Tile Bare bottom Conversion/Rip Clean

BRS

NeonRabbit221B

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I started my 40B in October using dry rock using an NSA scape and at the recommendation of a local reefer used ceramic tiles instead of a substrate. I should have thought about it before comitting... maybe worked harder to flatten the bottoms or considered that his tank is fishless and thus has 1/10 the waste as those with fish. I have been able to control nutrients using a DIY chaeto reactor, fuge and rigorous maintenance but I am reaching my limit. Detritus/waste/algae gets caught under the tiles and has lead to what I am assuming is ammonia based algae issues. The tank is stable but a pain to maintain and the tiles are all screwed up and flipped around in piles. I want to replace the tiles with a substrate (thinking crushed coral due to high flow) but worried about disturbing the balance and causing more issues in the process. Might do a full rip clean on it and tear off this bandaid.

Going to call out a few members for no particular reason. @brandon429 @bsr2430 @taricha

Some other info... mixed reef LPS dominant, 2 mandarins, 2 clowns, algae blenny and file fish. Currently the fuge is shutdown undergoing fluconazole treatment which has replaced hair algae with loose fluffy crap that may be dinos...

Here are some pics
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AS

taricha

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Good news. I can assure you that you have enough rock in that well-established system to ensure that you can pull all the tiles out and not lose any significant biofilter capability.

Suck out all the gunk under the tiles if you want to as well. It's not contributing anything useful. I don't know if it's harmful, but it certainly isn't needed.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Fully agreed and since the rocks sit ideally on the tank bottom, no harm if you want to input totally pre rinsed sand right back where the tiles existed. That’s if you want sand, and will deal with that same eventual detritus capture in the ways common for sandbedders, either by busy animals or busy man export.

if accessing for cleaning isn’t a big deal in the future I’d use sand because it looks natural. If you’re wanting the lowest work setting for the maturing reef then leave it bare bottom after tile removal and aim some flow down there to kick up waste and export it via tank filtration design.
 
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