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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 75 Gal saltwater tank that has been fishless for about 18 months. It has about a 1 inch aragonite sand bed. Built in overflow with a 15 gal sump. I would like to change the tank over to a African Cichlid tank. If I drained out the saltwater would it be ok to reuse the sand bed?? I know there would be a little saltwater left in the sand but with 50-60 gal freshwater the salinity lvl wouldn't be much. I know the tank would have to go thru a new cycle. Is there a way to use the sump for filtration instead of buying a canister filter?? Thanks for any help. I am just trying to get some ideas.
 

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Former saltwater tanks make GREAT African Cichlid aquariums.
The saltwater will rinse out of your sand, no problem. Filtration, water current and even lighting (down to the Blue Actinic), work just fine with African Cichlids. You will probably want to 'up your game' in water changes, with a freshwater based tank. Believe it or not, the solution to a lot of potential problems in a freshwater aquarium, is just to provide plenty of clean, fresh water (keep Nitrates diluted down below a measured 20 PPM).
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Check your tap water for PH and general hardness. Unless it is kind of extreme in low PH and softness, it might be good-to-go for use with your African Cichlids, (dechlorinated) right outta the tap. Easy! :D
 

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I have a 5 stage water filtration system so the water should be pretty good. I have the Current Orbit Marine IC Pro LED lights and a couple of the eFlux wave pumps. Any suggestions on how to use the sump for filtration besides a filtration sock??
 

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I'd keep that filter sock. Not necessarily as a good source of biological filtration. But as a pre-filter, it will keep uneaten food and fish waste from getting down into your biological filter media. I clean/rinse out my pre-filters usually 2 to 3 times per week, and that helps a lot to keep Nitrates down to manageable levels in the aquarium water.
Media is pretty much your choice, and what will fit in the sump. I'm partial to matrix rock, but foam media (cut to fit pieces?) will work just fine. A foam pre-filter placed on the return pump intake in the sump, can provide just a bit more biological filtration as well.
 

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Agree salt will rinse out but what about the organisms from the "live" sand?

Also even if it was just salt, you would remove the sand from the aquarium and clean it in buckets, correct?
 

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Yikes! :eek:
I was totally onboard with that problem regarding the 'live rock' in a salt water aquarium. Because that stuff really IS alive, and can get downright horrible to be around when drying out (dessication - death).
And yes, the sand in an established salt water aquarium, should definitely have an entire host of creatures in it (both large and small), that are going to die off very fast when hit with a blast of fresh water.
And yes, just rinsing that stuff out in buckets, probably ain't gonna cut it.
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So.... Pool Filtration Sand, anyone? :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I know in the Saltwater hobby they don't recommend using Pool Filter Sand because the silica can hurt the fish when they dig or rub against the sand. Now isn't a fish a fish and that would apply to freshwater fish also??
 

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Ummmm.... no.

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ ... nd_pt1.php

It's the only substrate I've been using for years now. Big Cichlids. Little Cichlids. African. New World types. Catfish. Diggers and 'tank re-decorators'. Sand sifting/Earth Eating Cichlids (Geophagines).
Works great in the aquarium, and my fish all seem to love the stuff. :)
 

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I heard that when I was first starting out as well and paid for expensive aragonite with rounded granules so as to not hurt my Synodontis. Been using PFS for the last 10 years...I think it was a myth. The Malawi take it in their mouths and blow it out endlessly without harm.
 
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