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Old 01-16-2004, 12:23 AM   #1
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Sandless in Seattle

Moving from Chicago to Seattle has been an eye opening experience in some cases. Other than getting used to the rain, I find that the LFS around Seattle are lacking in supplies and in some cases experience. I am setting up my 60 gallon acrylic and I wanted to put down a 2-4 DSB. I thought that that would not be a big problem, I would lay down a bed of Carib Sea or some other sand that was the size of sugar. Then I would purchase some live sand from a local LFS to seed it. Well, I have called several stores and they are charging $1+ for the regular sand. PetSmart was charging $25 for a 20 lb . I go onto Dr Foster's and they are charging $18 for a 30 lb bag or Carib Sea. So down to the real question that I have, what are your thoughts on putting in 40 lbs of Seaflor special grade reef sand and then 30 lbs of Carib Sea on top of that, then adding in some live sand?
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Old 01-16-2004, 06:07 AM   #2
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40 lbs of Seaflor special grade reef sand and then 30 lbs of Carib Sea
The SeaFlor will end up on top. The smaller grain sand will work it's wat to the bottom.

Look for SouthDown or Old Castle sand at your local home Depots...I doubt they have it (seasonal and usually restricted to the NE), but you might get lucky. You might also consider joining the PSAS (Puget Sound Aquarium Society), aquarium clubs will often time purchase pallets directly from SouthDown and seel it to their members at cost, looking at 5-8 dollars per 50 lbs bag.
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Old 01-16-2004, 10:24 AM   #3
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cookie welcome to Seattle the home of the crappy LFS's lol. you should look into the link Keven so graciously gave you . thier are alot of members of this club (over 300) and lots of great speakers coming to visit us. On the sand note, I knwo of at least 4 folks that are removing sand from thier systems and I am sure you could score lots of it if you wished.

take care.

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Old 01-16-2004, 10:34 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mojoreef
I know of at least 4 folks that are removing sand from thier systems and I am sure you could score lots of it if you wished.

Mike
Why are they removing the sand?
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Old 01-16-2004, 10:48 AM   #5
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Snap, different reasons my friend. two of our members with very nice tanks (TOTM at RC) had thier systems crash, ..well let me rephrase that, begin to crash (corals began to die off, lots of algae blooms and so on) they both tore down thier systems and when they did we did alot of testing on the water conditions and the condition of the sand itself. The sand was loaded with doc's detritus and all the associated P and N. the anaerobic zone was only a half inch down on the exposed areas and right on top under the rockwork. the sulfur zone was right on top to and high traces of sulfur were found i the pore water of the bed. basically the dsb had converted from a recycling center to a large anaerobic zone. the balance of of folks saw thier tanks begining to head down the same road, with more and more algae blooms and phosphates leaching from the bed itself. These tanks were mostly SPS tanks and the phosphates were not allowing the corals to calicify anymore.


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Old 01-16-2004, 11:16 AM   #6
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So what are these guys going to use as an alternative substrate/depth?
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Old 01-16-2004, 11:37 AM   #7
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Bare bottom, and lots and lots of corraline. a few are usinging polyps and ricordia and even some clams.

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Old 01-16-2004, 05:47 PM   #8
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Mojoreef,
so are you recommending that I not go with a DSB and just go bare, with a possible underlayment so that the LR doesnt scratch up my acrylic tank?
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Old 01-16-2004, 06:07 PM   #9
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I think your best bet right now is to research dsbs and some of the problems with them that have come to light over the last several months. There really is nothing wrong with a DSB, provided you know it's limitations and how to care for it, just like the animals in your tank the sandbed is a living breathing thing and requires some maintenance and, IMO, has a finite life span. The exact length of time it will serve you will depend greatly on bioload, set-up and maintenance.

I personally have never used a DSB in my main tank and have my first in a remote refugium, that can easily be removed from the system if necessary. Many will get the entire life of a particular tank out of a DSB, since the trend is to keep upgrading to a larger tank before the lifespan of your dsb has been reached.
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Old 01-16-2004, 06:17 PM   #10
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reefrunner,
so your tank has a bare bottom with a fuge? I have been thinking of getting a HOB CPR fuge.
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Old 01-16-2004, 06:22 PM   #11
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Not bare bttom, I like the look of sand too much I have a shallow sandbed, 1-2" that I stir up about once per week to get any detritus into suspension to be removed by the skimmer or during a waterchange. Many are going with thin layers of sand these days, or there is another product they are using, that I cannot for the life of me remember, it is a sheet of something...anyway for those of us that cannot abide the site of a barebottom tank. This is personal preference, but it has worked for me for several years on several tanks.

