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Old 10-21-2003, 03:14 AM   #21
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Are you suggesting we remove our sand beds vis a syphon and replace them on a regular schedule?
I'm suggesting, on occasion, you stuff the tube into your sand bed at random locations as regular maintenence and siphon out the metal ash and other inert materials that are the real cause of the problem of a DSB going critical mass. If you don't totally 'suck the life' out of your entire DSB at one sitting, you should *never* have a problem and keep your DSB healthy pretty much forever.

I agree that no two tanks are entirely the same, but the chemical/biological processes are the same regardless. We change water in our tanks on a regular basis, run enough power heads to wash a load of laundry, dope our tanks with trace elements, and yet we're led to believe that we can't disturb several hundred pounds of inert sand. I didn't get into marine aquaria to raise worms in sand and keep them healthy.

DSB's do work, but the extent is the real controversy, and I'm not disputing their effectiveness because I have them myself. My own theory is that given enough time and good care, an abundance of LR will soon take over duties of Nitrate reduction simply by appoximation effect. It simply takes longer for this to happen since a dense sand bed is an initially better and less competitive place for nitrate reducers to thrive when a tank is first set up. This explains why the DSB can be removed from a mature tank and not disrupt nor cause a nitrate spike, yet new tanks are often a headache in terms of nitrate if they don't have a DSB.
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Old 10-21-2003, 04:02 AM   #22
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I was always under the impression that aragonite DSBs deteriorate at approx the rate of 1/4" to 1/2" anually. If this sand is replaced anually refreshing the DSB, there seems to me, no problem at all
This seems like alot of deterioration. i was under the impression that aragonite acted as a buffer if the calcium levels went below what the inhabitants of your tank demanded. sort of like a calcium reactor. so if that is true then as long as your dosing the correct amounts of Ca and Alk then this deterioration should slow significantly.

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If something was to develop a toxic layer of gas it would be the plenum since the entire concept of one is to intentionally create a space that is nearly void of water flow.
esentually isn't that the same thing that the DSB is doing is creating that same void of water flow except using a more natural environment via the sand instead of an eggcrate. i was under the impression that the DSB worked in many ways much like the plenum in that it created a nutrient sink underneath the sandbed where the "nasties" of our tanks would slowly migrate. so with that being said i know many stores in my area of central illinois that have been using plenums for some 13 years with no problems.

Myself i am a firm believer in the DSB and i think that it is a very good attempt at recreating a more natural environment. Is it perfect? no. But at the same time we do not have millions of gallons of volume, along with millions of lbs of LR, LS and whatever else makes the natural ecosystem that we try to recreate. however i think alone the DSB could be a "timebomb" if used alone. i believe with the addition of Macro algaes and a healthy refugium to keep the microfuana population healthy then the life of your DSB could ultimatly go well beyond what many people have predicted to be a mass destruction of our tanks.

with that being said i am in no way anywhere close to as knowledgable as most on this forum. the views that i express are my own ideas from the vast readings that i have seen. and for those of you who do read about this know that it is very difficult to find two authors that completly agree on the type of filtration to be used in our tanks. that is what i believe makes this hobby so unique in that each and every one of us is able to form our own unique environment that cannot be duplicated by anyone else. so as for saying what will work and what won't work, what will last and what won't..... only the owner of each individual tank can be the judge. and as someone said before in 10 years from now there will probably be something that makes the DSB and the Plenum obsolete. but that is what makes science and discovery so great. sorry for rambling but i think this is a very interesting topic to discuss
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Old 10-21-2003, 10:40 AM   #23
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This seems like alot of deterioration. i was under the impression that aragonite acted as a buffer if the calcium levels went below what the inhabitants of your tank demanded. sort of like a calcium reactor. so if that is true then as long as your dosing the correct amounts of Ca and Alk then this deterioration should slow significantly.
The rate at which the aragonite will dissolve will be dependant on the ph of the tank, if the water keeps a good alk and maintains a high ph the sand bed will dissolve more slowly.
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Old 10-21-2003, 11:00 AM   #24
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Before my 75 gal. reef broke a silicone joint in the bottom last year, My DSB which was and is 5 " of bagged live sand from the LFS was a little over 4 years old. I had no problems that could not be pinned on my mistakes but my tank was thriving.
When I setup up my new tank I used the old sand and new to replace what I had lost. My LFS is against DSB stating the same reasons. I do know others that are using DSB with no problems. I am still waiting for scientific proof of the sand beds crashing until then it is my preference to continue using the DSB. My new tank which is almost a year old is doing even better. To each his own, thats what makes this hobby great.
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Old 10-21-2003, 11:07 AM   #25
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Personally, I hedge my bets. I have a DSB in a refugium and a shallow sand bed in the main tank.
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Old 10-21-2003, 02:08 PM   #26
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yeah i agree that that is the way to go if you can manage it. because i personally don't like to look at 6" of sand in my main tank but there was really no other place to do it besides my main tank. hopefully the next tank i set up i can do it that way.
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