My 46g bowfront

Hello fellow reefer addicts :bounce: My tank is about a month and a half old now. I got about half of the LR i want in the tank. Only thing that died so far was a snail. He died the first night i had him so i think it was just a bad snail. He was a good dinner for my emerald crab tho. Tell me what ya think about my tank. I still need alot of random stuff like a back drop nice, but i take critisism well so fire away


  • 2010_0713sarahs0057.jpg
    72.7 KB · Views: 518
  • 2010_0713sarahs0060.jpg
    69.8 KB · Views: 516
  • 2010_0713sarahs0043.jpg
    68.8 KB · Views: 503
  • 2010_0713sarahs0049.jpg
    77.4 KB · Views: 510
  • 2010_0713sarahs0064.jpg
    56.6 KB · Views: 599
  • 2010_0713sarahs0032.jpg
    69 KB · Views: 497
  • 2010_0713sarahs0075.jpg
    62 KB · Views: 520
I forget the name brand of it but it was the only type they sold at the local store here in milwaukee. Its just black substrate(lava rock) mixed with regular white substrate. I wanted to go all black but decided not to. The black rocks stay on top of the white because of the size of it. All the white ended up below the black. When i get in there and move stuff around or cleaning, i fan the substrate and nice white sand lays on top for a day or two. My friends all have white beds...well not so white beds. Just seems the white looks to dingy and dirty to me at my firends house and i wanted to be different. Also i went snorkeling at a black sand beach in Maui once apon a time and it was awsome...oh i just googled was CaribSea
Thanks for the reply's. I hope to have a great take like all of yours one day. I've been looking at all the pictures on here and all of you have fantastic tanks. I defintly joined the right forum =)
Yea, just the yellow tail damsel for now. It is a new tank and didnt want to dump cash i really dont have into the tank and have it all die on me....Like i said tho so far so good. Only that one snail has died and everything else seems to be doing fine. I plan on buying a all black clown fish(dunno the proper name) next week. I really wanted to focus on getting all my LR first but theres so much cool stuff to buy and put into the tank i jus cant resist.
Well its not like i bought lava rock and just dumped it into my tank. I bought acutual substrate. I'm sure they wouldnt sell it world wide and it would be bad for a tank. This isnt the exact kind but it was exactly like this

Eco-Complete Cichlid Zach Black 20 lbs, CaribSea, prices

Actually alot of people have the black substrate because it does make everything "POP" more. I love it and dont plan on changeing it ever. Plain white substrate can and will most likely look dingy and always look like it needs to be clean. Idk...
Im going off what ive heard, but ive heard nothing good about any kind of lava rock, but it doesnt mean this stuff will be bad. dont get rid of it if it works, but I wouldnt use it. Just my 2c..
Well when my tank thrives, ill let you kno biff. I seriously never cycled my tank. I put substrate in it, mixed my saltwater, let it sit for a week.....added a week i added LR....SEriously I literally started my tank on May 30th.....dunno what the big deal is about my black sand look.... i like it...i did the water change with the whole ashes tank looks great to green zoa's on my 25 dollar rock have multiplied...i have at least 6 new ones. I'm pretty sure my xenia is about to split. Everything is going good to my knowledge.

I said im at about half the LR i need. I have now 29lbs.i want about 50 and i have a 46 bowfront. Again my tank has been up one and a half months. No cycleing. Call me an idoit lol but its working =)
haha i have my monti and many cant keep a monti, i have xenia and many cant keep that...its funny to me but sad at the same. Im not the type of person that cares if you have what i have, i do want them to have it. This hobby should be huge. I'm not saying my tank is all that or anything but i will defend it. Biff have you ever seen a black sand beach? theres only like 6 in the world. Im not tring to exactly do that but there defintly isnt anything wrong with it...dont hate the player hate the game haha j/k

How isnt my Substrate made for saltwater? Tell me, im listening?
lol thinking back my bag of substrate said no cycleing or skip cycleing or some shit...not that i going to be real, i jumped right into this hobby and am way in over my head but somethin's working eh...this hobby is kind a new, if you think about it...there is no "proof positive:" about anything in this hobby. You know why, because it hasnt beeen going on for that long! Ugh.....the guy at aquatics unlimited in milwaukee wi told me he been there 8 years taken care of a special tank that was his. THats now their show tank, he only did water changes, never check will find you choose to like my black sand look is up to you....its funny tho jealously isa bitch. ITs even more funny is that i did a water change and the little white sparkels over the black sand kills your tank piont blank no matter what you got =) maybe not now...give me a'll regret sayin this...
I dont know that your substrate is bad for the tank,being as it was ment for a cichlid substrate.So it may work out fine.You never really know.
The tank does look great.:D
I'm just saying it wasn't meant for saltwater, because that is exactly what the description on the bag says! If you read the description in the link you posted, it says it is meant for a cichlid tank -- which is freshwater. It also says it works to maintain the pH at a level that cichlids need, which is generally lower than what reef tanks need to be kept at.

