Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Birdmann_az 12-29-2007 03:15 AM

Catalyst for Nitrogen Cycle
Hey all, i am starting my reef tank and i went to the beach today and got some water and sand which i placed over my silica substrate. Will this 'speed' up the nitrogen cycle at all?

and while I'm here is there ny other tips to speed it up?

I am using live rock too.

Birdmann_az 12-29-2007 07:21 AM

Don't mean to double post but i only used a small ice-cream container's worth of seawater/sand because i already have water in my aquarium and i also treated this all with a water treatment.

caferacermike 12-29-2007 11:12 AM

Adding water and sand from a beach are horrible ideas. A search through previous topics about that would have given you a good picture.

Most all toxins that are in the oceans, be it spilled oil, trash, medical, etc... washes up to and concentrates at our beaches. The sand at a beach is not at all what reefers refer to as "live sand". It's completely different. It is a terrestrial quartz silicate ( not at all natural to a reef tank) that absorbs toxins like a sponge. The beach sand does not contain ANY of the beneficial microorganisms that you get from a healthy, established reef tank, or from the ARAGONITE beds from the bottom of the reefs.

I highly suggest slowing down Birdman. Cutting corners will really hurt you in this hobby. Slat water tanks should never be rushed, such as trying to
'push" the cycle faster, getting cheap on equipment or materials. What will happen is as you find out why serious hobbyists only use aragonite or crushed coral substrates (unless running barebottom) and then you will be trying everything to remove the old sand bed and add the proper one. This is back tracking and not moving forward. Later when your fish keep dieing for no reason, you may find that you introduced a pest from the beach such as fish lice or other parasitic creatures.

It's your tank, do as you wish. I can guarantee poor results and headaches skimping by and hurrying though the processes. I only wish to see you succeed.

Birdmann_az 12-29-2007 09:20 PM

Yea i did end up reading those other topics on beach sand, so i decided to remove almost all of the beach sand leaving my silica i bought from the store. I live in Western Aust, so i would have thought the water would be from the antarctic, so less chance of contaminants. Hopefully the future of my tank won't suffer due to this mistake.

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