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To change or not to Change from CC to SB for Substrate

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lunchie

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Jan 27, 2005
Messages
95
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Georgia
Okay...We really screwed up and should have done a lot more planning and research before buying/setting up our tank. :exclaim: However, there isn't much we can do about it now so we just have to move forward. Here is our current dilemma: :confused:

We currently have CC/Shell as our substrate. We are only in our 6th week and we are both starting to question our decision on the CC. We have heard differing opinions on CC and we just don't know what to do. We are highly considering switching to a SSB however, we don't know what the adverse affects (if any) would be at this point in our cycle, and we don't know how to go about doing it. Also, we don't know if our reasoning for switching is accurate. We want to switch because from what we have been told a SSB is easier to maintain than CC, is this true?

So, if we did decide to change to a SSB how would we do it????? :?: We have currently in the tank, Live Rock, Black Mollies, Baby Urchin, Emerald Crabs, Arrow Crab, Snails, Blue Damsel, Hermit Crabs.

By the way, this site rocks and has been immensely helpful over the last 5 weeks. THANKS EVERYONE who has replied to my many questions. :)


Tank Info:
RENA Filstar XP3 Canister Filtration system
No Sump/Refug
Heater
AirStone
 

bradreef

always kidding
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
1,620
Location
La mesa CA
you can do it like when people remove there dsb. take out 3/4 of the water and the livestock and put them in a rubbermaid. Then remove the rest of the water and the substrate. clean out the tank with water so it is clean like new. wash the new sand before you put it in. I like the look of the black sand. then add water an allow it to settle and add the rest of the water with the livestock. This way you only do a 25 percent waterchange and add new substrate. you should get some live sand from a fellow reefer so you still have the denitrification that you had with the cc. I would give you some but I have a BB.
 

lunchie

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Jan 27, 2005
Messages
95
Location
Georgia
Brad,
Thanks for the quick reply. I am still learning what all the abreviations mean so can you clarify what dsb and BB stand for?

Thanks
Deb
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
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Jul 5, 2003
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Sumner
Also, we don't know if our reasoning for switching is accurate. We want to switch because from what we have been told a SSB is easier to maintain than CC, is this true?
CC you will have to syphon it out once every couple of weeks, most folks do it when they are doing a water change. As in remove water while syphoning the cc and then replace with fresh salt water.
With a SSB the concept is to not syphon it out and to make sure you seed it with Live sand from other tanks and then stock it with worms and such. You basically then just restock the worms and simular critters once a year and leave the sand in until it fills, then you replace it and start over.

DSB= deep sand bed
BB means bare bottom

Mike
 

Angelscrx

Import Fish
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Jul 30, 2004
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Ettrick, VA
That's a lot of stuff for just a six week old tank but yoiu should be fine with what is recommended. I did the same thing with my tank and took out all the CC and left a SSB with about 1.5" of sand. Only had a little bit of a cycle but it only lasted a couple of days. It has been good since then.
 

lunchie

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Joined
Jan 27, 2005
Messages
95
Location
Georgia
Angelscrx said:
That's a lot of stuff for just a six week old tank
The baby urchin appeared on its own and we think it was a hitchhiker. As for the other stuff that is what our LFS recommended. That is why we are getting so frustrated because the more research we do the more questions we have. However, we don't plan on adding any thing else to the tank until we get it fully situated.

Our next big step is a skimmer but the problem is we don't have room for a hang on behind the tank (too close to the wall), and we don't have a sump either, any recommendations?
 

lunchie

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Joined
Jan 27, 2005
Messages
95
Location
Georgia
CC you will have to syphon it out once every couple of weeks, most folks do it when they are doing a water change. As in remove water while syphoning the cc and then replace with fresh salt water.
This is how we got really frustrated with the CC. We tried to syphon and it didn't seem to do anything but make a mess of the tank, stir a bunch of stuff up and remove lots of water really fast :confused: . How do you syphon so that it actually removes the build up?
 

