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what substrate for a 15G? DSB or CC


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Hello everyone!


I will be downsizing my 2 year old 30 gallon aquarium to a tiny 15 gallon one in 4 months' time. I have been using a DSB system, and it has served me very well indeed!


However, in a tiny 15G, i don't think i will be able to fit a 5" DSB without compromising on water volume, so i was thinking of using a thin layer of crushed coral. The problem with DSBs is that detritus collects on the sand if u do not have a very good mechanical filter, and this makes it difficult to clean. Now I'm thinking that using crushed coral as a substrate would make it easier for siphoning detritus.


What's your opinion? Should i still stick to sand or go with crushed coral?

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i use cc and have had great results. just make sure you put the lr in first. (or animals will move it and knock it down.


cc also grows hair algae very well if your water quality isnt good.


has happend to me when i had no protien skimmer and didn't do mothly water changes


+ tap water doesnt help either

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I'd just go for a thin sand bed just for decorative purposes. That's all I have in my 29G.


If and when the detritus gets on my nerves I just disturb the sand bed by blowing through a length of air line tubing with one end an inch or two above the sand. This usually sends gunk floating around my tank after which it gets picked up by my filtration and skimmer. Problem solved.


I think a DSB in a 15G could be risky long term from all that i've read on here. :blush:

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I don't like sand. I had it in my tank, and the flow made the sand always on the move, and it would dust everything from rocks to corals.


also, you can use a white cutting board (and/or glue sand/CC to it) and go BB... just an idea.. it looks nice like sand and clean up is easy.

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peppermint22, I have a couple of coarse media sponges in my overflow and one at the end of the pipe which goes into the sump. The last one being wrapped in floss. These are mainly there for noise reduction more than anything but they help with mechanical filtration too. The last piece in the jigsaw is my Urchin skimmer (ie in-sump Remora) which sits in my sump and picks up what the other stages missed.


Once a week I clean the sponges thoroughly and leave them out of the set up overnight to dry out and then put them back in place the next day. I also discard the floss and replace it with new stuff.


I've run the tank this way for approx 5 months now and have zero nitrates. Well, as far as my test kit goes anyway. :blush:


It's got to the point now where I rarely have to disturb the sand as it looks nice and clean most of the time. I don't have any fish yet in my 29g (+7g sump) though so that may change things again. It only took 30 seconds to stir the sand bed anyway so I won't be too upset if I have to go back to my more frequent routine.

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