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Old 01/09/2008, 01:42 PM
Lonesomme Lonesomme is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: texas
Posts: 20
New Reef Substrate Question

I am putting together a new 65gal reef with a 25 gallon sump, I have not had a salt water aquarium for about three years. In the past I kept FOWLR tanks and I used crushed coral for substrate, this time I would like to use a much finer material with some live sand. I plan to put about 80lbs of live rock and a small amount of live sand in at the same time to cycle the new aquarium. I would like to add the additional substrate at the same time and let it all meld together over the next couple of months. After much net surfing and reading I have found that there are many different types available and I was looking for some input on what everyone else has had good or bad luck with in their reef setups.


Last edited by Lonesomme; 01/09/2008 at 01:56 PM.
Old 01/09/2008, 05:42 PM
seapug seapug is offline
clams are your friends.
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: 4980 ft.
Posts: 1,836
I typically buy one bag of coarse aragonite and one bag of dry sugar fine aragonite and mix them, flush it with the garden hose then put it in the tank. It seems to be a good mixture of grain sizes that stays nice and bright white and supports a diverse population of microfauna. If you put live rock in the tank at the same time the sand will become "live" within a couple weeks, but you can always add a little sand from another established tank to kickstart it.

I would just avoid buying any bagged "live sand." It's way overpriced and I've always had diatom problems when I use that stuff.
Old 01/09/2008, 06:01 PM
m2434 m2434 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boston, Ma
Posts: 1,119
I find sugar grain a bit annoying, it gets blown around too easily and shows lots of bubbles. I think slightly larger grain works better IMO, but it needs to be deeper for denitrification purposes. I wouldn't recommend buying LS, the stuff in those pre-sealed bags is almost certainly dead already. I would just buy some aragonite sand or silica sand and add a scoop or two of LS from an established reef.
Some people say, "How can you live without knowing?" I do not know what they mean. I always live without knowing. That is easy. How you get to know is what I want to know. - Richard Feynman
Old 01/09/2008, 08:11 PM
Lonesomme Lonesomme is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: texas
Posts: 20
Thank you guys for your input, I was thinking about using CaribSea Aragamax Select that is .5-1.0 mm in dia.(it is what the LFS keeps). I dont really want the problem of blowing sand, is that to small?


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