New to using sand

Discussion in 'Sand' started by Mikeyb, May 8, 2014.

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  1. Mikeyb

    Mikeyb Bristle Worm

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    Hello everyone, I am going to be setting my tank up around the end of the month and have never used sand before. I can not afford to set up a refugium as the tank is not drilled and all the parts are rather pricey. Should I use a DSB or some other substrate along with live rock, I know you can't disturb or vacuum the sand. The reason I am asking is that the sand and rock were going to be my primary filtration method along with my canister filter with filter pads and carbon, as I do not have a protein skimmer yet.
     
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  3. flynhawaiianz28

    flynhawaiianz28 Purple Spiny Lobster

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    I'd go with a DSB and of course live rock. Nothing wrong with those choices. A good cleanup crew can help keep the sand manageable and to help maintain it you can siphon the very top layer of it every now and then just being sure not to suck up too much sand. Good flow helps to maintain a cleaner sand bed as well so not a bunch of stuff settles on it. I'm sure others will chime in with some more advice :)
     
  4. Mikeyb

    Mikeyb Bristle Worm

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    Where would be good power head placement and she they be set up as a power head or a circulation fan?
     
  5. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    I would keep it simple with a 2 inch aragonite sand bed and 1.5-2 lbs of rock per gallon of water. If you are not happy with the depth you can always add more sand, it's a lot harder to remove sand than to add it later on.

    As for PH placement, wait until you get your scape finished. You'll be play with placement a lot anyway.
     
  6. Mikeyb

    Mikeyb Bristle Worm

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    Will it still be ok without a skimmer, is the dsb detrimental to filtration?
    If i did get a skimmer it would have to be hob and I really don't have much of anything to spend.
     
  7. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

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    you may want to do some reading on a dsb to help you decide if you want to go that route - it's considered a type of biological filtration. How big is your tank?
     
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  9. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !

    Yes you'll be fine without a skimmer. No DSB are not detrimental to filtration, just might be harder to maintain in the long run.

    Edit: I do recommend a skimmer down the line, even if it's a HOB. Try craigslist for equipment.

    It's an 80 gallon tank right?

    1. Do not expect some of the more sensitive corals such as acropora to thrive.
    2. Do not overfeed your tank and do not over stock it. Buy the appropriate sized fish for the tank, do not buy with the intention of rehoming or upgrading.
    3. Do routine water changes and monitor nitrates and phosphates.

    DSB are great, but you need neither a DSB or a Skimmer to keep a mixed reef. If you want one great, just know the true benefits and drawbacks.

    Initially your lighting, flow, chemistry and live rock will be the most important aspects.
     
  10. Mikeyb

    Mikeyb Bristle Worm

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    Yes it is an 80 gal bowfront, the lighting I am purchasing from craigslist is an odysea 4bulb t5 2-10k day and 2-420 actinic, I am going to start with fowlr then start corals when I can afford them, as far as fish will be fire fish maybe a pair of clowns, some cardinals, scooter blenny or jawfish, the one fish I really want is a hepatus tang, I do like anemones but have heard to keep them and corals separate, as far as inverts snails, maybe an urchin, cleaner shrimps, and maybe a coral banded shrimp. Of course this will be over months and months as I can't afford to just buy things, I was lucky to get the tank stand and ehiem filter for 75$ that in itself was a godsend.

    I have seen a coralife skimmer for up to 100gal that is not to expensive any opinions on that. (my first sw tank was years ago fowlr predator tank, used a skilter on it that seemed ok, I know now those are trash, that was geez 15 years ago)

    Do you see anything wrong with the fish and inverts I would like to have or have and recommendations of your own?
     
  11. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !

    Tank is far too small for the Blue Tang unfortunately. The coralife skimmer is probably a Seaclone. Seaclones have a pretty bad reputation. I had one and it was noisy, and required daily adjustment of the air intake.

    Other than the Blue Tang your list is fine. You will need a lid/mesh top if the tank does not already have one.
     
  12. kstafford003

    kstafford003 Feather Star

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    I tried a DSB and I had nothing but problems with it. With that being said, others have had great success with them but I personally wouldn't recomend a DSB to a new reefer. There is a lot to learn and if not properly cared for a DSB has the potential to crash the tank. I also highly recomend you do not get the seaclone skimmer. I bought one when starting up and it was $100 down the drain. $100 will get you a decent HOB skimmer off craigslist if you keep a watchful eye. I know I sold my HOB on CL for $75 and I paid $230 for it new. So they are out there you just have to be patient.

    Another tip I give is to gather all your equipment first then fill up the tank. I know you don't have the money to buy all the equipment you want righ now. But hey the tank won't go anywhere while you save a little extra money. Plus this will give you more time to monitor CL for your net big score.