Page 1 of 1

Replacing sand with curshed coral, 35 gal tank.

PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:47 pm
by FlyinDan
Hi all, I'm planning to remove the last little bit of sand from our 35 gal, tank and replace it with crushed coral. The livestock will go into a 10 gal. tank that already has been setup with that coral, and has also some of the rock in it from weeks before, ( from the bigger tank ). I have been checking the water, nitrates still are about midway on the test card, but much better since removing all the old sand. It was always off the chart, even with weekly 20% water changes. I should add we are new at this...... I have one clown, one banded shrimp, one sea Anemone, and the little crab that lives with him. No snails or anything else.
I am using RO DI water, doing water changes every 2 weeks, 10 gal, per change. I would like to move the fish this weekend to the small tank to rearrange the larger one, then just keep the small tank for new arrivals or sick fish. How long may I keep the fish in the smaller tank?
And, how to move the sea anemone?? he seems pretty stuck to the tank bottom and the large rock next to him. Should I just work around him?
This setup was given to use 2 years ago, up and running for many years. We have had a fresh water tank for 10 years, but this is all new!
We removed the sand from the large tank on the 18th of last month, did a water change, a bit more than 20% at the time, and also setup the small tank the next day. Did a 10% water change on both tanks on the 7th of this month. My goal is to get the water under control, nitrate were very bad, and maybe and another clown and some snails.
Thanks, Dan.

Re: Replacing sand with curshed coral, 35 gal tank.

PostPosted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:31 pm
by Freshwater Tropic
To move the Sea Anemone it can be a little tricky. It's best to use your fingernail & gently scrape him off the glass. Some parts of the Anemone may come off. Just be as gentle as possible. As far as the little fish in the smaller tank, they should be fine for quite a while with proper maintenance. Changing sand in a tank that is already established can lead to a lot of issues. So much detritus can be found in the sand. When you start stirring it up it releases a lot of ammonia. Definitely be sure when you complete the job, get the tank to stabilize slowly. Add the fish back into the tank like you would after you get them from a store. Acclimate them slowly & only add them 1 or 2 at a time. That way you give the bacteria time to catch up with the new bio-load.

Re: Replacing sand with curshed coral, 35 gal tank.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:13 am
by FlyinDan
I think i will leave him in the tank and work around him. The sand left in the tank barely covers the bottom, so not much left to cleanup.
Thanks, Dan.

Re: Replacing sand with curshed coral, 35 gal tank.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:14 am
by Freshwater Tropic
Sounds good. Just be sure to keep the parameters in check. You don't want to shock him.

Keep us updated. :thumb:

Re: Replacing sand with curshed coral, 35 gal tank.

PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:19 pm
by FlyinDan
Everything seemed to go well, the anemone is fine, as are the other critters :D , Water looks much better, Ammonia strips are white, nitrates are about 30 ppm, no phos, to speak of. The pH is out of the range of the test kit I bought, then I noticed it was for fresh water......
Need to find an expanded scale color card I guess. I do have another question, We have the Eheim 2215 canister filter, can I put Bio balls in the upper chamber to help with nitrates? Would a separate nitrate reactor be better? Still planning on water changes at two week intervals. What would the filter cleaning interval be??
I did buy a book call Saltwater aquariums for Idiots, this forum and the book should give us a fighting chance!

Re: Replacing sand with curshed coral, 35 gal tank.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:29 pm
by Freshwater Tropic
Bio-Balls would most likely do the reverse of that. In fact, they can be known as Nitrate factories. I wouldn't recommend it. If you do it would be a good idea to removed the Bio-Balls regularly and rinse them. Nitrate reactor would be good & All but they can be very pricey and not all that efficient. I would highly recommend bumping the water changes up to once a week. At least 10% each time(As high as 20%). Water changes are your friend for sure in this situation.

As for the Saltwater Aquariums for idiots, I have the very book myself. When I first started out I bought the same book myself. I have an entire book case of magazines and books on the Aquaria topic myself. I love it like no tomorrow. I am always glad to see another fish lover. :thumb: