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Live sand question


rx2life

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Hello All!

I bought a 28 gallon JBJ LED PRO and it will be at my house tomorrow! (a little excited). Every single decision is so pain staking! What heater, what test kit, what protein skimmer. Couple that with a plethora of forum groups and information it's easy to get lost. I have learned a lot within the last month and decided to pick a forum to call home for all of my noob questions to help sort through the decision making process.

 

After days and days I finally picked a heater and water. I chose the Fluval E series heater and Real Ocean Water from petco. I now need to decide on live sand. I love the way sugar fine sand looks, but dont think it would be worth the upkeep time. Could someone recommend a brand? Looking for something white and will cut cycle time. How much is typical to put in a tank this size?

 

 

Thanks in advance.

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Welcome. I had my 28 HQI tank for about 2 years so I have a pretty good idea what you're dealing with.

 

First off, I would agree not use sugar or oolite sand. It's too fine and will end in sandstorms at the slightest touch. Go with special grade reef sand from caribsea if you want a sand bottom. It's small grained but a good compromise between stable and getting blown all over the place. About 20 - 30 lbs is good for a 2 - 3in bed in a tank this size.

 

Second, I would try to lose the concern over cycling fast. There's various methods to decrease cycling time. Good cured live rock and water from an existing tank can prevent a cycle altogether, but realistically I think a cycle is a good thing to keep an aquarium keeper realistic about the time and requirements to keep a good tank. If there's any aspect to reef keeping I would suggest, it's taking everything as slowly as possible.

 

As far as water, the best bet is to find an independent local fish store (not a big brand store), and get water from them for topoff and water changes. If there is none in your area, and money isn't a huge concern, I would immediately get a decent RO/DI system and start buying salt mix. Shoot for about 10% per week water change once you get cycled.

 

I can't stress enough to resist overstocking the tank, and to take everything extremely slowly. Take a look at the tanks of the month and all of the great tanks on this site, and most of them share those same qualities.

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Welcome! So great to see that you chose nano reefs out of all the fourms out there. This is really a great place. I was a member on another site for years and after only a few months of being here I haven't made an appearance anywhere else. This is my real home haha.

 

+1 to everything jestep said. Try to stay away from petco at all costs and find yourself a good fish store. Petco hires people who don't know a thing about anything and will do anything to take your money, including sell you an ICH covered hippo tang for a ten gallon tank. We'd all much rather see you give your hard-earned money to a local, family owned LFS. Where are you from? I'm sure someone on NR is near you and can recommend a decent if not wonderful place.

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AHH! Petco!

 

anyhoo, if youre going to go for quickest setup possible (buying only cured LR) then buy live sand. if youre not going to do that, then just add a couple days on your time and save yourself some dollars and get regular sand.With GOOD quality LR and good live sand you can cycle your tank (theoretically immediatly) but more likely in just a few days. otherwise, I would wait a couple weeks and 3 more days on two+ weeks is no big.

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Thank you for the replies :)

 

Maybe I should have explained a bit more. I'm not planning on skirting cycling at all. The only reason I was going to petco was for the catalina water that they sell . I have read many posts that people have had nice results with the color of coral and so on. I thought I would use this water to1st start up. I dont plan on making any other puchases from them.

 

I do have a LFS called Wet Pets. Insanly expensive on every item. Cured live rock is 19.00 a pound. I did find a small shop thats a little drive that I will probably buy livestock from. Starting out with the LR and LC. So Caribsea is a good brand?

 

My tank came last night. I was all excided and then.......

 

post-76202-1345820422_thumb.jpg

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Welcome. I had my 28 HQI tank for about 2 years so I have a pretty good idea what you're dealing with.

 

First off, I would agree not use sugar or oolite sand. It's too fine and will end in sandstorms at the slightest touch. Go with special grade reef sand from caribsea if you want a sand bottom. It's small grained but a good compromise between stable and getting blown all over the place. About 20 - 30 lbs is good for a 2 - 3in bed in a tank this size.

 

Second, I would try to lose the concern over cycling fast. There's various methods to decrease cycling time. Good cured live rock and water from an existing tank can prevent a cycle altogether, but realistically I think a cycle is a good thing to keep an aquarium keeper realistic about the time and requirements to keep a good tank. If there's any aspect to reef keeping I would suggest, it's taking everything as slowly as possible.

 

As far as water, the best bet is to find an independent local fish store (not a big brand store), and get water from them for topoff and water changes. If there is none in your area, and money isn't a huge concern, I would immediately get a decent RO/DI system and start buying salt mix. Shoot for about 10% per week water change once you get cycled.

 

I can't stress enough to resist overstocking the tank, and to take everything extremely slowly. Take a look at the tanks of the month and all of the great tanks on this site, and most of them share those same qualities.

What Size MM sand would be best for what your talking about?

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Ugh. That sucks about the tank. I can feel the letdown...

 

It's (1 - 2mm). http://www.caribsea.com/itempage_marinesub...e_aragalive.htm

 

It's the special grade listed on this page. They also have dry bags. Great size sand. Doesn't allow for mass detritus buildup and is small enough for sand sifters. There's a lot of really nice tanks that use this.

 

Also, I did my current tank with ceramic rock from http://cerameco.com/, bought it from a different retailer http://aqua-tecture.com/.

 

If I were to do another tank, I would go with ceramic again or with dry rock from bulk reef or marco rocks. Way cheaper than live rock and much more eco responsible IMO.

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