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Old 10-01-2008, 10:10 PM   #1
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DSB experiences

OK, so i have done a considerable amount of reading on deep sand beds. Some for some against all kinds of things. I have a good idea how it all works and i think a good hold on what the benifits and down sides are. I'm looking for people experiences with them. So if you have or have had a deep sand bed let me know

1. how deep was it
2. approximately what grain size did you use (mixed or uniform size?)
3. what critters did you keep that interacted with the bed (cucumbers, sand sifting stars, gobys, nassirus snail, things of that nature)
4. Did you do any maintenance to the sand bed (periodic siphoning or replacing sections)?
5. thoughts about success or failure?

On a side note many of the articles seemed to favor having a sea cucumber as they are apparently great at cleaning the surface of the sand and an all around good scavenger. I've heard others say they can get cought in an intake, die, and poison/kill everything in the tank like a time bomb. So if you have had one of those tell me about it as well.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:26 PM   #2
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I do about a 3" fine sand bed. Vacuum a bit when doing PWCs. Keep about a dozen or so nassarius snails, a pistol shrimp that only tunnels in about 10% of the tank. Still, mine has worked fine for me. I have nothing to contrastwith since thats my only experience.

Cukes scare me, but I'm a whinp when it comes to risky critters. With only a 12g tank, I wouldn't chance it.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:40 PM   #3
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I think Pat is talking about a future tank with the garden eels....?
I have a 6 inch in my 125, but it is still sitting idle, so I have mo practicle experience.....
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:48 PM   #4
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Well I have a 4inch sand bed. I try to have a kinda deep sand bed. Not too deep but not too shallow.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
I think Pat is talking about a future tank with the garden eels....?
If i could pull it off that would be great but i think the challenges will be many. I'm also looking into a DSB just as another method of filtration and it helps promote a variety of critter growth that contribute to the overall food source in the tank.

Quote:
Cukes scare me, but I'm a whinp when it comes to risky critters. With only a 12g tank, I wouldn't chance it.
Yeah i'm a little scared of them as well. I would hate to lose a whole tank if something happened.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pat8you View Post
OK, so i have done a considerable amount of reading on deep sand beds. Some for some against all kinds of things....
I feel your pain. I think sand bed depth was the one thing that I went back and forth on in my head when I was planning my tank. I wanted a deep sand bed, but with only a 46g I didn't want to take up that much real estate with a 6" bed.

I ended up kind of in that "no man's land" between deep and not deep sand bed - about 4". Y'know... that depth that "they" all say that if you don't go deep enough, all doom and destruction will happen to your tank?

Results? Over 2 years and no doom and destruction. Nitrates never have gone about 2.0ppm (currently at 1.0), but I do 10% weekly water changes religiously. I vacuum the top 1" or so of the sand bed about once a month, alternating areas. Lost track of how many nassarius snails I have, but I have quite a few. No starfish or cukes. No burrowing fish or shrimp. I used the CaribSea SeaFloor Special Grade Reef Sand - think it has a grain size of 1.0-1.4mm.

It's worked for me, so I'd probably do it again. But as with most things in this hobby, I can't really say if my water parameters are due in part to the sand bed, or if it's just an equipment/stocking/maintenance thing.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
I can't really say if my water parameters are due in part to the sand bed, or if it's just an equipment/stocking/maintenance thing.
Yeah its always hard to tell. I'm sure its a combination of many things. As long as i can avoid the doom and destruction i'd even be ok if it wasn't doing much for my water quality. Worth a shot though i figure since some people see to think they are one of the best kinds of filtration.

Keep them coming people all are welcome.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:15 PM   #8
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Ok i know there are more out there. Bump
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:32 PM   #9
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I ran a DSB on my reef tank, the main thing to remember with them is that it can take a couple of months before they are at their most efficient-sometimes longer. the compaction of a DSB kicks in low oxygen reliant bacteria that convert the nitrites into nitrates but then the nitrates are converted into a gaseous form of nitrogen.the grain size of the sand is crucial as if the bacteria is compacted too much you will end up with black sand releasing sulphur dioxide.I find the best results came from mixing varying grain sizes of sand to get the right compaction.
A good side effect is it will also raise the calcium levels in the water
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:38 PM   #10
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I only have a 2 inch sand bed. I prefer my 200 lbs of LR to handle the filtration chores. Here`s some more reading on DSB`s.

How Sandbeds REALLY Work by Ronald L. Shimek, Ph.D. - Reefkeeping.com

New DSB
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