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Old 10-12-2003, 11:50 PM   #1
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DSB vs Crushed Coral and adding grunge?

I am using 2-3" CC in a 55 SW right now, I started it with 7lbs of GARF grunge and a bunch of red leg hermits/snails (tank is doing super). I hear a lot about DSB 's. I want to replicate a natural environment as best I can.. so when I set up my 125 or larger, do you think I should go DSB or crushed coral? I will be going with large amount of LR (as money permits) and a skimmer when needed, and a HOB. I have also heard triggers don't like DSB 's and was wondering the advantages/disadvantages of DSB vs other substrates. I will be using a full reef crew for whatever I do (red hermits, 3-4 types snails) so any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks!!!
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Old 10-12-2003, 11:58 PM   #2
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if your worried about a trigger not wanting a deep sand bed and want a trigger your not going too have much luck with the hermits and snails, iv never heard that triggers dont like deep sand if any thing i would thing they would like it as mine likes to "blow" into my substrate and look for some hidding creatures too much on.
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Old 10-13-2003, 12:04 AM   #3
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Do triggers like to chomp on snails and hermits? I'd rather avoid fish like that and just have the snails and hermits. Triggers are a cool looking fish though.
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Old 10-13-2003, 12:08 AM   #4
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I would reccomend going with the DSB for the new system. You current setup is much like mine and I had a bit of a problem with nitrates myself for a long time. I think the only reason I don't have a problem with nitrates right now is the fact that there is hardly any bio load on my system at all (1 damsel, 1 star, 7 or hermits - waiting until i move the tank to stock it)

For getting the most LR for your buck, You should consider using a fair portion of base rock and top that off with live rock. The base rock will glean life from the real LR and will be just as good for your bio filtration as buying LR at the benifit of saving you a ton of cash.

I'm not that familiar with triggers so I can't comment on that, but I don't recall ever hearing that had a problem with DSB systems.
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Old 10-13-2003, 12:15 AM   #5
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Thanks much for your reply. I think I will go with the DSB. How deep is best, and do you seed or activate the bed off the bat - or will the LR seed the bed?
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Old 10-13-2003, 11:27 AM   #6
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my trigger has crunched the shells of hermits and pulled out some snails.
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Old 10-13-2003, 12:03 PM   #7
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most folks will say 4" minimum for a DSB.

The LR will seed the sand but if you have access to a LFS that sells LS (from an established tank, not in a bag) I would reccomend also getting a few scoops as you want as much diversity as possible in your DSB. If you don't have any luck with LFS, you can try and find a few local fellow reefers who may be willing to offer you a few scoops.
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Old 10-14-2003, 01:15 PM   #8
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My advice is to stay about 4" on the DSB. I've had tanks with DSBs and heavy bio loads and have nero nitrates, and other's with low bio loads that have high nitrates. I've also seen my share of tanks with zero sand bed and no nitrates either, so the verdict is still out for me. I give the hedge to DSBs actually working, but I'm simply learly of those super thick DSB's that seem to encourage a crash.

Use live sand as uch as possible. Not because it's "live", but because it's about a billion times cleaner and easier to work than raw sand or ooltic. Dry sand will take months to compact and not cloud up the tank when it's looked at funny, so be warned. The trick with a DSB is to encourge a waterflow directly across the top of it which seems to help with gas exchange. DSBs in tanks with high current rates only at the upper levels (a bad habit with many reef keepers) don't seem to work as well.

Triggers could care less about sand beds, and will actually enjoy digging in it. Triggers also differ in behaviour. The Huma-Huma (Picasso) is in my experience a roving terror on anything soft or hard that moves or crawls. They also have a habit of munching on live rock and knawing on plexiglass tanks if bored to keep their teeth in good shape, but they are also among the most intelligent of all fish species and most personable. The clown trigger is not that much better, and the black trigger being the mildest of the group and least risky in reef/invertebrate tanks.
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Old 10-15-2003, 12:17 PM   #9
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Great info, y'all..... thanks!! I guess I will go with a DSB on next tank, maybe I can sneak a couple of garden eels in too... Thanks again
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Old 10-15-2003, 02:05 PM   #10
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Could I start adding live sand a 1/4 at a time on TOP of my current crushed coral substrate or would that be bad? I have copepods and stuff in there now and I understand they like sand. Or maybe it would sift down and turn into a huge mess.
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