As for the fuge, yes I love it, I will never set up another tank that does not incorporate a fuge.
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Old 01-16-2004, 06:38 PM   #12
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Two other questions that I have for you:
1) When you stir up the bed, what do you actually do? Do you use a stick to stir it up or what? Do you stir up the entire bed?

2) What do you use to hold up your LR? I was thinking of using some PVC pipes to hold them up. Wouldn't this be necessary for such a short sand bed?
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Old 01-16-2004, 06:48 PM   #13
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1) When you stir up the bed, what do you actually do? Do you use a stick to stir it up or what? Do you stir up the entire bed?
Because it is a shallow bed and is not anoxic, yes I stir the entire bed. What I actually use to do tthis is I use a turkey baster (my tank has it's own ) and blow water into the sand. IME, this method stirs up more of the detritus than the stick method, I have done both though, while I am blasting the sand bed out....I also take the opportunity to blast any detritus off the rocks. I allow that to be pulled out or siphoned out and then settle and blast off the rocks again.

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2) What do you use to hold up your LR? I was thinking of using some PVC pipes to hold them up. Wouldn't this be necessary for such a short sand bed?
My rock site on/or very close to the bottom glass and the sand is filled in around it, I do not use pvc or anything else to support it up off the bed. The rock rising up out of the sand is much more astheticly pleasing to me than the rock sitting up off the sand..
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Old 01-16-2004, 08:05 PM   #14
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Great Post Keven. Cookie definately do some research. I a not condeming them just trying to show thier limitations and what they will and will not do. Their are ways to extend the life of a dsb as Keven mentioned. What keven is doing is to remove the built up detritus and waste that would eventually fill the dsb and render it useless. All things bad in a reef tank come from food, waste and detritus. If you remove these you will not have to worry about trying to recycle them or sink them in a bed. From me I remove them right away through strong skimming and good flow.
Again you can use a dsb just make sure you know ahead of time what you need to make it work and what it can and cant do.

take care

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Old 01-16-2004, 08:08 PM   #15
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Oh on the standing of the rocks just to throw out another way, you can use acrylic dowels also. All you really need to do if you want is the rocks that are in contact wth the bottom. You sue turn the rock over and drill a short hole and then put in the correct size dowel.
On the sand thing, if you still wish to go that route thier is a fellow in Seattle that is removing a dsb from his tank (about 300lbs) and said he would be more then happy to give some to you.

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Old 01-17-2004, 02:55 AM   #16
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I live in Seattle too, and I have noticed it's not too easy to find a LFS!!
Especially in the Shoreline/Edmonds area. (north)

I do know there is a place in Bellevue called Salt Water City, I believe. And supposedly they're pretty good. I haven't gone there yet.
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Old 01-17-2004, 01:53 PM   #17
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I know everyone discourages sand sifting stars but couldn't they with the help of snails that sift through sand prolong the life of a DSB?
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Old 01-17-2004, 03:41 PM   #18
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Mojo, PMed you with my number. Let me know if we can set up an arraingement to get the sand. Thanks
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Old 01-17-2004, 03:43 PM   #19
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BeerNinja, I work near Salt Water City. I thought that I noticed that their building had a for lease sign on it. I am not sure if they are stiill around or not. I have heard that from a few people that I work with about a place in Kent. When I find the name I will post it on this thread.
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Old 01-17-2004, 10:10 PM   #20
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Cookie got it. Thier are a few stores in the area. The best would probibly be Blue Sierra in Issaquah, Midway pets has some nice stuff also, thier below sealevel in the U district. Feel free to jump on the link Keven posted, and join the club, you get discounts and thier is always alot of stuff for trade and sale. We have a bunch of good speakers coming to Charles Delbeek, Anthony Calfo, Scott Michael to mention a few. Frag give away next month with calfo also.
You can also clink on the picture below to get thier

Jamal, its tough to say the stars sift through the top layers but they also eat all the other bugs you are trying to keep in the bed, so it kinda defeats the purpose. I have a bunch of star in my tank..but then again no sand

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