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Old 11-11-2003, 04:00 PM   #11
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The reason that bare bottom tanks work is for a couple of reasons.

First, while a DSB is a natural Nitrate reducer, LR will eventually take over the job for nitrate reduction over a period of time. Those tanks I'm seeing with zero nitrate and bare bottoms tend to have massive amounts of healthy LR and/or be very established. Just like ammo/nitrite reduction, the bacteria that take care of nitrates soon will migrate to the most efficient location, which is logically where nitrites are being consumed, and that should be inside your LR. It's usually the guy with the 4month old tank, 150lbs of showcase Fiji LR, and a couple inches of CC that is doing the most complaining about high nitrates.

While I use DSB's on my tanks and also have nitrate levels that can barely be detected, I'd yank them in a heartbeat if I knew my LR was ready to take over. An inch of substrate is fine with me, looks good (better than bare glass), and isn't deep enough to be a toxin sump.
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Old 11-11-2003, 04:22 PM   #12
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Please explain why the bacteria will move to the liverock. I was under the impression that nitrate reducing bacteria live in places which have NO oxygen. While i was also under the impression that your liverock is supposed to have water flow over it at all times which will keep anaerobic pockets from forming there which would tell me that anaerobic bacteria can NOT live in the live rock. Correct me if I am wrong but this is just the understanding i had.
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Old 11-11-2003, 05:01 PM   #13
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Please explain why the bacteria will move to the liverock. I was under the impression that nitrate reducing bacteria live in places which have NO oxygen.
LR is an anoxic nitrate reducer meaning low O2. The bacteria that live in a DSB are both anaerobic and anoxic. The difference is in how the bacteria convert the nitrate. Anoxic bacteria, expell CO2 and nitrogen for the most part while anaerobic bacteria expell methane, hydrogen sulphide as well as the afore mentioned two.

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While i was also under the impression that your liverock is supposed to have water flow over it at all times which will keep anaerobic pockets from forming there which would tell me that anaerobic bacteria can NOT live in the live rock. Correct me if I am wrong but this is just the understanding i had.
Due to the porous nature of most rock, it is not that likely you will get anaerobic bacterial develpoement but rather anoxic which in turn will do the same thing as a DSB given enough quantity and time...

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Old 11-11-2003, 05:06 PM   #14
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im with steve-s and e-cat but i went with the 1-2 inch of sand not just for looks but was concerned that a toppling rock could take out the bottom of the tank with no cushion.
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Old 11-11-2003, 05:07 PM   #15
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Bacterial nitrate reduction takes place in areas of low O2 content, not fully anerobic. More of a transition layer from one to the other. There are some really good sites on this topic, just off hand I can't remember them.

Just how deep your sand bed has to go to get the optimum for one and not the other seems to be a point of contention.

Good LR has generous porous regions that are deep and semi-anerobic regardless of water circulation over the surface of the rock. They get waterflow, but very little, and hence they help with nitrate reduction. It just takes longer to establish. This is why anti-DSB reef-keepers are able to vacuum out their sand beds of a 3 year old tank and have no adverse affects. The LR has already established enough diversity to take over the duties.
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Old 11-11-2003, 07:43 PM   #16
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Due to the porous nature of most rock, it is not that likely you will get anaerobic bacterial develpoement but rather anoxic which in turn will do the same thing as a DSB given enough quantity and time...

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ok now please explain the difference in anoxic and anaerobic....near as i can tell from looking around they are the same thing.......
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Old 11-11-2003, 10:55 PM   #17
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An anoxic area is one that has very low O2 and an anaerobic area is one that is void of O2. The both do basically the same thing but each in a different way, the desired end result being nitrogen gas.

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Old 11-12-2003, 01:32 AM   #18
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I got rid of my DSB, and I haven't been happier with my tank
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Old 11-12-2003, 08:47 AM   #19
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I got rid of my DSB, and I haven't been happier with my tank
Really? I love mine. But I like the looks too, so I guess guess it fits me perfect.

IMO, from the reading I have done, the reason most DSB's fail is because they either weren't setup right from the beginning (i.e. wrong grain size of sand, sand not deep enough, or didn't seed the bed) or the DSB weren't given enough time to establish themselves and people got disgusted with them.
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