Deep Sand Bed Or No Sand Bed?
I'm curious to what everyone thinks between having a sand bed, or having no sand at all? Mainly for my new up coming tank 70 g or larger.
Im currently converting my 69 gal to marine and ive got about a 2 / 2.5 inch sand bed. IMO i think it looks better and is a better environment for the habitants within.
i have a shallow sand bed. i prefer it. i let my rocks do the flitration.
I have run several tanks utilizing a sand bed of 4'' or 5'' in depth. In each case it took several months for the nitrate reduction to begin, and eventually the tanks registered zero nitrate. I have tried to duplicate the same success with sand beds of lesser depths and have never been successful.
My worst situations occurred with depths of 2'' to 3'', which I haven't found capable of sustaining the same levels of copepod and amphipod populations, that are extremely important to helping remove detritus from the sand bed. The result is organic decay and rising phosphate and nitrate levels. This often won't occur until the tank has been set up for 18 to 24 months.
The alternative to a deep sand bed is a shallow sand bed, less than 1'', or a bare bottom tank. These tanks won't provide the denitrification benefits, but also won't result in detritus accumulation, assuming you have adequate water movement.
I have a very shallow sand bed in my 180, for appearance only. My 54 reef uses a deep sand bed.
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