I appreciate the information and I only plan on adding some to my filter in a mesh bag..RayClem said:Any petstore that caters to saltwater enthusiasts will sell crushed coral. You do not need what is called "live sand" with the nitrifying bacteria and other organisms to help cycle a new saltwater tank.
Crushed coral is typically sand from white beaches where the sand is comprised of aragonite rather then silica sand. Carib Sea is one popular brand of crushed coral , but brand is not necessarily important. Store brands would be just as good. Just make sure you thoroughly wash the sand before adding it to your aquarium.
Crushed coral will raise the hardness, pH and alkalinity of your aquarium. If you want to raise pH and alkalinity without raising hardness, you can add a small quantity of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), often found in many kitchen cabinets.
it definitely is working and I have some in a media bag in my filter.I havent checked the ammonia yet i will later on today,plus I'm due for a water change.My test results have always been where the ammonia was .25 or .5.The nitrites have been 0,and the nitrates are now at 10 or 20ppm.But ever since my ph dropped so low it seemed like the cycle just stalled..so with the help of CC and gradul increase in ph ill just have to wait and see how this cycle progresses.Frank the Fish guy said:The rate that the crushed coral (Calcium cabonate) dissolves into the water is proportional to the starting pH. The lower the pH, the faster the chemical will dissolve.
Your pH might have been a lot below 6. The test bottoms out at 6.
Now you are at around 6.6 pH.
It is a self regulating reaction so won't go past 7.0 naturally.
If you ever need to do the same thing faster, you can use baking soda. It's just a faster dissolving carbonate.
Both crushed coral and baking soda will raise your pH up so that your cycle won't stall. Below 6, the cycle stalls.
You can just leave crushed coral in. Like 1 pound per 10 gallons in the gravel bed. Then you will never have a pH crash again.
Keep an eye on the ammonia. It is worrying that your cycle has stopped due to the pH/KH crash. Make sure it restarts and the ammonia goes back down.
Sounds good i was thinking about upgrading to the AC70Frank the Fish guy said:To me, the filter is a precious place where the bio filter needs to live. So using up some of that volume for just crushed coral is eating into your biofilter. Putting the coral in the gravel frees up the room in the filter for more bio filter.
The bio filter needs the flow of water. The crushed coral will dissolve even when sitting in the bed, so might as well keep the coral there.
Since you used the bag in the filter, that made it go faster too. You could take it out and mix it in with the gravel. Then you will have more bio filter.
That's how I have learned to do this.
I say this since you say that your ammonia never gets to 0. That may mean you need more bio filter.
You can also add a bigger filter. Or a second filter.