Rock or sand first - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-03-2007, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Rock or sand first

I read that when starting a SW aquarium I should put the rock on the bottom first then distribute the sand around it. There were two reasons for this, one: rocks placed on sand could cause the dangerous gas pockets in the sand. The second reason is that potentially alot of pressure could be put on a couple grains of sand and put unnecessary pressure on the bottom of the tank. Are these bogus reasons? Or should I follow this rule and put down the rock first? Also, for the sand whats a good amount for a 75g. I would like around 3 inches of live sand.
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-03-2007, 10:33 PM
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I've always put the sand 1st.Araganite is good, especialy if it's a"reefer". I use a big spoon after(No spaces)Then the rock.MAKE sure u wiggle the rock into place! Swish your hand around the rocks you've piled up.If you get avalanche,try again.Try other pieces of rock that fit togehter better!I't is very time consuming! Now u dont have too worry about cleaning off the rock of sand!

Love Salties:)
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-04-2007, 06:27 PM
The "proper" accepted method is as you described, rock first and then sand and for the reasons you posted.

As an idea for those that plan on using heavy rock work, place a cut sheet of"eggcrate" (fluorescent light diffuser) on the bottom of the tank first, then rock. This evenly distributes weight and prevents pressure points.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-04-2007, 06:52 PM
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Generally, rock first. This also reduces the potential of rock formations buckling if you purchase a digger. I added my sand first, and just made sure the rock was as sturdy as could be.

Good luck!!

Tanks: 40 gal FW setup, 10 gal Reef tank.

Old BC8 setup:
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post #5 of 7 Old 12-04-2007, 06:57 PM
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The eggcrate material sounds great,never thought of it! But is it still O.K. to use with sand dwellers(wrasses,engineer gobies,jaw fish)?

Love Salties:)
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post #6 of 7 Old 12-05-2007, 06:03 PM
Yes they are compatible, just add another inch of sand as they can't burrow through the eggcrate.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-05-2007, 07:55 PM
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Great.Thanck's for the info.

Love Salties:)
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