Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Anoerobic pockets? Sand is warm to the touch... (

nomel 08-20-2009 07:23 PM

Anoerobic pockets? Sand is warm to the touch...
Whenever I change my water I fan the sand to get the debris into the water, then mix up the sand. I noticed that the deepest part of the sand, against the glass, is very warm to the touch! The sand is about 1.5 inches thick.

I've read that the denitrifying bacteria produce heat when they do what they do, but is there's a way to test if they're creating nitrogen or sulphur based compounds (the dreaded toxic bubbles)?

MoneyMitch 08-20-2009 08:04 PM

hmm could be as you said the bacteria doing there thing or maybe the sand holding heat kind of like a insulator? or you could test your water right after a change and then compare it to what its supposed to do?


nomel 08-21-2009 12:11 AM

I'm just afraid I'm making hydrogen sulphate gas...I keep reading that pockets released into the water can kill the fish! Not sure how I'd test it directly.

willow 08-21-2009 04:17 PM

that;s interesting about the warmth,can't say i've ever noticed that.
i think as long as you stir the sand on a very regular basis,you shouldn't have
to worry,the main places i think would be under rocks,or other decorations
that are perminatly in one place.
you could always use a BBQ skewer to get into places like inbetween plants.

MoneyMitch 08-23-2009 06:34 PM

or every so often you could also just totally rearrange ur tank and rocks and just vac all the sand after its stirred to get everything. only advice i got.

Tyyrlym 08-24-2009 01:56 PM

You stir the sand so there's little to be concerned with. Sand is an excellent insulator and the deeper parts are likely going to be warmer. Do you keep anything stored under your tank like an airpump or the like? Honestly I feel there's little to be concerned about even if you didn't stir the sand but that's just me.

aunt kymmie 08-24-2009 02:09 PM

I agree with Tyyrlym. My tank (sand substrate) has been set up over a year and during my weekly water changes I stir the sand around. For the most part it's an uneventful process but occasionally I'll get some areas where bubbles (toxic?) are released. I've never given it much consideration and neither have my fish.

Tyyrlym 08-26-2009 11:20 AM

Personally I'm not convinced that anaerobic pockets are a real danger in aquariums. The chemistry isn't right as the dangerous gas decomposes harmlessly in the presence of oxygen, which your water is full of. That's why when you clean out a tank with an old sand substrate it merely stinks instead of killing you instantly. That said there's nothing wrong with stirring your sand if it makes you feel better.

SinCrisis 08-26-2009 01:36 PM

add malaysian trumpet snails. Thats what i do and they stir my substrate for me.

nomel 08-27-2009 11:41 AM

I stri my sand to qet the debris up into the water where it can be caught. My question is what is causing the heat. There isn't anything warm under my tank.

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