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Old 01-19-2005, 09:19 AM   #11
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Location: Western NY
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Originally Posted by Jonathan G.
i'll admit it im a newbie, and i need help lol.
Thats what we're here for!

1.) Can you only use a smaller grain sand for a DSB? or do people also use caribsea crushed aragonite for a DSB?
Yes. what most suggest is range of grain size from silt size particles to average sand grain sizes (I think 1/2mm max) Take a look at this page for a quick comparison of the play sand to the caribsea Aragamax sand (NOT CC) The variation of grain size is said to be the most condusive of a diverse community of life in your sand bed. The more variety of life you have the better!

2.) If i were to use tropical play sand and made a DSB of 4-6in, what is the difference then if i were to use caribsea crushed aragonite? which is a little bigger and is in most marine tanks i see around here, which is why im skeptical about using the tropical playsand.
The major points of this have been answered already above by others. CC allows more water movement and thus oxygen. In order for the last stages of denitrification to occur, there must be a complete lack of oxygen in the deeper parts of your sand bed.

3.) Also I hear you can't use any sandsifters if you have a DSB.... is this true and if so what would this limit me on as far as livestock and such?
It is recommend that you do not use "Sand sifters" as what they are actually doing is feed on the life forms in your sand bed. As we've discussed, the life forms in the sand bed are what make the sand bed work. The tiny life forms, worms, copepods, tiny snails, etc; are the life forms that will "stir" your sand bed for you. You need no more activity than what they provide. Their activity it was provides the slow movement of water and gasses through the sand bed. IMO, it is a sand bed who's life has been deepleted that begins to build up the toxic gases that many are afraid of and claim to have wiped out their tank. As long you have a healthy and diverse sand bed, you shouldn't have to worry about toxic gases.

4.)if a DSB is the way to go why do most tanks i see have the caribsea?
*shrug* Trends change. The play-sand DSB, from what I've learned in the last couple of years, is a relatively new thing. For one, many LFS can't get ahold of the playsand. There is a "No-Compete" agreement between the playsand manufacturer and CaribSea. Therefore they can NOT sell their product to LFS' so most new comers are not aware of the better alternative.

I hope those answers help the both of you. For some additional information, please check out our, Articles Section there are a number of articles there that will likely answer many of your questions. Particularly, I suggest reading How ammonia is converted to nitrate

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playsand, sand

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