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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Adding live stock to the tank is not going to alter the Calcium nor the Magnesium nor the ALK. Its not possible. And the salt most use will bring these levels to where they need to be, if not a simple Baking Soda or Calcium dose brings them up almost immediately.

And for being new to SW, do not under any circumstances go with a 4-6" Sand bed, once the hyrdrogen sulphide gets going it will kill your tank. Deep Sand Beds are left to the expert.
 

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Adding live stock to the tank is not going to alter the Calcium nor the Magnesium nor the ALK. Its not possible. And the salt most use will bring these levels to where they need to be, if not a simple Baking Soda or Calcium dose brings them up almost immediately.
I am most concerned with Alkalinity and the effects of Dissolved Organic Solids on its buffering ability. Alkalinity is a measure of water's ability to not rapidly change pH based on introduction of acids into the water column. Fish Waste, Fish food and dead organisms are all ways that Organic Acids can enter the water column. Alkalinity naturally declines as a result of the nitrogen cycle as outlined in this article by a real saltwater expert, Randy Holmes Farley. Therefore, if it is taking a your protein skimmer a while to break in, and you are foregoing water changes in the first two months, if you add life your alkalinity declines. This is the chemistry behind home aquaria and even other members here on TFK have written articles about it.


And for being new to SW, do not under any circumstances go with a 4-6" Sand bed, once the hyrdrogen sulphide gets going it will kill your tank. Deep Sand Beds are left to the expert.
According to this statement about deep sand beds, quoted from Ron Shimek (another real expert in saltwater aquaria), " The imagined problems are proposed by people who are ignorant of the sand bed dynamics. Among these imaginary problems are accumulations of hydrogen sulfide and detritus, and the need for sifting." That article can be read here. I myself have used deep sand beds (4-6") in every marine tank I have ran and had no problem with hydrogen sulfide. I think I would notice the smell of rotten eggs. Deep sand beds harbor an anaerobic bacteria that converts unwanted Nitrates into Nitrogen Gas, which leaves the system naturally. I have had all types of sand-sifters in my deep sand beds, with no problem. Polaris Gobies, Sand-sifting Starfish, Hermit crabs and Nassarius snails all with no problem. And you don't need to be an expert to add more bags of sand to your tank...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
And when the new guy decides he doesn't like the set and stirs the tank up, we k ow who to thank for the death of his tank.
Ron also state not to have sand sifters in yiur tank when running a DSB. They are not for beginners. Period.
 

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And when the new guy decides he doesn't like the set and stirs the tank up, we k ow who to thank for the death of his tank.
Ron also state not to have sand sifters in yiur tank when running a DSB. They are not for beginners. Period.
I can't understand why you would be filling this poster's head with nightmare situations that aren't really likely. Who would stir the tank up to such a degree that it would nuke his tank? Even in that article I posted (if you read the entire thing I do not know), it says that there is "no evidence that it may reach toxic levels in the home aquaria." (Ron Shimek) I have stirred up a DSB when adding new rock or re-aquascaping and have never had a problem. Like Ron says, these beliefs that DSBs are bad are based more on ignorance than fact.

As far as his warning to not add sand sifters to the DSB, he says so to keep the microorganisms in great supply. Sand sifters will deplete these levels and therefore reduce the effectiveness of the DSB, but will not destroy his system by no mannner. I had a DSB in my 150 with a Sifting Starfish and a Polaris Goby. My Nitrates stayed routinely under 5 ppm without routine water changes. Overloading the system with Stars and gobies or adding these two to a smaller system may have been detrimental, but he doesn't have to add them.

It seems that you were taught something a long time ago and are afraid to let go of bad information. With the science behind modern aquaria, it is ok to change your beliefs sometimes. No one will criticize you for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Stir your tank up, let everyone here know what happens...PLEASE.....
And most DSB are done in a Sump where they are not messed with.
 

