Live salt vs crushed coral and a few more saltwater tank questions?
OK i was told when i set my tank up that crushed corals was the best way to go and here it is almost 2 months later and now i am being told that i need to remove all the coral and replace it with live sand . Now although i want the sand cuz i think it makes the tank look better i don’t want to have to go through the trouble of replacing it if i dont have to . I was told that it would give me problems down the line and that it has slowed down my cycling process .what should i do??and i also want to know what type of organism grow on live rock ? i just got them and i would really like to know whats on it theres little pink worm lookin thing and little stringy plant lookin things and also these things that look like the bottom of a BIC pen that range from pink to purple in color and last there are these white cotton looking things. my tank is 75 gallons and is newly set up and i dont have any fish in it yet just the rock 3 crabs I hope this is enough info for some one to help..thx
You shouldn’t have to change your substrate, unless it’s unsuitable for the types of organisms you intend to keep (burrowers, bottom fish). You can determine how suitable it is with the chart on this link: http://www.caribsea.com/pages/products/dry_aragonite.html
If you do decide to replace it, it’s not necessary to use live sand. All the “live” refers to is bacteria, and you’ll have this on the live rock. Eventually the bacteria from the rock will colonize the sand as well.
There’s lots more that you can find on live rock, though! Some of the things I’ve had come in as hitchhikers in the past have included bristleworms, tube worms, spaghetti worms, Aiptasia (get rid of these!), corals, sponges, tunicates, sea urchins, sea stars, brittle stars, sea cucumbers, snails, small shrimp (3 kinds), a pistol shrimp, limpets, chitons, and formanifera. I’ve also gotten macroalgae (several different types). Here are a few websites that might help you identify all your critters:
http://home2.pacific.net.ph/~sweetyummy42/hitchhikers.html – click on the blue names to open a link to more photos of organisms from that group
If you rock is good quality, you’ll still be finding new things for a few months yet! Try going into the room with a flashlight at night sometime to see even more variety.
Saltwater Fish Tank at the Worldwide Sportsman – Islamorada, Florida