Crushed Coral vs Live Sand

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by BillFragnormous, Mar 30, 2017.

?
  1. Sand

    64.7%
  2. Crushed Coral

    23.5%
  3. No Substrate

    14.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. BillFragnormous

    BillFragnormous Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2017
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    When I first started in the saltwater fish tank hobby (1985), all tanks (that I knew of) had crushed coral as the normal substrate. Eventually, as time went on tanks have turned sand based and now sand seems to be the norm for FOWLR. However, now that I have stepped over to the coral reef side of the hobby I am starting to wonder if crushed coral is a better suited substrate (less sand turbulence when using wave makers). So with this I ask "What do you long term reef keepers use? and why?".
     
    Tags:

  2. Ou8me2

    Ou8me2 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2017
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    29
    I prefer the CaribSea Seaflor Special Grade Reef Sand. It's very nice mix of 1 -2 mm size and is still great for sand sifters or fish and inverts who burrow. It stays down really nice compared to lots of others. I had used the Figi Pink which is a more fine sand from .5 -1.5mm and it blew around a ton. The Special Grade sits right in place and that's with 2000gph powerhead blowing things around. :D Plus it's not going to get sucked up as easy when you vacuum the sand vs other smaller grain sands. I never waste my time on live sand personally and I rather just buy the dry stuff myself. I have never used crushed coral as that can get fairly big in size.

    http://www.petsmart.com/fish/suppli...ea-aragonite-aquarium-reef-sand-5082033.html?
     
  3. prsnlty

    prsnlty Jackie R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    7,482
    Likes Received:
    4,818
    Location:
    Citrus Co, Florida
    Sand. I've used crushed coralnin the past and couldn't keep no3 down. It traps too much food and detritus IMO. Sand offers a place for several species of fish, snails and microscopic organisms to live or sleep. It is also visually more appealing. I would go bare bottom before I would use crushed coral.
     
  4. Devan Petersen

    Devan Petersen Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    122
    Location:
    SLC, UT
    I know this is old, however i have bristle worms that have taken up in my crushed coral. do you think food and what not will still be an issue?
     
  5. prsnlty

    prsnlty Jackie R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    7,482
    Likes Received:
    4,818
    Location:
    Citrus Co, Florida
    Bristle worm colonies can grow to huge proportions and they can individually get quite large. There's a lot of debate out there on them. Some people love them some people don't. Some people are in the middle like me. I see them as being good for the system in smaller proportions. Particularly the Young bristle worms; I find beneficial. But the really large ones I have seen harass Coral. Some people will disagree with me and say that they don't do that but I've seen firsthand that they do. Especially if you have a pretty clean tank.
     
  6. rosshamsandwich

    rosshamsandwich Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    Messages:
    674
    Likes Received:
    171
    I have crushed coral and it's neat because my copepods hide in crushed coral and are protected.
     
    alton and ThunderGoose like this.
  7. Devan Petersen

    Devan Petersen Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Messages:
    108
    Likes Received:
    122
    Location:
    SLC, UT
    make sure you are cleaning it out as much as possible, it was a cyano factory for me. i ended up taking it all out and replacing it with reef sand.
     
    prsnlty and DSC reef like this.
  8. Reefing Madness

    Reefing Madness Carbon Doser Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    Messages:
    18,311
    Likes Received:
    2,580
    Location:
    Glendale, AZ.
    Ive used Crushed Coral for my entire salt hobby, been what 20 years now. Only change water 3-4 times a year, but carbon dose to keep nitrate inline. And vacuum it up to 2 times per year. It can hold garbage in it, and no, the bristle worms and other critters can't keep up with it. Vacuuming it up takes care of the detrtus issues, and I love the look of a clean CC bed.
     
    Cory and prsnlty like this.
  9. rlman41299

    rlman41299 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    907
    Likes Received:
    295
    Location:
    san jose
    been using live sand ever since I started in this hobby so about 9 years and recently switched (4 months) to crushed corals (one i use on calcium reactors) and liking it so far and looked much cleaner than having sand blasted all over the place and covering my chalices, zoa colonies every day and I am tired of digging them out every single day. Now when my xoas overgrow I just snip the crush corals and instant frag. I don't vacuum the substrate and my nitrate stays at .25ppm (red sea) and I feed heavy.
     
  10. rosshamsandwich

    rosshamsandwich Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    Messages:
    674
    Likes Received:
    171
    Thank you so much for the chiming in. I'll keep that in mind. So far so good :)
     
  11. rosshamsandwich

    rosshamsandwich Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    Messages:
    674
    Likes Received:
    171
    this. For those who had crushed corals that caused their nitrates to spike, did you try carbon dosing?
     
    prsnlty likes this.
  12. Reefing Madness

    Reefing Madness Carbon Doser Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    Messages:
    18,311
    Likes Received:
    2,580
    Location:
    Glendale, AZ.
    I've been carbon dosing for years
     
    prsnlty likes this.
  13. rosshamsandwich

    rosshamsandwich Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    Messages:
    674
    Likes Received:
    171
    So carbon dosing and the nitrates were still out of control with crushed coral substrate?
     
  14. Reefing Madness

    Reefing Madness Carbon Doser Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2012
    Messages:
    18,311
    Likes Received:
    2,580
    Location:
    Glendale, AZ.
    No. the CC starts looking like crap with to much detritus in it. Darkens up some.
     
    prsnlty likes this.
  15. rosshamsandwich

    rosshamsandwich Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    Messages:
    674
    Likes Received:
    171
    Thank you for your candor.
     
    prsnlty likes this.
  16. prsnlty

    prsnlty Jackie R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Messages:
    7,482
    Likes Received:
    4,818
    Location:
    Citrus Co, Florida
    Same for me when I used it in the past.
     
  17. Cory

    Cory Valuable Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    3,664
    Likes Received:
    1,181
    Location:
    Grande Praire Ab, Canada
    Ive had it all. Sand, crushed coral and bare bottom.

    I now use crushed coral. The reason is simple. I can blast the crushed coral and nothing get burried but it does move it around. No3 and po4 are actually easy to comtrol and something that became limiting in my tank.

    Bare bottom had too low nutrient issues with vodka dosing. Corals paled. Also algae grew on the bottom and looked bad.

    Sand. Sand traps a lot of dirt. Then cyano grows. With cc i dont get cyano becaise i blow it around.

    For looks by far is sand.
     
  18. Cory

    Cory Valuable Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    3,664
    Likes Received:
    1,181
    Location:
    Grande Praire Ab, Canada
    I use carbon dosing and I have to dose no3! Cc substrate.
     
    prsnlty likes this.
  19. Cory

    Cory Valuable Member R2R Supporter Article Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
    3,664
    Likes Received:
    1,181
    Location:
    Grande Praire Ab, Canada
    Ive also got 8000 gph of flow is about 165 gallons.
     
    prsnlty likes this.
  20. RichReef

    RichReef Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Delaware
    I have a friend who uses a gridded, closed loop spray bar underneath an under gravel filter with CC. He uses a Mag18 on it. The bottom of the tank is visible under the stand and it is clean. Really clean. The flow under the gravel is impressive. If you watch close when he feeds almost nothing will settle into the CC. He stirs it once a week to keep it loose. The only part he has to vacuum is the outer ends between the glass and UGF.

    It's been almost 4 years and I'm really considering this set up.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
Loading...