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Questions on adding sand


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  1. #1
    Tom Toro - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Sep 2009
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    Milford Michigan
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    First Name
    Tom

    Default Questions on adding sand

    Finally going to add sand to my established 240g bare bottom. I'd like to do it without killing everything in it so I was hoping for some opinions on the method, type, size, etc. Anything you guys can tell me to help me avoid a disaster.

    1. What size sand is best?

    2. Is there a specific brand that is cleaner than the rest?

    3. Will I start a cycle when I add?

    4. Is there a calculator that can tell me how much I'll need to cover a certain surface area and depth?

    5. Will my ph change drastically one way or the other?

    6. Proper way to dump it in to avoid a sandstorm?

    7.Should I prepare the sand in any way (let it soak, stir it up outside of the tank to get rid of an junk in it)?
    Thanks,
    Tom
    240g Great Lakes Glass! ETSS1400/panworld250,LED 120wX4 AJM, LED,2x sunbrite ,Tunzex4/,200gal sump/mixed reef/Biopellets.

    135gGlass,ETSS1400/IWAKI 100,100gSump,MHIwasaki/LED,Tunze,Closed Loop/Dart. Biopellets. LPS dominated.

    IMG230 - Questions on adding sand

  2. #2
    bluwc - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Clio, MI
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    829

    Default

    I like the 3 or 4" sandbed, the deeper the better. If you have bare bottom, I'd drain your water, rock, add the sand then when you start to fill it back up....put a trash bag over the rock/sand and start adding water slowly. With the bag over it, it should keep the sand storm to a minimum. You don't have to worry about a cycle, you get that when you have established sandbed and you start messing with it. Since yours is bare now, I don't think it will be a problem.

  3. #3
    MyNemesis - Reefkeeper
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Lansing, Michigan
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    381
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    John
    Awards Fishbowl Drawing Winner - Fishbowl Drawing #3 MCES 2012 ($25 Reef Paradise Gift Certificate)

    Default Sand addition

    Hey Tom. Happy New Year!
    Here is a calculator to determine the amount of sand for the depth you desire: Sand Bed Calculator
    Here is Reef Centrals calculator:
    http://www.reefcentral.com/calc/SandBed.php

    I like the CaribSea sand. Pet Smart sells the 30 lb bags for $20.00 I used the sugar sized sand, some prefer the Special grade which is a little larger. There are other alternatives, Figi Pink, etc. Here is their website with stats on the sand and so on: CaribSea Arag-Alive | Special Grade Reef Sand | Indo Pacific Black | Fiji Pink | Bahamas Oolite | West Caribbean Reef | Florida Crushed Coral | Bimini Pink

    The sand needs to be thoroughly rinsed to get rid of as much dust and junk as possible. I think you are going to get a sandstorm, but you can try to minimize it by shutting off the powerheads and returns while adding the sand. I use a tupperware or butter tub with a lid to transport the sand to the bottom of the tank. When you get it where you want it, take the lid off slowly and let the sand out. I have heard others who added the sand using a tube to the bottom of the tank.
    I don't believe you will get a cycle as a result of the addition of sand. Not quite sure about the impact on the pH. I would add it in increments like maybe an inch at a time if you are going for a DSB. Sounds like a fun project! Keep us informed as to your progress, please.

  4. #4
    Tom Toro - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Sep 2009
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    Milford Michigan
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    Tom

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bluwc View Post
    I like the 3 or 4" sandbed, the deeper the better. If you have bare bottom, I'd drain your water, rock, add the sand then when you start to fill it back up....put a trash bag over the rock/sand and start adding water slowly. With the bag over it, it should keep the sand storm to a minimum. You don't have to worry about a cycle, you get that when you have established sandbed and you start messing with it. Since yours is bare now, I don't think it will be a problem.
    Thanks for the reply Blu. I was hoping to do this with all the inhabitants in there and not moving any rock/corals/fish. Maybe not feasible?

    Quote Originally Posted by MyNemesis View Post
    Hey Tom. Happy New Year!
    Here is a calculator to determine the amount of sand for the depth you desire: Sand Bed Calculator
    Here is Reef Centrals calculator:
    http://www.reefcentral.com/calc/SandBed.php

    I like the CaribSea sand. Pet Smart sells the 30 lb bags for $20.00 I used the sugar sized sand, some prefer the Special grade which is a little larger. There are other alternatives, Figi Pink, etc. Here is their website with stats on the sand and so on: CaribSea Arag-Alive | Special Grade Reef Sand | Indo Pacific Black | Fiji Pink | Bahamas Oolite | West Caribbean Reef | Florida Crushed Coral | Bimini Pink

    The sand needs to be thoroughly rinsed to get rid of as much dust and junk as possible. I think you are going to get a sandstorm, but you can try to minimize it by shutting off the powerheads and returns while adding the sand. I use a tupperware or butter tub with a lid to transport the sand to the bottom of the tank. When you get it where you want it, take the lid off slowly and let the sand out. I have heard others who added the sand using a tube to the bottom of the tank.
    I don't believe you will get a cycle as a result of the addition of sand. Not quite sure about the impact on the pH. I would add it in increments like maybe an inch at a time if you are going for a DSB. Sounds like a fun project! Keep us informed as to your progress, please.
    Happy New Year to you! Good info and links! I was looking at the Carib Sea too and that's $6 less than I was finding at F&S, but free shipping. I'll check out Petsmart to see if I can get free shipping. That would be a bargain.