If you like black sand, you can buy black reef sand. Reef sand is of a different composition than freshwater tank substrate. Reef sand is wholly aragonite based. Notice the cichlid sand says that it "contains amounts of aragonite" -- the rest of it is lava rock. Lava rock has zero buffering capacity for saltwater tanks. Lava rocks also usually contain heavy metals which leach out into the water, creating a toxic environment for inverts. This would not be a concern in cichlid tanks, as they aren't kept with inverts like the fish in a reef environment are.

That substrate will also make it very difficult (maybe impossible) for you to keep any sand-dwelling livestock, such as sand sifting stars, burrowing fish like gobies, sea cucumbers, nassarius snails, etc. Those animals require a fine sand to survive, and will not do well in the substrate you picked out.

In addition, the particles are large, which makes your substrate at risk for becoming a huge nitrate trap. The particles are large enough to trap detritus and uneaten food, which then rots. Since you probably won't be able to keep a sand-dwelling cleaner crew, there won't be any animals to clean up after this, and your nitrates will probably go up, and without removing and switching out the substrate, you will have no way to lower them.

All I'm telling you is exactly what is written in the description you linked to. I'm not making stuff up. I'm just saying, when I wanted black sand in my tank, I was sure to buy black reef sand that I knew had the same chemical and buffering properties as white reef sand.

If you don't like the look of white sand, fine. A lot of people don't. That doesn't change that right there on the bag of the substrate you bought, it says it's meant for freshwater, not saltwater. That's all I'm pointing out. I find your ultra-defensive attitude quite off-putting, to be honest. I'm not telling you anything that wasn't in that link that you posted, which shows you didn't even read it. If you had read the bag when you bought it, you would know it's for freshwater, not saltwater.

I'm not saying it's going to cause a crash in your tank or anything, just that water parameters such as pH, alkalinity and calcium may be harder to maintain down the road with this substrate, because it doesn't have the capabilities that saltwater substrate has (white or black), and that it may be hard for you to keep inverts long-term with that substrate.

And about your tank skipping a cycle -- all bags of live sand claim that they can eliminate the cycle. That is not unique at all to the bag of substrate you bought.

Why so defensive? No one here wants to see you fail, and we've got nothing to gain from seeing you fail. And, I will add, having a tank up and running for a month and a half so far is not a sure sign that you have done something right. It takes most things a while to slowly die in our tanks if they are going to die, especially if something like lava rock was leaching heavy metals out. That will kill tank inhabitants slowly over several months. So I wouldn't be so cocky if I were you, because the amount of time your tank has been up and running is nothing compared to a lot of tanks on here, and it is really too soon for you to be going off about all these things you've supposedly done right. A month and a half having a tank with a few corals does not make you the expert on substrates. Especially since you didn't even read the bag of the one you bought. And I'm also sorry to say, but montis, xenias and zoas are all considered beginner corals. They are pretty hardy and easy to keep. Montis are the easiest of all SPS corals, in fact. Xenias often spread to weed proportions in people's tanks and grow out of control very easily. You point out that all three of those corals are doing well in your tank. That's fantastic -- they are really pretty corals, and congratulations on having corals do well. But that doesn't mean you are keeping difficult to keep corals at all. They are not hard corals to keep.

Did you know about lava rock, buffering capacity, and leaching heavy metals? Did you know that a lot of animals in this hobby require a fine sand substrate to survive, and using a substrate like that will preclude you from keeping those animals? Did you know that using a chunky substrate like that usually really leads to bad nitrate problems? No? Then you learned something today, and changing your substrate is something you can consider IF you do start to have problems down the road with those things, or IF you decide you want to keep animals that make part of the sandbed their habitat.

You act like I've never seen this before. I have. Lots of people start their tanks with the wrong substrate. Most of them end up having to switch it out because they end up having water quality issues or they realize they can't keep all the animals they want.
Last edited: