Lets Talk Substrates for the Marine Aquarium

  1. BioStudent93

    BioStudent93 New Member

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    Thanks so much for the info! You mention true live sand and its importance, where would I be able to find that?
     

  2. scardall

    scardall Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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  3. Tsev03

    Tsev03 Well-Known Member

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    So if your using Calcium Carbonate do you vacuum or not?
     
  4. Budman93

    Budman93 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome thread! Again shows why Reef2reef is THE place to learn more about the hobby! :)

    A few questions if you don't mind. You mention about live sand...
    Maybe I'm missing something but how else would you get live sand other than buying it from a LFS or online? Is there a particular brand you'd recommend?

    Also if I am preparing to house a pistol and goby pair would it be better to go deep or shallow? Seems from the info provided it doesn't matter if you go shallow or deep, just dont go in the middle/
     
  5. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Reef Spotlight Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    The other choice to get live sand is to collect it in the sea.
    Pistol shrimp and gobies prefer grains of sand or gravel of varying sizes because they make tunnels the entire length of your tank. If you could see inside their tunnels (I have a camera that does that) you will see how they construct their tunnels by using larger particles to make the roof. Or maybe the grains just do that by themselves as I am not sure how much they know about engineering. Soft, even sized grains of sand would not have the support of gravel and their tunnels would continuously collapse. My tank is 6' long and the bottom is completely covered in tunnels made by my shrimp pair. They also make larger rooms where they watch TV or play cards. They also spawn in these chambers. They use bits of shell, urchin spines or larger pieces of rock to construct the entrances to the tunnels. The entrance must be strong or the normal currents in the tank will collapse it.
    Pistol shrimp do better in older tanks due to the variety of broken shells and other debris that they find helpful in their construction.
    This pair of shrimp have been in here for a few years.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Babygecko1233

    Babygecko1233 Well-Known Member

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    What about black sand?? All i want in my tank is anemones and shrimp ;)
     
  7. Babygecko1233

    Babygecko1233 Well-Known Member

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    How much sand substrate is suitable for a 30 gl tnk? And how much live sand/dry ratio pound per pound would be good

    We have : 2 tube anemones
    2 condi anemones
    Zoas
    A pencil sear urchin
    2 baby sargent majors...
    The bigger sargent is staying in the old tank due to being mean to the little one and always making it hide in the rocks

    We hope to have : bta
    Maybe a carpet nem
    Maybe a hammer coral
    Shrimp
    Sand sifting starfish
     
  8. |sCRIBe|

    |sCRIBe| Well-Known Member

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    I went with Tahitian moon black in my new setup
     
  9. Leaellynasaura

    Leaellynasaura Well-Known Member

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    I am trying to decide between a shallow or deep aragonite sand bed. If my primary filtration is going to be a algae turf scrubber is a deep bed of no help vs a shallow?
     
  10. Maritimer

    Maritimer Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader CTARS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Both a deep sandbed and a turf scrubber should help with denitrification, but a deep sandbed can also become a nutrient sink if it allows detritus to build up unnoticed. I've never run one, but have heard mixed reports from those who have. (Which, along with the fact that it devotes so much aquarium real estate to sand, is why I chose not to run one!)

    By the way, Welcome to Reef2Reef, Leaellynasaura! (Cute li'l ornithopod...)

    ~Bruce
     
  11. beaslbob

    beaslbob Well-Known Member

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    IMHO an effective Algae turf scrubber (ats) will trump any sandbed.
    I would just go with whatever depth you think looks nice and can maintain.
    My preference is the shallower the better up to an including no sandbed at all (bare bottom).

    my .02
     
  12. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I agree. set up ten tanks side by side and all ten will do what an ATS claims to accomplish, and likely none will have reducing nitrates from the sandbed given all typical bioloading/exports etc after a year's time.
     
  13. Amele8

    Amele8 Well-Known Member

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    Very informative
     
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  14. TAMMY MARTIN

    TAMMY MARTIN New Member

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    I am new at this I have 285 gal tank what is a bb i only have maybe 3in gravel and sand how do I add more the bottom of my basic cover with mushrooms they have taken over.
     
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  15. Maritimer

    Maritimer Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader CTARS Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Hi, Tammy Martin - and welcome to Reef2Reef!

    Don't know that I can offer much help for your mushroom invasion, but generally "BB" refers to a "bare-bottom" tank - one with no substrate at all. (Or maybe just a box of sand in a corner, for wrasses to sleep in . . . )

    ~Bruce
     
  16. Don Lidtke

    Don Lidtke Some Old Guy R2R Supporter Partner Member 2018

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    Great information! I plan on running live sand from BRS about 2" deep based on this information in my new setup.

    I understand the idea of bare bottom tanks but I don't care for the look or the lack of protection in case of falling rocks.
     
  17. iOweYou

    iOweYou Active Member

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    Hello all ! I'm Thinking about going with the Hawaiian Black Arag-Alive Sand in my new NUVO tank. Any benefits over the white sands ?
    I've heard myths about black live sands. Just want to hear your inputs
     
  18. ThreeAces_1

    ThreeAces_1 Active Member

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    I noticed that when taking BB vs Sandbeds, coral growth is never really mentioned among the pros and cons. In my experience, the larger zoas, Palys specifically, grow much faster and open more with sand in the system.
     
  19. ThreeAces_1

    ThreeAces_1 Active Member

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    In my experience, I loved the way the tank looked, corals and fish really stood out. I also noticed the detritus isn't as noticeable.
     
  20. ValiantJared

    ValiantJared Member

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    Would putting marine pure blocks under a Shallow Sandbed get me the benefits of deep sandbed denitrifying bacteria without the risks of a dsb?
     
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