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replacing sand with larger substrate?


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Hello folks. I need some advice.The tank is a 5.5 eclipse with an ac 30 filter, small stealth heater, and a 13 watt 50/50 pc light. Water parameters are as follows......


temp- 80

salinity-1.023(little low...i know...lol)







carbonate hardness-10 dkh, 179


Tank was born on Feb 28th.


Problem is that i used very fine sand as substrate. filter is turned down almost all the way...and i get a large crater at the front of the tank from filter flow.

also, the left and right front corners of the tank have a fairly think layer of what i believe to be cyano algae from a lack of flow. Over night this growth almost completely goes away....But within just a few hours of the light being turned on it comes right back. I guess the question is....if i was to change out the sand for a larger substrate......will the tank completely recycle? Should i pull all rock and corals to do this? Just need some overall ways to do this that will be safe to all of the life.....and the biological filter. But moving to a larger substrate. will let me increase flow. Unless i missed something. Thanks for all of the input.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I wouldn't change the substrate to larger pieces. The larger substrates like crushed coral traps gases and other harmful things like nitrate, which is an accident waiting to happen. I had the same problem with the cyano. Try to put more flow in the areas that have cyano. Also, check your phosphates. High phosphates may be the cause of the cyano outbreak. Adjust the flow, if you can, so that it isn't flowing on the front causing the crater. If you can't do that get some LocLine to redirect the flow.

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Looks like you have a really thick sandbed.. I used to have a 4 inch sandbed in my 95 gallon thinking it would work as a better bio filter. It caused more problems than what it was worth. Now I have about an inch in all 3 of my tanks. It's more for looks because I have my powerheads blow across to keep all of the poo suspended. I got tired of the brown crap and brown colored sand because I didn't want to disturb it.


Deep sandbeds work great in fuge's, but are a pain in displays because of the relatively high flow needed to keep a reef.


+1 on the crushed coral. Stay away from them because they trap a lot of waste in them. I'd recommend taking out a large portion of your sandbed. This will cause your tank to mini-cycle, but it looks as if it's still cycling according to your current water params... The disturbence of the sandbed from your filter could also be causing fouling of your water.

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