Scooterman

Administrator
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Oct 30, 2003
Messages
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Location
Louisiana
lunchie I remember when my LFS started me out, it took lots of reading to learn how they push so much on to me, I was very frustrated. I used one of those long wide mouthed siphon kits to suck out the bottom of my cc(crushed coral). Then I got a new tank & went with a DSB, now after lots of learning & reading I found a BB works better for me. I wish there was an easier way to get started but unfortunately I didn't discover the online help until after I spent a ton of cash, & then it took time to fine a place I found helpful, trusted & lots of really nice people, from there my reef has really grown in the right direction. If I was just starting out like you with your set-up, I'd do like mentioned above, hanging around here is a good start, we have lots of information in our forums, you can read your eyes out & post questions until your fingers freeze up, someone will sure to be around to help, for now do like you said take your time at this point before making big sudden changes, slowly with our help you can get things the way you want.
 

lunchie

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Joined
Jan 27, 2005
Messages
95
Location
Georgia
What are you using as a Syphon??
We were using the type of syphon where you had to prime it by raising it up and down quickly in the water to get the water moving however, I found one where it is hand pumped and I am hoping it will work better. We are going to try it this weekend. I think the problem is and correct me if I am wrong, We continued to move the syphon up and down in the water and I think we should have just slowly dragged it across the bottom moving the CC around with it and getting under the CC. :idea:

what is cc and what is sbb
CC = Crushed Coral
SBB = Shallow Sand Bed
BB = Bare Bottom

I found a BB works better for me
What are the benefits of a bare bottom besides the obvious of it must be easier to maintain and how does this affect the health of the overall tank?

To be honest I still haven't decided whether to keep the CC or switch. I really like the look of the CC and I can't find anyone who has an established tank to get sand from and the thought of starting our cycle again scares me to death.
 

Scooterman

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Well just starting out like that, I don't know if I'd just keep the cc for now, learn more & later plan a change if then you decide that is what you need to do. I don't want to steer you wrong here, I'm sure you can get several other ideas as to what to do but I think you already paid for the cc, you can make it work, you like the looks, so why not use it a while & do as Mike said, vacuum it regular, suck up the waste that accumulates on it. In the mean time, visit here a while, take a look at all the resource libraries we have, search around & work on a long term plan as for as what you desire, budget & goals set, you may already have an idea as to what you want, I find that usually changes as you learn more, get hooked deeper into a wonderful hobby.
 

Cougra

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Mar 29, 2004
Messages
42
Location
Ontario
Our next big step is a skimmer but the problem is we don't have room for a hang on behind the tank (too close to the wall), and we don't have a sump either, any recommendations?
If you do decide to change out the substrate in the tank, it'll be easy to move the setup away from the wall enough to be able to fit a HOB skimmer on the tank. It's always a good idea to have at least 6 to 8 inches between the wall and the tank so that you can do a bit of maintenance at the back such as manouvering pipes, hanging additional equipment, cleaning glass retrieving things that fall behind the tank for no apparent reason...
 

Angelscrx

Import Fish
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
1,103
Location
Ettrick, VA
Cougra said:
If you do decide to change out the substrate in the tank, it'll be easy to move the setup away from the wall enough to be able to fit a HOB skimmer on the tank. It's always a good idea to have at least 6 to 8 inches between the wall and the tank so that you can do a bit of maintenance at the back such as manouvering pipes, hanging additional equipment, cleaning glass retrieving things that fall behind the tank for no apparent reason...
I agree with Cougra. Also if you decide to take the CC out it would be easier to empty the tank and move it away from the wall. You would then have room for a HOB skimmer, or HOB refugium, or any other kind of thing you want to hang back there.

One other option to taking out the CC is to aim some powerheads down at the CC to keep things stirred up. Not too strong a current but not to weak either. That might help?

We've all been there, walk into a petstore and see a SW tank set up and go man that is beautiful and here comes the salesperson to tell you "you can have on just like in a week!" NOT!!!!
 

Angelscrx

Import Fish
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
1,103
Location
Ettrick, VA
Cougra said:
If you do decide to change out the substrate in the tank, it'll be easy to move the setup away from the wall enough to be able to fit a HOB skimmer on the tank. It's always a good idea to have at least 6 to 8 inches between the wall and the tank so that you can do a bit of maintenance at the back such as manouvering pipes, hanging additional equipment, cleaning glass retrieving things that fall behind the tank for no apparent reason...
I agree with Cougra. Also if you decide to take the CC out it would be easier to empty the tank and move it away from the wall. You would then have room for a HOB skimmer, or HOB refugium, or any other kind of thing you want to hang back there.

One other option to taking out the CC is to aim some powerheads down at the CC to keep things stirred up. Not too strong a current but not to weak either. That might help?

We've all been there, walk into a petstore and see a SW tank set up and go man that is beautiful and here comes the salesperson to tell you "you can have on just like in a week!" NOT!!!!
 
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