Crushed Coral opinions

Discussion in 'The Reef Tank' started by joegerard, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. joegerard

    joegerard CrossHatch Trigger LARC Supporter POTQ Winner

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    I would like some opinions on crushed coral for base media for reef system. I currently have 90 gallon reef, half dozen corals and half dozen fish. Running trickle filter, seaclone protein skimmer, uv sterilizer, have live rock and sand base media. I have problem with green hair algae, trouble with keeping PH at 8.3, trouble with keeping calcium above 300.
    Using kalk with top off water and adding PH buffer. Using calcium supplement two to three times a week. Tank been set up almost one year, and I have 30 years of freshwater experience with breeding of cichlids. I know with freshwater, when algae became a problem, I would do part. water changes with gravel vac. I am currently doing part water changes every two weeks, I can not do sand vac. cause all of the sand would come out with water. I was thinking with crushed coral as a base, I could do vac on crushed coral and would help with PH and calcium problems. My water comes from private water well, filtered down to 1/2 micron drinking water filter. WOULD USING CRUSHED CORAL HELP THE PH AND CALCIUM AND I WOULD BE ABLE TO DO GRAVEL VAC WHEN DOING WATER CHANGES. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. I have crushed coral as a base in my FO saltwater tank. I like the appearance of a sand bed more, however, the crushed coral is easy to vacuum and I rarely ever have any problems with PH. I also use well water. We have sand in a reef tank but have problems keeping the bed clean of algae.
     
  3. Well, the algae can come from various things that you are doing, IMO. Well water, even filtered thru a .5 micron filter is still not as pure as water thru a RO or RO/DI unit. Depending on your area Well water can have many different minerals and other stuff. This could help with the algae bloom or thriving. Also your lighting can come into play as well. Old VHO's that are weak can contribute as well and it is possible in standard bulbs as well.

    Low calcium levels could be from a low Alk. Check this if you can.

    Crushed coral or crushed coral w/ aragonite is known for its buffering ability to help with PH and you can use a vac on it.
     
  4. Tank102a

    Tank102a Postasaurus Rex

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    Well said Jammeronline IMO the biggest problem might be the water.
     
  5. I just wouldnt use Crushed Coral at all! A nice sand bed does the trick and aids in the denitrifying aspect. Good point with the well water, even though you think its being filtered, and im sure it is, but not as well as it would through a RO or RO/DI unit. Im betting the water you are using is to blame.

    PS: If you are needing to vacuum the bottum of your tank, obviously you dont have enough flow in the tank to keep everything stirred up enough for it to filter out. With adequate or better water circulation, all that stuff your vacuuming out would not have a chance to settle to the bottum. HTH
     
  6. doxyman

    doxyman Emerald Crab

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    Welcome joegerard! The hair algae leads me to believe it's a phosphate problem, most likely from the well water. Although the micron filter will do a nice job removing particulate matter, it won't do a thing for phospahte. Even tiny amounts of PO4 can fuel unwanted algaes such as hair and the only way to get it out will be a RO/DI. Do you have a PO4 test kit or a local store that could test your water for you?

    Looking at your sandbed question along with your pH / calcium problems sounds like a silica sand issue. Where did you get the sand & how deep is the bed? Also, what kind of live rock do you have and about how many pounds?
     
  7. joegerard

    joegerard CrossHatch Trigger LARC Supporter POTQ Winner

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    Thanks for your input. I brought live sand when I was setting the system up(sand was packaged in water). Live rock is used and is stacked half way up the back of the tank. The sand bed is 1.5 to 2 inches thick. I also tried 20 turbo snails, did not notice any difference. Snails eventually died.
    As far as water flow, wet/dry made from DIY 30 gallon tank, 12x12 inch
    bio balls, mag 18 pump, overflow has two 1 inch drain to sump. I guess the next step is go to RO water if any phosphates found.
     
  8. Hey Joe,
    I think we have met a few times at 7 seas. Anyway, if I can be of help or toss some ideas around, pm me and I can come by to help you figure it out. I have phospate and all test kits.
    Sean
     
  9. idea

    i think you should toss the bio balls and put in some Cheato with a light over it. Bioballs are nitrate traps!
    Curt
     

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