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I have to move my tank today


i have crabs

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i have crabs

Ok, I need to move my aquarium today, we all know how fun that can be :(

 

Anyways, here is my question:

 

I have had the same 1/2 inch sand bed for probably about 5 years. It is dirty as heck and causes a lot of algae growth because of trapped detritus. I want to replace the sand bed while moving today, but am not sure if that will negatively affect the cycle. What do you think? Will it be ok if I completely remove and change the sand bed today? Any suggestions or recommendations are very much appreciated.

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Yessssss. You'll go through a (mini) cycle. I actually wouldn't know what to do in this case. I'll let the veterans chime in on this one.

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circusordie16

it depends. if you are replacing it with dry sand then there wont be any cycle because there will be no die off from dry sand. if you are purchasing new live sand from a store then there might be a mini cycle. i think youre ok to do it either way though as it sounds like you have a well established system and you dont have that much sand.

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well, you'll be losing ALOT of beneficial established bacteria in the old sand.

 

Less than you'd think, unless it's a DSB. Fresh clean sand is the way to go. You can seed it w/a cup of the old if you like.

 

Remember to rinse new sand Very Well before using!

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You'll have plenty of nitrifying bacteria in the live rock to avoid a cycle, and in fact, you are less likely to have a cycle by getting new sand, given your proclaimed detritus/algae issues already. The extra detritus that you could stir up during the move is more prone to creating a new cycle.

 

I wouldn't even seed the new sand with the old, since it has so many problems anyway, nor would I recommend live sand over dry sand in a bag.

 

And definitely rinse very well.

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chessmanmark

Did you ever consider going barebottom? It would avoid the problems you just mentioned in the future. WIth a 1/2 inch bed you won't have the benefits of a DSB so I wouldn't worry too much. Your tank is always going through a cycle, just not as big as the first one it went through. If you go BB you could cover the bottom with zoas, mushrooms, anything that encrusts or mats.

 

Here's a little inspiration for you-

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I've read a few things where people have said their tank did poorly with bare bottom/no sand. When they added sand back, the tank seemed "happier".

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Did you ever consider going barebottom? It would avoid the problems you just mentioned in the future. WIth a 1/2 inch bed you won't have the benefits of a DSB so I wouldn't worry too much. Your tank is always going through a cycle, just not as big as the first one it went through. If you go BB you could cover the bottom with zoas, mushrooms, anything that encrusts or mats.

 

Here's a little inspiration for you-

 

 

DSB in a nano tank is not a good idea for several reasons - the depth of his sandbed is actually pretty good for sustaining a fair amount of biodiversity - pods, micro brittle stars, bristleworms, etc.

 

Also, that tank is not neccesarily going to go through a new cycle just due to moving - a cycle only occurs if there is too much ammonia or nitrites for nitrifying bacteria to handle, which doesn't occur when a move is done efficiently.

 

EDIT: Forgot to add that barebottom has no buffering capacity, which means you have to constantly watch pH, calc, and alk to prevent wild swings, and buffer them correctly to keep from crashing the tank. To me, the disadvantage of that is bigger than the disadvantage of detritus build up (buy a gravel vac).

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i have crabs

I think I am going to go buy some new sand (not live) and rinse that really well today. Let it dry and then move the tank and put ONLY the new sand in it. I do not think I will seed it with the old sand. I am only moving about 3 miles, and have moved tanks before so it shouldnt be too bad. Sound good to you guys?

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