Is it 2 late to change substrate??

treedog5

Member
I started my new tank with just regular dry reef sand from the pet store, and my tank is at the end of it's cycle. Is it to late to remove the sand and go with some live Aragonite sand? I don't want to have to repeat this cycle over again because i'm ready to start adding fish. I want to switch because when i went to do a 10% water change, i kept vacuuming up all the sand from the tank when i only wanted to remove the waste from my CUC. I'm thinking the aragonite won't come up as easily as the sand. So can this be done with out having to repeat a cycle??
 

spieszak

New member
you results may vary as far as whether you would cycle again if you just vacummed it out and readded. but... try kinking your siphon hose, or using airline tubing to siphon your sand...
 

nynick

New member
"Regular dry reef sand" would probably be aragonite. New sand tend to have a lot of very small particles in it. Are you sure that this is not what you are vacuming up?

Pretty much any sand will let go of it's finer particles when vacuming but the finer the sand the more will get out. Smaller detrius also looks a lot like sand. Unless you are removing a significant portion of it I would just let it be.

On a related note, if you get poop that remains on your sand for a long time you might not have enough flow.
 

rogermccray

New member
You can remove the sand without causing a cycle, I recommend doing it in stages, remove half the sand at one time then let it rest. This will give time for any beneficial organisms to go from your current sand to your new sand. Then after a month or so go ahead and remove the rest.

Now, I wouldn't do it just to get the "live sand" from the store. There is no real benefit to that sand, it's just expensive so the stores want to sell it. I imagine the sand was live when they bagged it but now it has shipped and sat in a store in an enclosed bag for who knows how long. I can't imagine there is anything live left. If you want some argonite get some from dead argonite sand and it will soon become live. Or if you want to seed it and get some diversity in it check out ipsf.com they have some good packs for seeding sand.
 

KafudaFish

Cyprinius carpio
Team RC
What is the point?

Your "dry" sand will become live soon enough and if you are meaning live sand as in a bag vs. in a holding tank at a lfs etc., that is just a waste of money.

Also you can remove crushed coral-sized particles if you hold the hose there long enough so if you are trying to clean the sand, change your technique such as using your fingers in the sand to suspend the detritus and allowing the hose to suck that up.

You will collect some sand regardless of how careful you are and some simply replace that sand will new dry sand as needed.
 

leveldrummer

New member
give it time, your sand will get heavy as it gets coated in a bio film, then it wont pull up as easily when you vacuum, also take care not to plunge the vacuum end into the sand, just let it barely float above the top to gather the waste that you can see.

also, many people dont vacuum their sand at all, get more powerheads to the flow high enough that waste doesnt collect on the sand.
 

rogermccray

New member
give it time, your sand will get heavy as it gets coated in a bio film, then it wont pull up as easily when you vacuum, also take care not to plunge the vacuum end into the sand, just let it barely float above the top to gather the waste that you can see.

also, many people dont vacuum their sand at all, get more powerheads to the flow high enough that waste doesnt collect on the sand.

Or get a diamond goby :) your sand won't collect waste then :)
 

treedog5

Member
Yeah, the sand is very fine. Like the kind you see in playgrounds, but i got it from petsmart and it said reef sand. I like the way it looks, but i think it will be a problem when i do water changes. With just my CUC i see poo all around the tank and it looks bad, but when i go to syphon it up more sand than poo comes up.
 

rogermccray

New member
super fine is pretty tricky to find the right flow to keep the waste elevated and not move the sand. If you are looking for argonite then grab a few bags of this

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+9805+7326&pcatid=7326

Just make sure you rinse it well before you put it in, I rinsed mine in a five gallon bucket in my bath tub (you can also use your hose but it's still not quite warm enough for me to be doing that in the Massachusetts)
 

thegrun

Team RC
That's true, I didn't even think of that, I would say you are better off just getting dead argonite sand and rinsing it well if you want a new substrate.

Yes! You risk (if not guarantee) a new cycle if you used "live" sand which is going to have enough dead organics in it to start a new cycle. If you want to change out your sand use washed dry sand.
 

nynick

New member
So you got the sugar fine sand then...Oolite...or something. +1 on getting rid of it, it sucks! Look for the special grade reef sand, uniform grain size, small enough to look like sand and be good with sand sifters etc, big enough to stay put.

Also, there are no extra organics in "live sand" any more. It is just regular dead sand with a cup of water and a spray of dormant bacteria. Either way you want to rinse the sh.. out of anything you add if you do not want to make a mess. THere will probably be some dried up organics in any type you buy along with dust.
 

nynick

New member
Depends on how much you have in there already. If you have enough to create a deep sand bed when adding another layer you are into a whole different area of ups and downs.

Sugar fine sand has it's advantages, many critters like it for example but it does make sand storms. You can limit the sand storms by covering it but I doubt you can eliminate them completely. I hate sand storms btw but if you don't mind so much.......
 

Reeferz412

Coral Hoarder
I had sugar grain sand from petco for almost 2 years in my 20 and then i put it in my 46. You think I would learn my lesson lol. long story short, 3 weeks ago I took out ll of rock work except a cave for the fish to hide in, and put the rocks and corals in a rubbermaid with a heater and powerhead. Ordered special grade aragonite from Dr. F&S and changed the sandbed. I can now point my powerheads at the sand full blast with no problems. Do it now and never run into flow issues and sandstorms.
 

treedog5

Member
I had sugar grain sand from petco for almost 2 years in my 20 and then i put it in my 46. You think I would learn my lesson lol. long story short, 3 weeks ago I took out ll of rock work except a cave for the fish to hide in, and put the rocks and corals in a rubbermaid with a heater and powerhead. Ordered special grade aragonite from Dr. F&S and changed the sandbed. I can now point my powerheads at the sand full blast with no problems. Do it now and never run into flow issues and sandstorms.

I think your right, i should go ahead and make the switch. this sand keeps moving around because my powerheads flow is pushing all the sand to the front of the tank.
 

worm5406

Not afriad to admit wrong
Team RC
I do not understand this....

If you look at this video:
Start at 2:30 and WATCH the sand when no one is in front of it.

<iframe width="1280" height="720" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/RKEXIk8p1RA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

You will see the dunes get created and move all the time.

Then looking at this:

<iframe width="1280" height="720" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/NEHkf-FsEpk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

You will see the same tank and bed. Calm cool and collected.

I have seen some of the hermits have to dig in the sand to get a footing just to move during the cycle of the MP40's when in reef crest mode and it ramps up to 80-100.

Every few days I will set it to 100% by hand and just let it go to check the flow and any dead spots (dry flake food works real good for this) and there is no blowing around.

Here is a snap of the three types I have in it though.

20130205_210109.jpg


20130205_210201.jpg
 
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