    I like the bowl idea and maybe I'll go with a larger size than the sugar size I'm used to. Hopefully still small enough for some critters to live in.

    My biggest fear is the suspended particles get into my fishes gills and cause health problems. I will rinse the heck out of it (great suggestion) in r/o very well before I add it. Maybe most of the dust will be gone.

    I might even do this in stages depending on how much havoc my first bowl creates in there.

    Thanks for the help!

    Anybody try that black inert sand? Pros/Cons? I understand it won't have any buffering effect, but I dose anyway. Opinions?
    240g Great Lakes Glass! ETSS1400/panworld250,LED 120wX4 AJM, LED,2x sunbrite ,Tunzex4/,200gal sump/mixed reef/Biopellets.

    135gGlass,ETSS1400/IWAKI 100,100gSump,MHIwasaki/LED,Tunze,Closed Loop/Dart. Biopellets. LPS dominated.

    IMG230 - Questions on adding sand

  5. #5
    CR Member
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    Jan 2010
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    Awards Photo of the Month - May 2012 Photo of the Month Photo of the Month Tank of the Month

    Default

    Tom just rise a bucketful and rinse it as well as you can. The take a cup and fill it up. Lower the cup to the bottom and dump it out. This will minimize but not eliminate the cloudiness. Cover the bottom with a couple of inches. Turn down your pumps for a couple of days. Then fire them back up where you want them. the cloudiness won't hurt anything (think of it as a hurricane). Do make sure you blow off your coral as the dust settles.

    I like a fine sand as it gives the animals a more natural feel and mire options for animal choice but it can be moved around a lot easier and will take more time to stay in place.

  6. #6
    Tom Toro - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Tom

    Default

    O.k. Don, that sounds very doable. I can see that working well if I turn down all the ph's and the overflow returns. Those are pretty strong, but I have them valved into the sumps so I can reduce the turnover quite a bit 'til things settle down. Thanks!

    Now I found about 80lbs of sand in the garage from a previous setup that is a mixture of sugar size and the next size up. I opened it and the top layer of around 20lbs was good, but as I dug down, it was wet and smelled of sulfur.

    Q:Is there any way to clean sand of this rot with vinegar or something else or should I toss it in the backyard and start fresh with around 180lbs?

    I know what I should do, but if there's a way to clean this old sand I'd do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by slapshot View Post
    Tom just rise a bucketful and rinse it as well as you can. The take a cup and fill it up. Lower the cup to the bottom and dump it out. This will minimize but not eliminate the cloudiness. Cover the bottom with a couple of inches. Turn down your pumps for a couple of days. Then fire them back up where you want them. the cloudiness won't hurt anything (think of it as a hurricane). Do make sure you blow off your coral as the dust settles.

    I like a fine sand as it gives the animals a more natural feel and mire options for animal choice but it can be moved around a lot easier and will take more time to stay in place.
    240g Great Lakes Glass! ETSS1400/panworld250,LED 120wX4 AJM, LED,2x sunbrite ,Tunzex4/,200gal sump/mixed reef/Biopellets.

    135gGlass,ETSS1400/IWAKI 100,100gSump,MHIwasaki/LED,Tunze,Closed Loop/Dart. Biopellets. LPS dominated.

    IMG230 - Questions on adding sand

  7. #7
    CR Member
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    Awards Photo of the Month - May 2012 Photo of the Month Photo of the Month Tank of the Month

    Default

    Your first thought is correct. As my Grandmother used to say..."When in doubt, throw it out. I would not risk it to save $20. Since you are really just using it for decoration 1 bag will do you. A little goes a long way.

  8. #8
    Tom Toro - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Milford Michigan
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    Tom

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by slapshot View Post
    Your first thought is correct. As my Grandmother used to say..."When in doubt, throw it out. I would not risk it to save $20. Since you are really just using it for decoration 1 bag will do you. A little goes a long way.
    When you're right, you're right, Don, lol. Ok, into the yard it goes. I'm thinking I should do the scratch removal first before putting the sand in?
    240g Great Lakes Glass! ETSS1400/panworld250,LED 120wX4 AJM, LED,2x sunbrite ,Tunzex4/,200gal sump/mixed reef/Biopellets.

    135gGlass,ETSS1400/IWAKI 100,100gSump,MHIwasaki/LED,Tunze,Closed Loop/Dart. Biopellets. LPS dominated.

    IMG230 - Questions on adding sand

  9. #9
    CR Member
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    Awards Photo of the Month - May 2012 Photo of the Month Photo of the Month Tank of the Month

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Toro View Post
    When you're right, you're right, Don, lol. Ok, into the yard it goes. I'm thinking I should do the scratch removal first before putting the sand in?
    Tell my wife that will ya. I would for sure do it before the sand.
    Likes Tom Toro liked this post

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