Deep Sand Beds

Discussion in 'Answers to the most commonly asked questions asked' started by NandKBlock, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. NandKBlock

    NandKBlock I contributed!
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    Back by popular demand! The Great Deep Sand Bed Debate.
    I don't want to talk about shallow sand beds, I want to talk about deep sand beds.​

    If you have one tell me about it. How big is it, what is the sand grain size, how deep it is, what you do to maintain it, what critters do you have in there, and anything else you feel pertinent.

    If you don't have one tell me why you don't and why you are against their use if that's the case.



    As for me, I have one in my fuge which is half of my 40 breeder sump. I'm using oolitic sand, don't do anything to maintain it and have about 50 nassarius in there. I think it must be working because I can never test a level of nitrates, but then again I've got some nuisaance algae issues... :( I've also got Chaeto growing in there and the light for that combined with low flow tends to breed cyano. I've actually thought about taking it offline...
     
  2. acharpenter

    acharpenter Senior Member
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    I was thinking about doing one in my sump but you need something to stir it right? I worry about it sitting for forever and harboring crap

    Someone said that they had one and after 4-5 years it was like a cement plate...what is the plus if it is not getting stirred?
     
  3. Taklu

    Taklu Akshaya
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    I have a 4" sandbed in my display... the sand gets blown around so its 6"+ in a few spots & <2" in a few. At the moment no critters to keep it stirred, plan to add some nassirius snails or some sand chruning inverts. One diamond goby.
    The tunzes are setup on storm mode & once a week there is sand storm...;)....only Coraline algae issues at the moment.:beerchug:
     
  4. spsick

    spsick Acro-poor-a
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    about 5" here. Just a few conchs to keep it moving, and i'll gently baste occasionally. Anyone will tell ya to come check out my tank if you have any doubts about DSBs.. :)
     
  5. reef junkie

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    since were on the subject. I was woundering if you had the room could you set up a deep sand bed in a brute trash can and make a deep deep sand bed. Plumb the water from the tank to go into the trash can and then drain out into a sump. Would this work as a deep sand bed. Or is having a sand bed thats say 2 or 3 feet deep or more a waste of time?
     
  6. jwedll

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    from what I understand 5-6" is all you really need to get the low to no oxygen level with fine sand. My 125 has around 7" in some areas and les then 3" in a couple because of critters moving it. I have a sand sifting star and a diamond goby which keeps the top from collecting crap. My understanding is that if you constantly stir the bottom up you will never get the no oxygen zone which is what anaerobic bacteria need to process nitrates. The top is all you should need to stir and only to keep the waste from settling.
     
  7. reef junkie

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    m only trying to think ahead for my next tank build and dont want sand in my tank and my sump is going to have rock and maybe a scrubber, so no sand in sump. But to have an external one, if you had the room, well that just might work. Guess it wouldnt need it to be as deep but then why not, if it would help. Throw some cridders in there to stir top part and then you have 3-4 feet I guess of deep undisturbed sand.
     
  8. Riley

    Riley I contributed!
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    I have about 6" or so made up mostly of seaflor special grade (1-2mm) some fiji pink, and 40# of shells all mixed together. I used it for housing jawfish for a while and so far haven't had any issues in the year that it's been set up.
     
  9. fivesmallworlds

    fivesmallworlds Halichoeres Bivittatus
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    Like you Nate I had about 1/3 of my 40b sump setup as a DSB/fuge. Although mine was a little different. I started of with about 2" of Miracle Mud and another 3-4" of medium grain sand/crushed coral. It did seem to benefit the tank rather than detract from it in my experience. Although doing it over again now I would skip the miracle mud (very expensive) and opt for sugar sized sand all the way through.

    No critters to speak of in my case
     
  10. rihanssu

    rihanssu Winger Lingire
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    You are a beacon of light in a world of darkness, Thank you sir, thank you.

     
  11. DamselDebbie

    DamselDebbie I contributed!
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    Forgive me for my ignorance, but what are the benefits of having a deep sand bed? And what constitutes a deep sand bed? What are the negatives associated with a deep sand bed?

    I'm just trying to get an understanding regarding deep sand beds.

