..but thats just me
My sifting cucumber, conch and nassarius snails would be pretty POd at me if I took away their sand which was my point. :) I'm on the fence with sifter stars and gobies - gobies can be fed like any other fish so their impact should be far less though. I don't personally have either and have no plans too.
 

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What did they quote you for a couple 1/4" pieces of plate glass? It's quite cheap compared to acrylic. The 10x9 give or take baffles in my 10g sump where only about $5 a piece. If they quoted much more than that for plate glass then find a new shop. A 20L tank will do nicely too for a sump.

I prefer glass over acrylic for sump baffles just because I've had more leak issues with acrylic to glass than glass to glass. Not that baffles have to be water tight but I'm anal that way I guess. Plexi (name brand) or acrylic sheets at 1/4" thickness will work fine for baffles but the silicone won't adhere very well to the acrylic. Usually a non issue with sumps that don't have to deal with high pressure. I just find glass easier to work with and cheaper.




Yep it actually does slightly melt the acrylic and welds it together rather than gluing - as if the two pieces were never two pieces to start with. It's pretty nasty stuff and hard to come by locally anymore.




My sifting cucumber, conch and nassarius snails would be pretty POd at me if I took away their sand which was my point. :) I'm on the fence with sifter stars and gobies - gobies can be fed like any other fish so their impact should be far less though. I don't personally have either and have no plans too.
lol don't want a cucumber,conch and snail rebellion now do we :rotflmao:.. there was a thread here somewhere regarding the keeping of these creatures in bare bottom systems.
 

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im not geoff but a sump give us newbies more leeway for error since the solution to pollution is dilution ..love saying that.. makes me feel smart :dance:.. sumps are also a nice place to hide stuff ..and er trash
not a big fan of that saying. it is a cop out for not cleaning up after the organisms. just add more water, the poo is not as concentrated. ;)

if at all possible adding a sump is one of the best additions to a system. it hides all of the equipment, it provide a settling place for detritus, and can create a constant water leveled area for skimmers.

Thank you. I completely understand that it gives us more leeway for errors. Larger the volume of water, more stable the tank. I just don't think I will find a sump that will fit in a 40B stand locally, and unfortunately shipping is not something I can do at this moment, especially since I reside in Canada. Usually there are major delays this time of year (snow delays) or I have to bring it up from the border, in which case it costs a fortune. So I figure I will just used a 20Long as a sump and make it myself, but I already contacted a glass cutter and the dang sump will end up costing me a small fortune as well. Is there another way of making a sump without having to get glass cut to fit?
if you have any mechanical skills at all, i strongly suggest ordering some Weld-On 16 online and then going to any of the big box stores and getting 1/4" which acrylic and start making your own sump. polycarbonates are easy to cut with just about any power saw. table saws are best, but i have made tanks using jig saws. the Weld-On 16 is thick enough that it can correct for some waviness in the cut. you can even create your own slurrly with the Weld-On 16 and the polycarbonate shavings. once you start building with polycarbonates, what is possible in the aquarium almost becomes endless. you can even mold it in the oven if you want curves and complex shapes. make sumps, skimmers, overflows, lifts, whatever.

Thank you for the clarification. I was also wanting to know if I could use FW sand for an SW tank. So if I syphon out about 15lbs of aragonite, could I mix it with a 20lb bag of CaribSea to fill a 40B?
sure. you can mix it with any calcium carbonate based substrate. just make sure whatever you use is well cleaned. phosphates will bind to calcium carbonate in the FW environment also. you could have an algae outbreak from any used substrate, whether it was in a SW or FW environment.

I also want to ask, when you say add a skimmer, do you mean into a sump below or just an HOB for a 40? I think the one thing I have been most confused about while learning all about SW keeping has been the sumps and skimmers. I don't want to overcomplicate things for myself being that it's my first attempt at a SW tank, but at the same time I want to do everything right. The 40B that I will be purchasing does not have a built in overflow, so I've researched how to build one using PVC piping. Then after all of that research I read a lengthy article about sumps not being used on 40's and smaller with much success, and that sumps are generally for 55 and larger. And once again it complicated things for me. I have also never seen an HOB skimmer running in person, so I have also been having a hard time imagining how that works out.
It's crazy how much research one can do, only to have it completely contradicted by another person's findings. At the end, all I want is a tank that I can be happy with.
sorry, these quotes kind of got mixed up, but i recommend sumps to anybody. they really make reefing a lot easier. there is a lot of contradicting information in this hobby. i like TRT because if you ask why, it is expected here to support your answer. all a forum can do is give out the best information it has available. until everyone has all the information, a person asking a question can just get more confused. just keep asking for clarification until you are satisfied with the explanations. it is the forums job to answer questions and to help, not to say do this because we say so.

lol don't want a cucumber,conch and snail rebellion now do we :rotflmao:.. there was a thread here somewhere regarding the keeping of these creatures in bare bottom systems.
i have kept all of those organisms in BB systems. they will be fine. conchs actually hop when on the BB. nassarius could not care less where they are. they will just hide under a rock ledge.

some cucumbers do need a substrate, but the ones i have come across in the trade have done fine in a BB system. they seem to be able to slurp up the detritus if available. the biggest problem with keeping a cucumber in a BB system is that there is not enough detritus for them to eat. all of their food is swished away and deposited else where. hmm, one of those lets think about that for a minute and why there is enough food in a substrate system. ;)

G~
 
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