View Full Version : Saltwater Differences in Substrates

11-23-2011, 09:50 PM
Got the saltwater DAS tank up and running with basic freshwater just to know all the pumps, filter, and skimmer works.

The guy who gave it to me gave me a 20lb bag of crush coral rocks for substrate. Should I use that, live sand, or something else?

What are your guys opinions on substrate for saltwater tanks? Please advise.

11-23-2011, 10:13 PM
Unless going for a dsb it is not even imperative to have a substrate. Personally I prefer the look of sand.

Btw you won't be able to tell if skimmer is working in freshwater.

11-23-2011, 10:21 PM
i guess I haven't quite figured out the skimmer. It a long vertical tube built into my overflox box, and has an external air pump inputing water into the bottom of it. Then the top is hollow and at the top it has a box with a diagonal slap in it. The guy said that is a protein skimmer. Seems not very sophisticated.

The guy also gave me two beginner saltwater books. Reading about the skimmer but not really getting it yet.

I like the look of the sand too. Red shrimp sifting through it looks really cool. Should I be getting live sand instead of regular sand?

11-23-2011, 10:34 PM
It's hard to find tech support for those DAS tanks with skimmers that are still functional (a lot have been modified to run either none at all or another type); however, a few of the older LFS employees will remember them and be able to help you. I have a friend that runs one and constantly fights that skimmer pump so he might be able to help you. PM me if you want his phone number. Good luck with your project.

11-23-2011, 10:57 PM
My first tank still has the crushed coral substrate, but I wish I had gone with sand instead. Now I have to take on the task of switching it out...one of these days....You pretty much have to vacuum it cause you can't put a sand sifter in there to help clean up the debris. Theres alot of really cool creatures you can have when you have sand imo.

11-23-2011, 11:02 PM
Can you recommend the best place to get sand and the type of sand I should get? My gut feeling is I should invest in sand and not use the coral substrate.

11-23-2011, 11:13 PM
Whiz q has fine white sand for less than 5$ per 5 gallon bucket... I asked her what it's made of and she said it is taken from beaches.. Dredging

11-25-2011, 07:58 PM
Well, I'd just post a wtb thread here and the local saltwater forum and get sand from a member. That way you can get a jump start for the cycling from the stuff in the sand and you'll get them for a good price.