ok usualy it is 1 pound of sand per gallon in a tank so 30 lbs of live sand should be good for 1 in. threr are 3 main types you can get 1. aroganite sand 2. plain sand 3 live sand. I perfer live sand it has little bactiria that will help keep your tank clean and the water quality good but it is epencive for 20 lbs. of live sand its 60 dollars. aroganite 20lbs. is $40 and plain sand is 15 dollars any will do but the best is live sand
just out of curiosity...i have aragonite in my tank but was considering up gradeing to live sand as i had heard that aragonite may be to abbrasive for ceph skin. do you find that is ok for when they bury themselves? if i wanted to could i add a layer of live sand on top of the aragonite? ive done this b4 in ciclid(cant spell but im talkin about the african lake fish) tanks to provide them with breeding sites where the tank bottom was mostly gravel except for the front and for the most part it stays that way.
You should be ok with aragonite...although I like sand better. Yes, you can put some in layers over the larger aragonite, but be careful to avoid anerobic decay (see the nitrate thread).
The other option is to remove your current bed and replace it with live sand, and go through a small cycle...probably about a month or so.
nini, when i set up an aquarium i usualy first add a very basic structure of rock. usually the decrative rock they sale at most pet stores for ciclid tanks. i think its limstone but i may b wrong. after the structure is sucure i add the substrate. i do this first to ensure the rockwork dosent slip and that in the future any burrowing animals cant unstablize the structure. then i cycle the tank and after a few weeks i add live rock. i do this to limit die-off. you may also want to purchase very basic strucure live rock as its cheaper and then just add a few more decrative peices of encrusted live rock on top. the organisms that live in the rock will spread to the other rock and into your substrate over time. just a side note you may want use silicone sealent to keep the rocks together if there a possibleity they could fall over.
u only have to glue if the pcs are small and odd shaped and even then u may not have 2. if u use heavy round r flat pcs then u may not have 2 use glu at all. just by the rocks that look best and if they sit well the youll b fine. if u can topple them with minamle force then mayb u should glue. dont worry about how many lbs of rock just create as many caves and hideing places as possible. but if u need numbers i would say 1lb of rock per gal of water.
just a side note. if u decide to glue the silicone needs 24 hour drying time to cure. also if you glue things together and then decide to change them the silicone can be removed with a knife and some force. also i beleive there are underwater epoxy alternatives to silicone that may b better then silicone but i am unfamiliar with these so u may wana ask one a da more seasond salty vets.