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Old 07-19-2014, 06:40 PM   #1
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deep sand bed care

I have about a 5 inch deep sand bed in my 90 gallon reef that has been running for about 10 months. I have heard about stirring the sand bed to prevent it from building up harmful stuff. some have said it is a must do and others say that you should disturb your sand bed as little as possible. i think that it sounds logical to stir your sand bed. I am curious what are your opinions on stirring a DSB. I am thinking about doing little sections, about a 7 by 7 area, every few weeks until i have stirred the entire sanded. would complete string be good or just "rake" it to loosen it up and release gasses and such be better? what are you thoughts? thanks.
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Old 07-19-2014, 07:05 PM   #2
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deep sand bed care

Fighting Conch,get three or four and they will do a great job keeping your sand bed stirred .
Plus they are fun to watch when they are out.

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Old 07-19-2014, 08:03 PM   #3
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Thanks for the idea. I will most likely get a few in the near future. Will i see them much? When i feed the tank will the pop up like my other snails?


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Old 07-19-2014, 09:15 PM   #4
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if it has been running undisturbed for ten months, then use caution when stirring it up and look out for any black spots in the sand bed. They could be areas of anaerobic bacteria that could release hydrogen sulfide into the tank if disturbed, and that is not a good thing.
If when stirring it you notice bubbles coming out of the sand and/or detect a rotten egg smell, then STOP and monitor the fish and be ready to possibly take them out.
I'm being a little alarmist, I know, but it is a possibility that you should watch out for.

Nassarius snails are also pretty good at stirring up the sand, but are smaller than the conch's

generally, in theory deep sand beds are to be left undisturbed except for the top couple of inches.
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Old 07-19-2014, 09:46 PM   #5
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In stirring up the sand bed this prevents the build up of hydrogen sulfide. And doing this little by little prevents a large release or the gas, correct? Also on occasion i see a small bubble of gas come out of the sand bed. Also up against the glass under the san i can see little bubbles. I assume the bubbles are hydrogen sulfide


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Old 07-19-2014, 09:59 PM   #6
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In stirring up the sand bed this prevents the build up of hydrogen sulfide. And doing this little by little prevents a large release or the gas, correct? Also on occasion i see a small bubble of gas come out of the sand bed. Also up against the glass under the san i can see little bubbles. I assume the bubbles are hydrogen sulfide


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yes to all of the above, but if it hasn't been disturbed for ten months, proceed with caution. any nasty patches should be black.
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Old 07-19-2014, 10:09 PM   #7
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I had a 7 inch plus sandbed in my 125g for almost 3 years and never ever stirred or disturbed the sand myself. I had snails and hermits do some sifting but never more an inch or so into the sandbed. I never had any spikes or other issues and the system ran great.

I think the idea of a dsb is to leave it be and let it do it's thing.
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Old 07-20-2014, 02:22 AM   #8
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On youtube New York Steelo has a really good 2 part video on the dsb that really helped me understand more about it! Stirred his sand bed and took you day by day of what was happening and also talked about why a dsb is really benifical and also animals that are good and bad to have with a dsb!


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Old 07-20-2014, 08:26 AM   #9
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NY Steelo loves to talk, but I'm not sure he's got the right idea. His sand beds are too shallow according to experts in the field. You need low oxygen zones in the sand bed or there is no point to it. stirring them up would be counter productive. I would leave that to critters to do VERY slowly.
Just google "deep sand beds" and you'll find a lot of good information.
Ron Shimek's Website... About Me
Deep Sand Beds
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Old 07-20-2014, 11:50 AM   #10
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After reading through the links above (thanks mr_X, good info) I would say it sounds as if your DSB is probably functioning as it should and you should probably just leave it alone.

You may want to consider "re-charging it" with a fresh stock of little critters for the DSB as mentioned in Ron Shimek's article.

Maybe one of the more experienced members could point you to the right vendor for such a thing.
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