    Thanks. :biggrin:
     
  12. kensilvey

    kensilvey I contributed!
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    I am working on installing two remote sand beds on my current disply. I will be using two 20 gallon plastic (LDPE) trash cans, with 8-9 inches of sugar (Ollite) grain sand. With about 500 gph of flow that is prefiltered through a 200 micron sock first.
     
  13. Screwtape

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    I decided against a DSB in the display tank for several reasons.
    For one reason I would have had to go with a taller tank in order to not take up a significant portion of my vertical space which would have made my stand/canopy a little more awkward because they're already pretty high.

    Also I didn't want to have to deal with a potentially toxic sandbed a few years down the line because like was mentioned before the anoxic lower regions of the DSB are where the denitrification happens but other stuff also can potentially build up down there too like hydrogen sulfide which can be nasty if it gets stirred up accidentally or if you need to move the tank down the line for some reason.
    I also felt like I could achieve denitrification through other ways, namely organic carbon dosing. I thought the negatives outweighed the positives for the DSB.

    I considered doing a remote DSB in a couple 5 gallon buckets that could be rotated out if needed after a number of years (maybe 5+?) to try and avoid some reports of potential DSB tank crashes, but I didn't have the space and with carbon dosing being so easy I didn't think it was worth it.
     
  14. reef junkie

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    Could you use play sand instead and achieve the same results?
     
  15. kensilvey

    kensilvey I contributed!
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    In my reseach I have seen mixed reveiws on Silica (play) sand. Some say it will leach Silica into the water, Silica causes algae. I personally would not use it. I know there is alot of people that do though. Silica sand will do nothing for the buffering of our tanks, Argonite will though.
     
  16. twincitiesreefer

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    i have a shallower SB in my display about 4 or 5 inchin some spots and tank showing in others.If anybodies seen my tank its well into its 2nd stable year.bright white sand,good growth..I have a diamond goby that constantlt shifts sand thrueout the tank,and i have a sea cuc,these guys do a nice job along with the goby.dirty sand in one end,clean white sand nuggets out the other.I also gentlt baste twice a week.haveing a proper sand bed only comes with proper sand bed maintnence.
     
  17. Hellaenergy

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    I have a 125g aquarium/sump with a ~6" DSB of very fine aragonite sand. The creatures in it include one cat turd cucumber, a long-spined sea urchin and various types of hermits. *pods love it in there as well.

    These threads sum up my efforts to understand and implement a DSB:

    http://www.tcmas.org/forums/showthread.php?t=21726
    http://www.tcmas.org/forums/showthread.php?t=20517

    I must say having a deep (6") aragonite deep sand bed sure does seem to be helping my cal and ph levels. They are both nice and stable w/o any intervention so far. Right now my Nitrates are 0 and my (detectable) Phospates are 0 as well.

    I do dose vodka though. Feeding rather heavily all the while. A couple quarter sized chunks of frozen and an automatic feeder dumping reef chili and flake in four times a day. Extreme I know :) Without the vodka the Nitrates and Phosphates where around 10 and .5.

    I do a 10% water change monthly. Going to small daily changes soon.
     
  18. dustybaker

    dustybaker Not banned....yet
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    Im somewhere between the 2. I have around 95lbs of sugar sized sand in my 75. It comes out to around 3". I am agitated with it because it keeps drifting up to 6" I wish it could stay more level.
     
  19. REEFSTOCK

    REEFSTOCK Formally: Bond, James
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    Big benefits to me would be:
    No need for much remote filtration (which can be tough under a small tank (under 180) with a smaller stand).
    Much more naturally occurring food (once mature).
    Need less Live Rock (which comes with many benefits, hopefully obvious).
    Jawfish, sleeper gobies, pistol shrimps, tube anemones... and the list goes on.

    Big negatives:
    Top flow less. (less crud getting to the skimmer)(SPS DUH :) )
    Better looking than BB when clean but worse when dirty.
    If you loose power.... very quick system crash.
    Ugly Coraline and stuff where sand meets glass.
    Take up precious space.
     
  20. Taklu

    Taklu Akshaya
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    Expound a bit more on this Plz

    Get a larger tank :beerchug::biggthumpup:
     

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