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Live Sand and Rock

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idgy

Well-known member
Joined
May 21, 2004
Messages
708
Location
NJ
I have a question regarding live sand and rock, can I put the live sand in the tank and then at a later date add the live rock. I assume that means that the tank will cycle twice?

The reason I ask to add them at different times is the money I can not afford to buy both.

Also how much live sand do you add to a 58 gallon tank?

I do not want a deep sand bed just something that will keep the fish happy and the tank running smoothly.

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

dnjan

alveopora
Joined
Sep 9, 2003
Messages
1,585
Location
Seattle
The cycle would happen because some of the "live" things on the rock die due to being out-of-water for an extended period of time.

I would put the live rock in first. Unless you buy it locally, fully-cured, there will be some die-off. (you will have a cycle)

For live sand (if you truly want sand), I would use mostly "dead" (dry) sand, and then seed it with a cup or two of live sand from a lfs and/or other reefers in the area. You should be able to avoid a second cycle that way. Plus, it will be easier to remove the detritus from the live rock die-off before you have any sand in the tank.
 

wrightme43

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
4,355
Location
bowling green ky
Don hit the nail on the head. If you put the sand in and then the rock the sand will be filled with all kinds of junk. It is better to put in the rock, let is cycle, suck out the detirus, (easy becase there is nowhere for it to hide. Since you are setting up a new tank. Let me add this. When you stack your rock. Make sure you can fit a closed fist between all parts of the rock stack and the tank glass. I did this in about 95% of my tank but the other 5% has been and will continue to be a pain to clean. HTH you Steve
 

idgy

Well-known member
Joined
May 21, 2004
Messages
708
Location
NJ
Do I really even need a sand bed?

What if I bought two Golden Head Sleeper Gobies or other type of fish the thrives from a sand bed?

Thanks again for all your help!
 

dnjan

alveopora
Joined
Sep 9, 2003
Messages
1,585
Location
Seattle
It isn't easy for a first tank, but you need to think about what you want to have in the tank eventually. If you want high-flow SPS corals, a sandbed can be very difficult since small sand particles are not really compatible with high flow rates in the tank.

If you have animals that normally live in the sand, you may not be able to have an all-high-flow sps tank.

Also, if you have a sandbed, plan on stocking very slowly, and possibly somewhat lightly (in terms of fish, at least) so that you sandbed can process the waste rather than becoming a garbage dump.

For now, start with your live rock, and while it is curing you can spend your time reading/researching.
 
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