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Joined: 05 Jun 2003

PostPosted: 2003.06.17(Tue)18:53    Post subject: Argonite,LS,CC Reply with quote

Got CC now. Everything I read says no to CC. Can you mix CC/Argonite. How about CC with and inch of LS on top? How about all three? Maybe a really stupid question for you guys but. I've heard that Argonite is the best then LS, then CC. I want to know if I have to do a total change or if I can just add to what I got.

Newbie jumping head first into a 55g saltwater.
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Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: 2003.06.17(Tue)22:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is "CC" crushed coral and "LS" live sand? That's what I'll assume.
There is some overlap between "aragonite, "live sand" and "crushed coral."

A problem with crushed coral is for sand-sifters and the like, the pieces are too large and/or sharp to "sift." There may also be a problem with how quickly it degrades/dissolves or its nitrification properties-- someone else will have to comment on that.

So, the big no-no to crushed coral regards gobies and the like. If you don't want to keep such bottom-dwellers, then it should be fine. Furthermore, some burrowing things, like jawfish, actually appreciate some larger rubble-like materials to build their "caves." Any substrate of only one size has the tendency to cave in on them too much.

Now, live sand comes in many shapes and sizes, depending on what kind you find: if it is harvested, then it will likely be finer sand, if it is cultured, it could be fine- to coarse-textured. The benefit from using live sand is the biological bed established in the sand as well as the pods and other creepy-crawlies that serve as food-sources, sand-stirrers, etc... So, live sand is a good idea to add to any new setup, but if you're using live rock, the rock will eventually "seed" the sand and make it "live." Often, live sand is made using aragonite substrates, and crushed coral will eventually become "live" as well.

So, about the aragonite. It's good because it comes in varying sizes-- oolitic fine sand to crushed-coral-type coarse sand-- and it doesn't degrade like, for instance, Calcite would. Yet its buffering capacity is still excellent. So, you can provide an appropriate substrate for just about any saltwater fish using aragonite-- you just choose whether it's "live" or not, and what size grain you want based on what applications.

All this goes to say, what do you want to do with your tank?
Here are some recommendations:
-- A deep sand bed would mean, ideally, the removal of your crushed coral and replacement with some oolitic-type substrate (either basic aragonite or live sand).
-- For general use, sure, just add your preferred grain of aragonite or live sand to the crushed coral. If the tank is well-established, the addition of live sand would be redundant at this point, so just pick out some kind of aragonite to add.
-- For burrowing fish like jawfish, remove some of the crushed coral (but leave a little bit), then add varying grains of aragonite/live sand as well as some larger rubble (some small pieces of live rock, for example) and mix it all up to make an ideal substrate for them.
--For sand-sifters, remove the crushed coral and replace with a finer-grain substrate.

Hope this helps.
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