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Old 07-16-2012, 09:04 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wy Renegade

Indeed.

Absolutely! It also requires, as I've pointed out several times throughout the thread, the maintainance of a fully functioning sandbed and full compliment of the macro and microfauna required to keep it functioning. It is in no way, shape, or form a simple create it and forget it methodology. In many ways, it is probably just as time intensive as yours, but is in my opinion just a more natural way of accomplishing the same result. You might get some purists who would want to argue that, but I'm not one. I believe is using whatever methods are time proven by you to work for you. For myself, I've found this to be a large combination of methods. I've even used the siphon on occassions, just not on a regular basis .

In regards to the comment on DSB failure do to improper set-up, I've found that many people in establishing a DSB don't bother to research or learn enough in regards to the proper way to set one up. They simply hear about this idea, go out and buy a bunch of the same-sized sand and dump it into the tank to the desired tank and then expect it to function. A properly set-up DSB requires three layers of sand grains of different sizes, with the most course or plenum being on the bottom, the medium in the middle and the fine on top. While there is some evidence that similar-sized sandgrains may work, to my knowledge its never been researched like the original method (albiet in a somewhat biased manner). Additionally many people never really bother to learn about proper depth, they place sand to a depth that looks nice to them. Few are aware that the depth of 2" to 3 1/2" for example are extremely high risk, as they are neither deep enough for a true DSB or shallow enough for a SSB. Risk of accumulation and release of toxic gases in these sandbeds is much higher than in a properly established DSB. Its a unfortunate case of failure before the system ever started. Then people blame the crash on the DSB, in reality its a failure of the individual rather than the method.
Very well put. Im sure everyone who has read this learned something valuable to apply to their own systems. I should have named this thread "Maintain your sand bed!" lol.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:22 PM   #62
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I remembered how much I hate my sand bed and that my next tank is going to be bare bottom with macro rock.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:35 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Wy Renegade

Not real sure that I understand your question in regards to the algae? Are you saying that the algae in our tanks comes from this bound phosphate or are you trying to say something else?

Generally speaking, the argument you'll most likely hear is the whole dilution one. That said however a little research into the methodology of mining the LS sold in the aquarium trade might change that opinion. Personally I'm not a fan of purchased LS anyway, as generally speaking all it really contains is some bacteria and a lot of decay. I prefer to use freshwater rinsed dry aragonite sand and seed it from another sandbed. Interestingly among those who subscribe full-scale to the phosphate binding, accumulation idea, rinsing sand and LR with a short vinager bath is one of the suggestions for removing the outer portion of the sandgrains or the LR for removal of bound phosphate. If you've ever tried that, its certainly not something I would recommend, I have no idea how you can do it with sand successfully, as aragonite dissolves in vinager solution relatively quickly. Even fairly large pieces of LR will dissolve completely in a 24 hour period.
From the unbound phosphate. Weren't you saying that the sand we have has phosphates in it already and due to the concentration gradient it is diluting into the water column? Algae needs. Phosphate to grow, therefore, the more unbound phosphate, the more algae.. As long as other conditions are right?
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:28 AM   #64
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From the unbound phosphate. Weren't you saying that the sand we have has phosphates in it already and due to the concentration gradient it is diluting into the water column? Algae needs. Phosphate to grow, therefore, the more unbound phosphate, the more algae.. As long as other conditions are right?
Ok, gotcha. I kind of assumed that that was the way that you were going, but wasn't 100% sure. If you look at "standarized" levels for sea water, the general argument would indeed be that the levels are so low that no significant amounts can remain bound up in the aragonite. However, as we all know, the ocean isn't one big standard level. Obviously there are areas where chemical levels are going to be higher particulary in areas of bays, and I would guess that areas where live sand is harvested for bagging would probably be in areas like that. Unfortunately, the LS industry isn't one I'm real familiar with, but it would be very interesting to see where that sand is coming from, and even to see if some companies are perhaps selling seeded sand cultured in huge vats or what the overall process is exactly. I think it would also be interesting to test some of the bagged sand varieties. I mean if you think about it, that sand is sitting sealed up in a plastic bag for who knows how long? We know that photosythesis certainly isn't taking place inside, maybe some nitrogen breakdown, but probably little else. It would seem to me that there are probably some phosphates floating around in those bags to begin with although I can't say for certain. So I agree, I think that the process is questionable on a lot of levels.
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:35 AM   #65
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Oh, hold on, I thought bound phosphates were good, doesn't that mean they can't be used? Or were you saying bound physically in the sand, not atomically? I'm sure the whole live sand in a bag thing is just a way to make you pay more for regular sand. It doesnt have a bad effect, because they wouldn't sell it if it did. That means that either the bacteria is magically thriving or there just isn't any... I'm going with the second option.
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:46 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needmorecowbell
Oh, hold on, I thought bound phosphates were good, doesn't that mean they can't be used? Or were you saying bound physically in the sand, not atomically? I'm sure the whole live sand in a bag thing is just a way to make you pay more for regular sand. It doesnt have a bad effect, because they wouldn't sell it if it did. That means that either the bacteria is magically thriving or there just isn't any... I'm going with the second option.
Bound phosphates can become unbound and return to the water column.

And by the way, you would be surprised to realize how many products that are sold to reefers that are misleading.

It is live sand they actually harvest however by the time its bagged, shipped, stocked, purchased, and put in your tank most of that life is dead.

This dead life is a source of phosphates.

Only way i recommend buying live sand is straight from the source and freshly bagged either from florida or cali. My LFS guy as hooked me up on a number of occasions with this fresh sand straight off the boat. Also cheaper if you can get it this way.

I would never buy the stuff sitting on the shelves.
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Old 07-17-2012, 12:51 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by needmorecowbell View Post
Oh, hold on, I thought bound phosphates were good, doesn't that mean they can't be used? Or were you saying bound physically in the sand, not atomically? I'm sure the whole live sand in a bag thing is just a way to make you pay more for regular sand. It doesnt have a bad effect, because they wouldn't sell it if it did. That means that either the bacteria is magically thriving or there just isn't any... I'm going with the second option.
Yeah, no - at least not in this case. Indeed bound phosphates are not available for use, however, this particular case is going to be a bit different. Imagine a brand spanking new tank build. Enter aragonite sand preloaded with bound phosphate molecules and then sparkling clear, freshly mixed saltwater with essentially zero phosphate. Whats going to happen? Yep, leeching of phosphate from the aragonite into the surrounding low concentration phosphate water column.

Boy do I wish that red statement were true. If it were, half the additives on the market would be gone, and half the gadgets as well. Course then people would be arguing big time over the definition of harmfull LOL.

While I wouldn't say that the bacteria is thriving, those sealed bags do indeed contain a population of living bacteria. They don't contain anything else, which means in my opinion that they barely meet the definition of LS, but they do contain living bacteria.
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