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Old 06-16-2003, 09:52 AM   #1
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conflicting opnions on dsb

i have read that dsb must be maintained by stirring them and that the sand slowly dissolves over time and must be added to. and i have read that you never stir the sand bed as nasty things are in there that you could stir up so what is the best way to go?
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Old 06-16-2003, 10:33 AM   #2
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When people refer to stirring the sand bed, they are referring to the turning of the sand done by the critters in the bed. You should never mannually stir your dsb. Copapods, isopods amphipods bristle worms, peanut worms, etc...will do the job for you.
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Old 06-16-2003, 10:38 AM   #3
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actually the article said stir gently with a dowel
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Old 06-16-2003, 10:47 AM   #4
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Hmmm, who wrote the article? I'd like to know whose writing to avoid. Stirring a DSB in that manner would have seriously bad effects on your tank, is it possible they were referring to a shallow sand bed?
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Old 06-16-2003, 10:58 AM   #5
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Very interesting indeed.

The whole theory behind a DSB is that you have different zones simular to a plenium system. The upper zone helps with the ammonia and nitrite removal. Further down within the sand bed there are areas that are lower in oxygen content. And only in these low oxygen regions can the nitrate removal occur. If you manually stir the DSB then your oxygenating those oxygen low regions and in effect removing the sand bed's capacity to rid your tank of nitrate as effectivly.

The reason for the sand sifting creatures is so they can keep the upper layers rich with oxygen and at the same time allow the nitrate particles to slowly make their way down to the lower regions of the sand bed.
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Old 06-16-2003, 11:05 AM   #6
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I have read, and I can't remember where, that lightly stirring the top layer of any sandbed will release bacteria and other critters that corals can use for food. I believe they were referring to only the top 1/2" or so of the sand. In my coral tanks, I have a DSB in the bottom tank and only about 1" of sand in the top tank. I stir the top sandbed occasionally to feed the corals. I think the safest course of action would be to leave the DSB alone though.
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Old 06-16-2003, 11:44 AM   #7
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thanks ok new thought what about a 2 inch sand bed in tank and dsb in the sump/ref? maybe i am mixing up all the research
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Old 06-16-2003, 02:14 PM   #8
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There would be no problem, and possibly some benifit to manually stirring a 2" bed, the dsb in the fuge would need to be left undisturbed.
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Old 06-17-2003, 06:28 PM   #9
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I would have to go with Kevin on this one. If you run a DSB in your main the absolute best you could hope for (if everything is running perfect) is the processing of nitrogenious waste, betond that it wont process anything and will eventually become a sink. If its in the refugium you could at some point remove it and deal with it without screwing up your tank. If you are going with a 2 inch bed in the main I would suggest going with a coarser grain size, say Crushed coral. This way you could simply vacuum out the CC and remove all harmful toxins Ie nitrates and all the other stuff a DSB wont touch.

good luck

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Old 06-18-2003, 01:08 AM   #10
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The idea of a DSB becoming a "sink" is completely untrue and has no factual evidence supporting it. In a properly set up deep sand bed with a variety of detrivores and other critters, there is no end product that hides itself deep in the sand waiting to attack in the future. There are sandbeds dated as old as 16 years without any problems whatsoever. Several friends of mine are well over five with still no detectable nitrates. My oldest is reaching two years, and there is not a hint of nitrates, excess detritus, or nuisance algae.
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