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Old 01-11-2008, 12:39 PM   #1
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Fiji Mud and Live Sand

I would like to check the accuracy of some information I have recently been told.

Is it true that by placing Fiji mud under live sand in a main display tank of a reef set up, that you will not have to worry about stirring up the sand because the mud will keep detrimental algae from growing and toxic materials from building up?

Which actually leads to another question. If you have a refugium with a good amount of Fiji mud on the bottom or do you have to stir the mud to keep toxic materials from building up? Is the mud naturally able to resist the build up of toxic materials?

One last question, does Fiji mud loose its effectiveness over time and need to be changed?

Its sounds possible and would be worth the extra cost if its true.

I am currently planning my dream tank and I'm taking things very slowly. Any info will be greatly appreciated.



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Old 01-11-2008, 01:12 PM   #2
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Well I don't use fiji mud in my system so I can't give you a great deal of info. From what I have read there are pros and cons to the "muds". I believe that for it to be effective you have to have a very deep bed of the stuff 6"+.

The miracle mud/fiji mud along with a DSB are topics that have people strongly divided. I personal have a minimal DSB meaning that my sand bed is as much as 6" deep in areas of my tank and 2" deep in others. Good filtration is going to come from lots of LR a good skimmmer and the use of a refugium. The sand is just one of those things that remains up in the air. Some people will tell you to go with a bare bottom tank and others will say you have to have a DSB. I think that if I were going to use one of the muds I would use it in my refugium only and have a 4-6" sand bed in my main display. My system has been up and running for 3 years now and I have few issues with it.

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Old 01-11-2008, 01:16 PM   #3
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I believe austinsdad uses mud in his fuge, hopefully he will be along to give his experiences. Or you could try to PM him, but I would be interested in knowing myself.
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:27 PM   #4
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I don't remember reading many positives about any of the muds. I have a 6"+ DSB in my tank. A dsb is supposed to help with eliminating nitrates because of the anaerobic (lack of oxygen) zone that occurs at around the 3" mark.

My preference if I was doing it today, and had the room would be an ssb in the display tank with a remote DSB in a large area (think child's wading pool) in the basement.

As for 'toxic materials', that should never happen in a properly maintained dsb.

There is the idea of a heavy metal buildup in the sand bed, but supposedly the use of a polyfiler will eliminate those. I always have a polyfilter in my sump and replace it monthly.

You may want to read (the summary at the bottom anyway) this article on DSB's
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Old 01-11-2008, 02:27 PM   #5
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I have miracle mud in my refugium covered up with sand. If I had to do it all over again I would not have used it. I dont see where it has done anything.


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Old 01-11-2008, 02:56 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses. It really helps to have all of the different points of view.

cmor1701d, I thought that it was bad to have anaerobic areas in the tank. Does'nt that create that poisonous gas I forget whats its called. Which is actually what I meant by toxic materials. I also meant the slimes that will begin to grow in sand that is not constantly sifted.

From what I understand, the gobies and other critters that sift sand will do so on the very top layers leaving you to sift the bottom layers. I guess what Im looking for is a way to keep the bottom layers healthy without having to sift and thus disturb the tanks inhabitants. I'd like to stay out of the tank as much as possible.
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Old 01-11-2008, 03:18 PM   #7
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You don't want to sift the bottom layers... you want to leave them be. You want anaerobic areas because this is where the final denitrification step takes place. These areas will convert your nitrates to N2 gas which will help keep your nitrate levels down.

I believe the "poisionous gas" theory (hydrogen sulfide, H2S) is when you don't have a deep enough sand bed to truly get anaerobic, but it's not so shallow that you can thoroughly clean it. That "in between" zone supposedly is when you can build up H2S that will build up until it "burps" into your tank, laying waste to all your inhabitants and making everyone sick in a 12 mile radius. OK... maybe I exaggerated a little bit there, but I guess you can see where my bias is on that thinking.

As with most things in this hobby, you'll find very conflicting info on deep sand beds.

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