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Old 01-20-2005, 06:49 AM   #1
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Deep sand bed advice

OK, I'm almost ready for my sand bed. From what I've been reading, it's oolitic aragonite (seeded with LS), 3"-4" deep, with no serious sand sifter critters (but ample smaller ones) to ensure the maintenance of hypoxic areas (but not anoxic) in the substrate.

As the former mayor of the Big Apple used to say:

"How'm I doin'?"

Replies, critique, and advice appreciated intensely.
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 01-20-2005, 07:56 PM   #2
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Is it considered bad form to reply to one's own post?

On even further research, I've changed my mind about the sand bed I'll use. SInce my tank is only 30 gal, a 3" bed is not desirable, so I'll go with a thin bed and use a deep layer in my sump. Any advice or tips from experienced hands?

Take pity on a poor newbie.

Although I've done my research, I've yet to pay any real dues, i.e., learning curve mistakes.

Any help will be molto apprezzato.
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 01-20-2005, 08:51 PM   #3
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A 2-3 inch sand bed will be just fine. How much LR are you planning?
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Old 01-20-2005, 10:18 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply.
Quote:
A 2-3 inch sand bed will be just fine. How much LR are you planning?

Probably between 30 and 45 lb, depending on what I can find online. Not an abundance of LFS near me with good marine stuff. One guy has "live rock" that looks like base rock to me - white, no visible signs of anything on it, and he wants $8.99 per pound. I can do as well online.

I'm planning to let the sand and rock cycle a bit, then add some cleanup critters like snails, crabs, etc., while a fish or two are in quarantine for a couple of weeks. Then I'll do a couple (4-5) hardy, peaceful fish like a clown, cardinal, etc.

I've read conflicting things on sand beds. One says no serious sand sifters should be used with a DSB of 4" or more, since they aerate the sand too much. Other sites disagree. This won't be as big a deal for me, as I've given up on DSB for nitrate reduction due to the small size of my tank. (I'll try to enlist the help of a sump DSB, protein skimmer, and water changes.

If this works out, I now have a 55 gal cichlid tank which may become the next home for my critters and their new tankmates ... in a year or two
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 01-20-2005, 10:47 PM   #5
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You can get by with less sand and just up the amount of LR. 45-60lbs would give you great biological filtration. Many here love www.liverocks.com It is some of the best LR I have seen and between $5 and $6 per lbs with shipping. Check them out.
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Old 01-21-2005, 09:43 AM   #6
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I checked out the site - looks promising. Thanks.

Do you recommend Florida keys or gulf rock from liverocks.com?

Also, do I have to seed the LS with detritivores?
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 01-21-2005, 10:05 AM   #7
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Why only a 2-3 inch Sand Bed? I have a 40 gallon cycling with 4 inches...am I going to regret this?? I would think a DSB would be good for any size tank to help keep nitrates down...please elaborate why less is recommended for smaller tanks

Thanks

WC
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40 Gallon Breeder Salt Water: 4 inch DSB (2/3 Agaramax & 1/3 Sea Flor), Bak Pak 2R Skimmer w/ BBX, 2 x JBJ PHs, Coralife Lunar Aqualight (2x96w), 30lb Base Rock and 40lbs of Live Rock.
Inhabitants: Purple Firefish, Pygmy Angel, Lawmower Blenny, 2 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, Pistol Shrimp(HH), 1 Emerald Crabs, 3 Porcelin Crabs(HH), varying amounts and varieties of hermit and snails.

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Old 01-21-2005, 10:42 AM   #8
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It isn't recommended, I just don't like how much of tank it will take up. With a 12" tank with 1" headroom (probably more) , that's 5"" for LS and air, leaving only 7" for water. I'll go with the Berlin system in the tank with a smaller bed and more LR. I'm hoping that the DSB in the sump, although smaller, will contribute a bit to denitrification.

We'll see....
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30 gal standard 55 lbs LR, 60 lb live sand, 10 gal sump/refugium. Urchin skimmer, mag7 pump, 3 x 96W PC combination 10,000K/actinic bulb, 2 blue LED moonlights
SG 1.024, temp 79.5, pH 8.4

Livestock I added:

1 skunk cleaner. 12 hermits: red, scarlet, blue. 15 or so assorted snails. Discosomas, Ricordia, Rhodactis mushroom corals, chaetomorpha (sump), 1 feather duster, Montipora digitata, Montipora capricornis, Montipora hispids. assorted zoos, Xenia, Kenya tree coral, green Sinularia, green star polyps, branching hammer coral, bubble coral, Devil's hand leather. Yellow chromis, purple firefish.

Hitchhikers: the usual suspects :crabs, bristles, urchin, mantis shrimp (now in exile in mantis tank)

List of possible/likely newcomers:

Feather duster. PJ cardinal, Bangghai cardinal, Firefish goby, Clownfish, Neon goby, Yellow watchman goby, Orchid dottyback. Various corals.
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Old 01-21-2005, 11:31 AM   #9
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Good to see another local NYer setting up a tank. Have you been to Reef Splendor in E. Fishkill to look at LR? They have several thousand pounds on site to pick from. You may be able to get it cheaper On-line but hand picking your LR is nice
Not sure how big your sump will be but adding a DSB to the sump IMO will not be that effective. If your worried about nitrates I would use that extra room to make a refugium with some LR rubble, caluerpa and microalage. Going with a Shallow SB is a good idea 2-3" is plenty.
Check out hvreef.org thats our Hudson Valley Reef club..
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Old 01-21-2005, 11:33 AM   #10
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there is an ongoing debate as to be benifits vs. risks of a DSB. Keep in mind, thesea are really DBS, like 6 inches deep. Benifits are that it creates a winderful enviornment for beneficial bacteria to grow. Risk, it can also trap pockets of toxic gas (forgot whcich type) that, when disturbed, release into the aqarium. This is bad. When dealing with normal sand bed, 2-4 inchs, this is not really a concern. Just make sure you have plenty of sand critters thta are responsible for sifting through your sand.

Midiman...Sounds like you have done your research. Nice job. As for the LR, get a mixture of keys and Gulf. That way you get some with the great color and coral growth of Keys and the cool hitch hikers Gulf rocks brings. It is the best of both worlds. Call liverocks.com and talk to Mike or Zack. They have wonderful customer service and will hand-pick what you want. Plus, their rock is all acu-cultured so no natural reefs are being damaged.
Lando
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