Almost ready....part 16 1/2.

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Jan 17, 2004
Ok i think that i'm getting new skimmer has kicked in and is working, so i have been gearing up for liverock. My quandry is idea for a tank has quickly evolved to the point that i would rather not have any aggressive fish that I first planned. My substrate is 40lbs CC (aragonite formula) on the exposed areas around my 40 lbs of dead baserock, and was wondering about the addition of live sand. I have been advised (thanks mojoreef!) that CC is better when dealing with fish and detrius removal (of course) but now i am having second thoughts. If I plan on having a semi-reef (low-lighting--2x65w 10,000k and 2x ultra actinic) with a few smaller fish...maybe a tang.....should i add live sand and forget about vacuming the detrius?? What about adding enough sand on top of the 2"+ of CC to make a DSB?? would this have to be all live or only top layer(20lbs or so)??

Its just that I read about a future nitrate buildup with CC substrate, and this coupled with my Fluval got me worried. Since I am ready to order liverock (where, I have NO idea) i was wondering if I should do any live sand addition at the same time. My tank is uncycled..75 gal...remora pro w/ mag3...Fluval 404....

Thanks and sorry for the long post...again:p


Well-known member
Jul 13, 2003
Searcy, Arkansas
daryn it would be kind of counter productive i think to add sand now. i run berlin but if you want a deep bed i think you are supposed to use fine stuff all the way. you well kinda be in the middle the way you are talking and won't have either system. with the cc you are able to vac the detritus out of your tank like mike told you, when you add this little bit of sand you won't be able to vac anymore and you won't have the benefit of what a deep sand bed does for you because you are not going to have enough depth to make it work like a dsb system should. As fsr as having a reef or not is inmaterial. A lot of bear bottom berlin systems have fantastic reefs, look at mikes. the corals feed mainly off of detritus which you well have in your tank. i just stir my 1/8" of substrate every morning and that feeds the corals,when you blow your rock off you are feeding your corals. i started with the same setup exactly with my 75, remora pro, fluval 404. the biggest nitrate spot you well have is that fluval. if you don,t clean it atleast weekly, even then you well get some nitrates because all the detritus that thing is collecting is sitting in it all week rotting further. i got rid of mine after a few months of tearing it down weekly and trying to get the dang thing to prime. i now have a sump, but i had a aquaclear 500 box filter hang on for a long time that worked great and i could clean it as often as i want and it was no hassle so it got cleaned often. Aquaclear is one of the few box filters that the water column has to go through the media in it and not around it and it doesn't have bio wheels and all this other stuff. i would stick to what you were going to do.