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Old 12-08-2004, 06:56 PM   #1
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Another Sand Question

I have been struggling with algae almost since I began this hobby two years ago. My latest attempt to address this is to remove my bio balls and use my abundant supply of live rock to do the denitrification for me. I am about 50% through with this process. I would also like to go to a DSB mainly because I don't like the look of the bare bottom aquarium, I don't want to have to constantly siphon the bed, and I like the idea of having the extra denitrification capacity.

I have located a supplier of Old Castle sand in my area. I tested it with vinegar and it seemed to give off a steady stream of bubbles. My question is what extra creatures should I purchase for this bed and when, i.e. should I wait until it has started giving off N2?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.

awillemd1
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Old 12-08-2004, 06:58 PM   #2
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If you have live rock it will seed the sand. You can also get a cup of sand from an established tank to help it along.
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Old 12-08-2004, 07:06 PM   #3
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I had read that my live rock would seed the sand, but I thought that was primarily in bacteria. I thought I needed some larger creatures to sift through the sand to keep it somewhat stirred up.

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Old 12-08-2004, 07:08 PM   #4
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You can get a goby and/or a sand sifting star. I have 4 stars in my 225 and a goby is next on my list of fish as soon as my mated clowns are out of QT and in the main tank.
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Old 12-08-2004, 07:27 PM   #5
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Thanks. Which type of blenny are you referring to. I just got a lawnmower/sailfin blenny. He seems to spend all his time on my rocks.

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Old 12-08-2004, 07:38 PM   #6
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Sorry meant to say Goby. I already have a blenny and it does the same as yours.

I was told an engineer goby or a twinspot goby. I will be getting one soon but it will be in QT for at least 3 weeks.
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Old 12-08-2004, 09:05 PM   #7
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Snails!

Nassarius Snails : Great detrivores and sand-stirrers. They will hide in the sand until feeding time.
Cerith Snails Will also breed in your tank. Good algae eaters and sand-stirrers.
Fighting Conchs : Little vacuum cleaners. One per 2 sq. ft. of sand. They'll eat diatoms and, sometimes, cyano.
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:45 PM   #8
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Excellent! Thank you.

Will nassarius snails breed as well?

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Old 12-09-2004, 12:15 AM   #9
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i have an enginer goby and i wouldn't sugest it for a sand sifting. mine is really shy and spends all his time hidden in the rocks. every once in a while hill pop out grab some rocks in his mouth and head back into the rocks. kind of cool if you want something that looks like an eal.
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Old 12-09-2004, 12:42 AM   #10
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In my case, my LR seeded my sand bed with a ton of worms. Yours may do the same. Mine is a SSB (~1.5-2" avg)
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:42 AM   #11
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Thanks for the replies. I keep reading about these worms and pods that are supposed to be in my live rock, but I don't see anything. How big are the worms that you are seeing? Also, does SSB mean shallow sand bed and why would one want an SSB?

Thanks.

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Old 12-09-2004, 03:19 PM   #12
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Hmm, it might be that your rock is only 'live' in the bacterial sense, and that your LFS dipped the rock to remove the extras. Or just never fed the other critters. I have 20+ featherdusters, some with 1"+ crowns, a ton of spaghetti worms (their sticky food grabbers going almost half the length of the tank), lots of worms in the substrate.

I have a SSB mainly for looks/cost. In a 55 you lose so much water volume doing a DSB Maybe I'll add a fuge to my sump system later.
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Old 12-09-2004, 04:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Will nassarius snails breed as well?
Not that I'm aware of.

LR will start to sprout many different things over time (measured in months). You can always order a detrivore kit (pods) from Inland Aquatics, ISPF or others.
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Old 12-09-2004, 06:11 PM   #14
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my live rock took a long time to seed the sand bed. just give it time
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Old 12-27-2004, 01:46 PM   #15
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engineering gobies

I had 2 mated engineering gobies about 8" each in a former 46ga reef tank. They moved that sand around!!!!

They generally lived in a cave in the LR, but regularly came out with mouthfuls of sand. They also create crevices between rocks to move the sand around. Any corals on the sand were buried regularly so I had to move them up on the LR, but the gobies regularly swam to the surface with mouthfuls of sand straining them as the currents took the sand away onto the liverock as well.

I thought they were fun to watch, but they really messed up the corls world on my reef. Mine were huge though maybe smaller ones will do better for you.
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Old 12-27-2004, 11:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
I thought I needed some larger creatures to sift through the sand to keep it somewhat stirred up.
goby definitely helps! Before I got my goby I had a big problem with algea on my DSB. Ive only had my orange spotted goby for about 2 weeks and my sands stays white all the time now. I also have a sand sifting starfish but the goby covers allot more area. the only negative about a goby is (as stated before) it will move sand where you might not want it. HTH
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Old 12-28-2004, 10:35 AM   #17
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Plan well, the sand is going to cause huge problems when you add it if you do not take time and do it right. I added some Old Castle a few months ago and it took 2 weeks to see some of my rocks again, first cloudy water and then I had to keep blowing the sand off of them which clouded the water again. The next time I added the sand, I added it to a 5 gallon bucket, after washing thoroughly, and let it cycle with a power head for awhile. When I added this sand, no storm becasue it was already conditioned to go into the tank.
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