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Old 11-14-2011, 07:25 PM   #1
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Sand grain size for deep sand bed

So I have been reading conflicting info on this subject. Is it better to have sugar fine sand for a dsb. Or is it better to have coarse sand. Also at which point does aragonite sand help with keeping the ph up?
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:15 PM   #2
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its better to have fine sand. but not to fine that the life in the sand can't move.

this stuff is a good grain size for a DSB
CaribSeaŽ Aragonite Aragamax Oolite - Gravel & Sand - Fish - PetSmart
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:20 PM   #3
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Ok that's what I have in my 75gallon. I'm still on the fence about what type I'm using for the 180. That stuff is really fine . I was thinking about the same brand but the bigger grains.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:24 PM   #4
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C-RSAND40 Premium Aquatics - C-RSAND40 Aquarium Supplies

hey honda. this is the stuff i was talking about on the pm maybe someone can evaluate it other than me.

i like it . its not sharp. it doesnt compact. i think its fine enough while not being too course.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:27 PM   #5
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yea thats the exact type I was thinking about switching to for the new tank .
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:30 PM   #6
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Little something I put together a while back on a DSB, might help you with some of your questions.

Set-up:
A properly set-up DSB consists of three distinct layers, each ranging from 1" to 2" or more in depth.

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The Bottom Layer or Plenum: The bottom layer in a DSB can be set up in one of two ways; either a plenum or a layer of very course substrate. This bottom layer is the anaerobic portion of the DSB, and anaerobic bacteria, similar to those found living deep inside the pores of LR, are found here. These anaerobic bacteria complete the nitrogen cycle, by converting nitrates into harmless nitrogen gas. Hydrogen sulfide gas is also produced as a result of this conversion, creating slightly acidic conditions in this area. Generally this deadly hydrogen sulfide gas is broken down within the anaerobic area, however, if this deep layer is disturbed by the hobbiest or deep burrowing fish or invertes, this gas, the acidic water, as well as any trapped nutrients may be released causing the aquarium to "crash."

The Plenum
A plenum is created using an undergravel filter or eggcrate covered with a layer of plastic or fiberglass screen supported above the bare aquarium bottom by inert spacers such as PVC or plastic pipe. The plenum creates an open water space 1" to 2" inches deep.

Plenum for a remote DSB
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Bottom of the Plenum
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Course Substrate
In the event that a plenum is not used (and research has shown that there is no significant benefit to using or not using a plenum with DSBs), the bottom layer can consist of a 1" to 2" layer of course sand, CC gravel or crushed shell; regardless of the substrate used, the material should be course enough that the layer is very porous allowing bacteria to colonize and water to diffuse easily. Using aragonite sand, CC, or crushed shell also allows these substance to break down in the slightly acid conditions of this layer, and release calcium carbonate into the aquarium water at a slightly faster rate than normal. A layer of plastic or fiberglass screen should always be placed on top of the course substrate or the plenum. The purpose of the screen is to prevent deep burrowing fish or invertebrates from disturbing the bottom layer of the DSB, and releasing hydrogen sulfide gas, acidic water, or nutrients into the aquarium.

The Second Layer:The second layer should consist of a layer of aragonite sand, roughly 1" to 2" inches in depth with a particle size of about 2 to 3mm. Either "live sand" or dry aquarium sand can be used for this layer, if dry sand is used however, it should be seeded with true live sand (not the bagged live sand) aquired online or at your LFS, in order to introduce the desired microfauna and bacteria required to maintain the DSB long term. A second plastic or fiberglass screen may also be added at this point.

The Final Layer: The final layer should consist of an 1" to 2" of very fine sand with a particle size of 1mm or less. Some prefer to use "sugar sand" for this layer, and live "mud" is sometimes used for this final layer in some remote DSBs. Again, the introduction of desirable microfauna and bacteria is required.

Hope it helps.

As to your question on the aragonite sand, it is constantly breaking down in the reef tank, however in the normal pH of our reefs the breakdown is a slow process.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:38 PM   #7
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****, and here I was thinking I could just add 6" of aragonite and call it a day haha.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:39 PM   #8
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Whoops...dang* haha
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:41 PM   #9
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i've never seen anyone use a plenum in a DSB.

this is all pretty new to me

this is the link i've used

http://www.reef-eden.net/DSBs.htm and http://www.ronshimek.com/deep_sand_beds.html
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:49 PM   #10
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The plenum seems a little to advanced for me. The combo of course and fine sand seems like the best way to go .
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