Christ GF - your posts are long today
Going to have to carve it up now to post replies!
Not really without risking the pH levels, I think he will be fine, jsut a worry.
Why is the pH going to change because the powerheads are off? I have no powerheads at all, and mine never fluctuates at all. Anything to do with the live rock or something?
Live sand is all a bit rubbish to be honest. Sure some micro micro organisms may live in it, but it sits in an airtight bag on a hot shelf for months, so not much is alive! Just get some nice sand and ask your LFS or someone near you with a marine tank for a cup of their sand to seed yours, thats all you need.
Only if it's a hot shop! Live sand is excellent stuff - because the bag is wet inside, and sealed, the bacteria stay in there. Exactly the same as the sand bed in a tank.
But yes - you would need to find a shop which sells a lot of it so that the organisms in the sand haven't started decomposing. Most decent fish shops which are busy wouldn't keep it on the shelves for long.
Mine was straight out of one of the shops fish tanks which they emptied to move it accross the shop - so it was as fresh as you could possibly get. £18 for the lot, and I still have a quarter of it in the bag - not live sand anymore of course, but there if I need it.
You can always mix 50% live sand with 50% normal sand to make it cheaper.
Ohhh eck, i'm afraid we are going to disagree on a fair bit of stuff here. First off I wouldn't do a DSB (Deep Sand Bed) unless you are doing it properly, and there is a lot more to it than just deep sand. 2 inches is ample for a tank, anymore and you risk nitrate traps.
Yes - true - but avoidable. I always
poke my finger in the sand (did it with my tropicals too) for that very reason - even in a 2 inch sand bed you need to poke the sand now and again to let the air pockets (which can
contain nitrates) out.
Where abouts in the country are you? As for cycling the tank quicker, there isn't much you can do to help it cycle quicker - you can add a frozne prawn to give it a kick, but it will happen when it is ready.
Exactly what the live sand is for - although may be not as good as sand straight from a working tank, it will be much more beneficial than dry sand
Adding the prawn (or anything which will rot down) will create the ammonia, and thus start the nitrogen cycle, but by introducing nitrifying bacteria from the off, via live sand, the ammonia turning into nitrite will take a couple of days instead of a couple of weeks. This is exactly what hapenned in my mates tank because he had live sand. After 5 days, his ammonia was zero, and his nitrite was only a very very slight trace. Another week, and it was at zero. Has been ever since.
Again I disagree I'm afraid, I wouldn't risk a fish anywhere near a tank two weeks old, unless it is fish only I suppose. Once you have live rock in you really need to let it cycle properly, 2 weeks is an absoloute minimum, 6 weeks is likely and 6 months is very possible. Once your readings are all zero you leave it a week, test again and then you can add a clean up crew - crabs and snails, a couple of shrimps. Leave it a week, test the water every couple of days, then if all is well add a fish, and then carry on like this.
It's a fish only he has with 100% ocean rock - no live rock at all, which is why the live sand did it's job. Then, once that's done, nothing wrong with introducing a small bit of live rock at a time, which is what I'm doing.
I have set up a small Orca Nano (12 gallons) with 6 kg of live rock and a nice base of sand, extra powerhead. Been going two weeks tomorrow and it is cycling, bit algae bloom at the moment, that should go within the next week to 10 days. If I added anything now it would be dead come monday I'm sure. I think you were really lucky having your cycle so quick (if it did cycle, chances are it didn't as you didn't have live rock or sand). it's all complicated and I have a headache, so am now going to drive 250 mile round trip to collect a load of live rock
I did have the live sand - that's what I'm saying - mine cycled in two weeks - with no live sand there would have been no bacteria at all, and I would have had to introduce the ammonia myself, either by some food and letting it rot, or with hardy fish (which isn't recommended). Or with chemicals, which I don't like anyway.
Play sand would be fine then?
Edinburgh. Doesn't matter to me too much if I can't get it cycling quicker. I know it's a slow process. Anyway, it'll give me time to scout out a good marine fish shop.
Entirely up to you mate - there you have two differing opinions - but that's what it's all about!
The very best way is if you can get a bit of sand from your local shops tank itself.
Here is an extract from THIS
website about live sand:
Live sand, or LS is natural reef coral sand that is collected live from the ocean, or non-living coral sand that is cultured to make it live. What makes it live is the microscopic biological bacteria that grows on it, and the many tiny crustaceans and other micro and macro-organisms that reside in it. Live sand can serve as the main base for biological filtration in a saltwater aquarium, while the organisms help consume organic matter in the sand bed. Some of the organisms provide a natural food source for many aquarium inhabitants as well.
What Type to Use
There are many types of sand to choose from on the market, but sand of coral origin, such as coral sand, reef sand, crushed coral, or aragonite are best. One top choice of many expert aquarists is aragonite by CaribSea. Sand sources other than aragonite types will most likely have silicates in them, which is something you do not want in your aquarium. Silicates cause algae problems, and once introduced are next to impossible to remove.
There a three basic choices for starting an aquarium with live sand:
o You can use 100% LS, which can be very costly.
o You can use a 50/50 combination of LS (bought or used from an already established aquarium) with non-living sand. By mixing the two together (seeding) you save money, and the LS will convert the non-living portion of the sand into LS over a shortened period of time as the biological bacteria and the living organisms multiply and populate it.
o You can use nothing but non-living sand, as all sand eventually becomes live over time. However, starting from scratch does take much longer for the cylcing process to complete its task.
Whether you have a new aquarium just starting through the biological cycling process, or one still in the process of completing its cycle, the seeding method can be used to kick start or aid in the speeding up of this transition. For an aquarium that has been running for some time, seeding can also enhance the strength of its existing biological filter base.
One thing you have on your side is time - so get as much advice as you can (don't just listen to us) and decide from there.
Either way - it's a great ride to be on, with something hapenning all the time!