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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all you have been very helpful in the past year as i have had my tank running but i now have a couple questions. I started my 55 gal tank about a year ago using cc and 40-50lbs live rock. I now have added more rock and a 20 gal sump. Total i would say is 80-90 lbs rock, i only have 3 fish right now and some snails and hermits. I am wanting to get rid of my cc substrate and replace with sand, i like the looks better. But my question is should i do this all at once or should i do half at a time. I would rather do all at once seems easier. Also should i buy live sand from LFS or just pick up some sand at Home depot. One other thing currently i only have about 15 lbs rock in my sump so should i take some of the cc from the tank and add to sump? No lights in sump just some rock to break up bubbles and my heater and protien skimmer.

Oh one last thing how deep should the new sand be in tank?

Thanks so much for your help.
 

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I always recommend doing it in thirds with a week or so in between removals. However, there are several people who have posted that they did it all at once without any issues. I think it depends on the tank a great deal and what's in it.

I'm a safe-side kind of guy so I say in thirds.

As for sand depth, I recommend 1.5 - 2 inches. That's very a low to no maintenance depth from my experience. That's what I keep in my main reef tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. The reason for doing it a third at a time would be to avoid a recycle right? So if i do it all at once shouldn`t i be able to watch my parameters close and do more water changes if necessary. Also would putting some of the old cc in the sump either in a like netting or just in the sump help avoid the recycle?

Thanks again
 

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3 fish is a small bioload for a 55g tank. You would be perfectly safe to remove the entire sand bed at once and not see an ammonia or nitrite spike. It might be different if the tank was completely stocked with a heavy bioload. The beneficial bacteria populate based on bioload, and your 90lbs of rock will quickly pick up the burden when the sand is gone. You will most likely see a small algae cycle (diatoms, HA, and cyno) on the newly placed sand, but that should die off in a couple weeks.
 

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That's right. Sand has a lot more bacteria in it than people give it credit for.

That said, I agree that you have a small bioload and the tank can probably handle full removal at one time.

As you mention, just keep an eye on the parameters and do more water changes and you should be just fine.

Thanks for the reply. The reason for doing it a third at a time would be to avoid a recycle right? So if i do it all at once shouldn`t i be able to watch my parameters close and do more water changes if necessary. Also would putting some of the old cc in the sump either in a like netting or just in the sump help avoid the recycle?

Thanks again
 

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I would buy dry aragonite sand instead of live sand, it will become live over time. I don't believe live sand is "live" in a sealed bag thats sits on a shelf for who knows how long. In my opinion, "Live" sand is a bag of nitrates and phosphates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ok got the sand all changed. went well not to big of a sand cloud. waiting for it to settle before putting inhabitants back. I moved most of smaller pieces of live rock into sump have put a few bigger ones back in DT. Wondering though is there any reason i cant have most of my live rock in my sump?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
i have put 5 large pieces in the display they are all my big pieces and i have my sump just about overflowing wit live rock right now. I am going to move more from the sump mostly the coraline covered ones but just checking if there was any harm in not moving all of it back up.

one piece basically filled a 5 gallon bucket its huge
 
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