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Sand Subsrate question

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hsdrichb

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2004
Messages
14
I'm in some dire strights here please lend a hand.

I have a 125 FOWLR that's been up for about 2 years. I had a crushed coral bottum in it on the advice of ym LFS who said that I needed CC to trap the food and detritus so I could vacuum it out. My tank gets so darn dirty and vacuuming the CC is such a pain in the neck I'd rather not have the tank.

Rather than get rid of the tank I took out all the CC and now I just have a bare bottom. I'd like to put sand in as my substrate and get a clean up crew, but my LFS said my fish will pollute too much for sand and I need CC. I have a Naso Tang ans Yellow tang in there now. I would like to add a couple goby's and maybe 1 more smaller herbivore too. Is my LFS right? Do I need CC? Can I rely on my cleanup crew and go with sand and elminate the need to vaccum? Help me out here please, I'm very frusturated.
 

randythereefer

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 14, 2004
Messages
56
Location
Spokane Washington
okay heres my opinion:

I too used to have a CC bottom. I hated it too because for me it was a little nitrate factory. I switched to a deep sand bed, however I have seen all things in between. You can't vacume up sand however and it will still create nitrates. In sand however you can have some different detrivores (detrius eaters). My LFS aquatic dreams uses shallow (less than 6 inch) sand beds with no ill results. I think flow is a good idea to keep detrium in suspension and a good skimmer is important too. Many people prefer the Bare Bottom to CC or shallow sand since they can have really high flow rates and keep the detrius in suspension for their skimmer to take out.
 

mojoreef

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Jul 5, 2003
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7,530
Location
Sumner
Good post Randy. Its kind of one or the other, most inbetweeners dont last very long. If you are going to go Deep sand bed I would suggest doing some searches here to make sure you set it up and stock it well so that you have a better chance at sucess. Also make note that it also is not an indefinate filtration system.


Mike
 

hsdrichb

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2004
Messages
14
sand

i really don't want do to a DSB. why don't inbetweeners last long? what's the pros and cons to a SSB? I read your Lets Talk Filtration thread and it was awesome but didn't get into SSB as much as the others. I've sunk too much time and $$$ into this already to screw it up again.
 

mojoreef

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Jul 5, 2003
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Sumner
A shallow sand bed works under the same concepts as the deep sand bed. thier are two processes going on in thier one is nitrification in the areobic zone (top oxygenated inch or so) and denitrification in the lower oxygen depraved zone (the rest of the bed). Denitrification is a much slower process then nitrification so alot more real estate is required to keep the two zones matched up. In a ssb you are not going to have this, plus the sand bed will fill with products that are not processed by nitrifing bacteria as time goes by, so the less depth you have the shorter the time frame that will take place.
So a SSB can work for sure, from studies done most anaerobic zones start just a 1/2 inch under the surface, so that would leave the balance of the bed for anaerobic denitrification.
Its all about processing waste and detritus. In a bb system the processing happens in real time. In a dsb system its closer to composting where waste and detritus are reduced. IMHO you buy into one system or the other and then shape the tank to work with in the confines of either system. This give you the best shot at long term sucess. A ssb will work as desired its just a life span issue.


Mike
 

hsdrichb

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2004
Messages
14
thanks

thanks mojo you know your stuff

but i do need a cleanup crew with a SSB to rid my tank of the crud because without vacuuming it'll just decompose and rasie my levels right? I don't ahve to vacuum a SSB do I?
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
You can't get away from maintenance, no matter what type of substrate you have. With a SSB, and even DSB, the lighter your bioload is, then the amount of crud being built up in the sand will be less. Feeding practices also come into play....feed too much, then the excess will settle into the sand bed. Sand critters will help to process this down, but remember.....the waste doesn't poof away like magic....it just gets smaller. Part of tank maintenance would be to stir the upper layer in order to free up detritus (and not with sand sifting critters, as they feed on important life in the bed). Then when a water change is performed, siphon the junk that gets into the water column. Removing waste is always a better way then allowing it to build-up, IMO.

Here is another thread if you haven't checked it out: Let's Talk About ~Aquarium Husbandry~

Hope this helps!
 
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