deep sand bed info?
hey all, I am curious about deep sand beds... I have read a little bit on other sites, but I wanted to ask here as well and get some more basic information. I didn't see another topic about DSB on this forum, so if I missed it I apologize for the redundant thread :)
It sounds like a DSB serves as a de-nitrifying role, helping keep nitrate levels under control (is that correct?) What other benefits are there, if any, to having a DSB?
What are the pros and cons to using a DSB in the main tank, versus elsewhere in the filtration system? I would imagine a pro to main tank DSB would be maximum de-nitrifying effect, are there any drawbacks?
Are there guidelines for "how deep" the sand needs to be to be considered a DSB? I've read 5 inches more than once, but is it that straightforward (simply always 5 inches or more)? Does using a DSB affect how you clean your substrate? Is it still OK to vacuum the gravel, and if so, should you avoid disturbing the sand below a certain depth? Should you EVER vacuum or "clean" the deepest part of the sand?
Thanks in advance to anyone who takes time to read this and share their knowledge and experience :D
i have a deeper then normal sand bed, and all i know so far is that you get lots of bubbles under the sand which you need to get rid of. shifting the sand is the problem but if you are willing to manually shift it then deep sand beds even look great, thats all i can say tbh :p hope this helped!
From what I have read DSB's are absolutely great. The main role is the nitrate reduction role, which really cuts back on the number of water changes you have to do. Since marine mix is so expensive, this is really beneficial. Also, having a deeper sand bed allows for the production of more pods, so you've got more of a natural food supply in the tank. As far as I know, the only "drawback" to the deep sand bed is the initial cost in adding that much sand. I've read 4" is a good number, although I'm sure 5" would be great.
Also, as far as I know, you don't want to disturb the sand bed at all. No manual stirring, nothing. I believe you can lightly vacuum debris from the surface of the sand by holding the gravel vac higher above the sand, but that's about all the maintenance it requires.
I'm not an expert though, so don't do anything too crazy until someone who knows more about the method can offer some help.
This is an interesting web page about DSB. I'm looking into it myself. I think 5" is a good thickness. They say 4" - 6" is recommended.
I would turn to the absolute authority on the topic, Bob Goemans:
You should take the time to read this, and then click on the link for the 2nd article, at the end of the 1st.
I have personally had great success with DSB systems, and not so great success with the Jaubert style plenum systems. I think a lot of the bad publicity you may hear comes from people who do not understand the different in care, and attempt to treat the DSB like a plenum.
The topic is extremely complicated, hense the article link. However, I will point out a couple of personal experience bullet points.
First, you need a minimum of 3'', and will probably have better results with 4''. I personally use 4'' of aragonite sand.
Second, you must have a significant number of sand sifters. Starfish, nassarius snails, hermit crabs, etc. I recommend 1 sifter per gallon, as a general rule.
Third, you NEVER disturb the sand. You don't vacuum the sand at all, not even the top 1''. This is a point of clarification and difference from a plenum system.
In any case, i am not an expert on the topic. In fact, there are very few experts on this. Almost every article you read is a summary of something Goemans has written or achieved. So, click on the link above.
HELLO EVERONE. Stumbled onto your forum on the tetra posts, thought it a good idea. Myself having only a small saltwater twenty gallon long with undergravel filtering a dolimite sandbed about a third way up and packed with coral. Two worm gobies a mandrin and a cleaner wrass. Gave the scats, orange pikes and 45 gallon away to one sister and the 55gal long with African black bass with blue dots,orange swords, yellow platties to the other one. like ideas on simple setups.
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