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Old 02-25-2005, 05:31 PM   #1
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to aerate or not to aerate

when dealing with a DSB, is it better to have a lot of creatures moving it around or to not mess with it at all. I just read an article that was a couple of years old that stated the deep sand bed's function is destroyed when it is constantly moved, but the marine biologist at our store says you need lots of creatures to move it around. Any opinions?
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Old 02-25-2005, 05:40 PM   #2
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The idea of a DSB is to deplete the oxygen levels in the bottom part of the substrate. This being said I use nassarius snails to stir my DSB and they stay in the top layers but keep the sand stirred. The lower layers stay intact for denitrifying bacteria.
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Old 02-25-2005, 06:30 PM   #3
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I would say don't and never do it when acclimating fish
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Old 02-26-2005, 01:20 AM   #4
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I disagree with the above statement. You need critters in the DSB or it will crash. There are some things you want to avoid such as sand sifting stars. Nassarius snails,cerith snails, conchs, all types of pods, bristle worms, even a cucumber (if you have a VERY stable tank) will keep the DSB stirred and prevent the formation of dead spots. Dead spots will create hydrogen sulfide which you don't want. The lower areas of the DSB should be anoxic, but not anaerobic.
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Old 02-27-2005, 03:45 AM   #5
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now i've heard people say no sand sifters, but what's the reason? Do they dig too deep?
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Old 02-27-2005, 08:52 AM   #6
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They'll eat everything else in the sandbed.
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Old 02-27-2005, 11:45 AM   #7
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Take a look at the detrivore kits sold by Inland Aquatics, IPSF, etc. for the types of critters you want in your sand bed.

You don't want to add anything that will sift the sand to eat these but you do want sand stirrers to mix the top layer. Several types of snails are perfrect for that job.

Nassarius Snails : Great detrivores and sand-stirrers. They will hide in the sand until feeding time.
Cerith Snails Will also breed in your tank. Good algae eaters and sand-stirrers.
Fighting Conchs : Little vacuum cleaners. One per 2 sq. ft. of sand. They'll eat diatoms and, sometimes, cyano.
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