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I have a 270gal reef tank that has southdown sand(very very fine) and liverocks. i also have a 120gal sump with caulerpa growing in and heater, protein skimmer in it.

I am not sure about what substrate to use. i can either keep the sand i have or maybe consider tahitian moonsand. either way, i wanna avoid the sand storm created by burrowing fish.

also for rocks, i was considering dead coral rocks.
i was planning on having bunch of small lava rocks in the sump(will be submerge under water) for biological flitration with carbon for chemical filtration. only thing is i never needed a power filter in saltwater cuz i had a protein skimmer. would i need to buy power filters also?

i wanna consider buying UV sterilizer to minimize algae and ick. is it a good idea?

im planning to have a community of lake malawi and lake tanganika fish.
any suggestions?
 

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I'm pretty sure most would agree... but I would either be really careful mixing those fish... or not even doing it at all! They have two different sets of needs (like ph and such) and also tend to display aggresion towards one another frequently (unless I'm mistaken)! I would suggest you look into the setups in the library for best results! :thumb:
 

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Welcome to the forum! :)

Your live sand and live rock has too much value to leave it in the tank. Sell it off and use the money to buy the sand you want and rock you want. Cichlids dig, but they don't cause a sandstorm that would be problematic, especially in a big tank where the filter is fed by an overflow. Cichlid tanks usually have between 1-2" of sand.

Instead of lava rock, I would buy bio balls off ebay, or pot scrubbies at the dollar store. You don't need a chemical filter/carbon unless you have medication or odors you are trying to remove. The biofilter is enough. If you add floss, blue/white pads or a micron pad to handle the mechanical filtration, you should be all set. African cichlids typically don't get ick. Not never, but typically not often. I've never had a case in 25 years of keeping them, but I've seen it reported. I have a UV on one of my tanks and don't know that it's done any good, but I know how fantastic they are for a reef tank, so if you want to use one, do so by all means.
 
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