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New aquarists rarely if ever like their initial setups, and like to move them around for awhile before they actually settle in, and then theres still the occasional I want to move just one piece. And if you knew Deep Sand Beds, which you don't, you would know that along with the bacteria that grows to help the tank clear out Nitrates, it also grows Hydrgen Sulphide Gas, which when you move just one piece of rock, will release this gas, and KILL the entire tank. Nough said. Deep Sand Beds should only be kept by experts, or imtermidiates to say the least, and are better off in a Sump where they are less likey to be messed with.
Thanks. Be forwarned what you read from some people. I can back it up, some are just guessing.......
 

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Thanks. Be forwarned what you read from some people. I can back it up, some are just guessing.......
What are you backing it up with? I have experience and have moved rocks and sand in my tanks with DSB and haven't had any problems whatsoever. Again, I will quote Ron Shimek, a real expert in Marine Aquaria as saying in this article:
The gas will have an exceptionally strong odor, and will seem overwhelming at levels well BELOW toxic amounts. If you can smell this stuff without it literally taking your breath away, it won't be at a harmful concentration. There is no real evidence to indicate that it may reach toxic levels in a deep sand bed.
Like he said, no real evidence.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No need to quote, I will post it in bold here
Within a week, you should notice bubbles in the sediment next to the glass indicating the sand filter is working, within a couple weeks small tube traces should be visible in places in the sediments near the walls, and small bug populations should be evident. After a two week wait - and more time is desirable - fish may be added. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU ADD "SAND-SIFTING" ANIMALS SUCH AS BURROWING SEA STARS OR SOME GOBIES. These animals are "sifting" the sediment to eat the sand critters that you need to have thrive. From this point, gradually add more animals up to the desired level.
Problems:
More imagined than real problems bedevil keepers of sand beds. The imagined problems are proposed by people who are ignorant of the sand bed dynamics. Among these imaginary problems are accumulations of hydrogen sulfide and detritus, and the need for sifting. Hydrogen sulfide will indeed be formed in the lowermost layers of a deep sand bed. It will NOT migrate up through the sediments to poison a tank. Hydrogen sulfide is an amazingly toxic gas, but that toxicity is exceeded by its pungent rotten-egg odor. The gas will have an exceptionally strong odor, and will seem overwhelming at levels well BELOW toxic amounts. If you can smell this stuff without it literally taking your breath away, it won't be at a harmful concentration. There is no real evidence to indicate that it may reach toxic levels in a deep sand bed.
Detritus build up in the sediment is another non-problem. If the sediment fauna is thriving, there will be a slight build up of fine detritus while the rest will be processed by the infauna. The final imaginary problem, the presumed need for sifting in a healthy sand bed, simply does not exist. Small organism movements "sift" the sand sufficiently. Any other sifting of a healthy bed will cause serious harm.



I'll let these people decide for themselves. No reason to drag this out. I've made my point.

I implore the others to read the full article, that will scare enough of them away from that.


AH, and the bad advise, I can post those links also, but I'll just bring one to mind right here, since you want that aired also. You advised a Aqua C nano skimmer to an rk4435. Bad move, he went with it, now he has to buy another skimmer, because that one isn't worth garbage, oh and the one you advised second, was the one I pmed him in the first place. To bad.......
 

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Problems:
More imagined than real problems bedevil keepers of sand beds. The imagined problems are proposed by people who are ignorant of the sand bed dynamics. Among these imaginary problems are accumulations of hydrogen sulfide and detritus, and the need for sifting. Hydrogen sulfide will indeed be formed in the lowermost layers of a deep sand bed. It will NOT migrate up through the sediments to poison a tank. Hydrogen sulfide is an amazingly toxic gas, but that toxicity is exceeded by its pungent rotten-egg odor. The gas will have an exceptionally strong odor, and will seem overwhelming at levels well BELOW toxic amounts. If you can smell this stuff without it literally taking your breath away, it won't be at a harmful concentration. There is no real evidence to indicate that it may reach toxic levels in a deep sand bed.
Detritus build up in the sediment is another non-problem. If the sediment fauna is thriving, there will be a slight build up of fine detritus while the rest will be processed by the infauna. The final imaginary problem, the presumed need for sifting in a healthy sand bed, simply does not exist. Small organism movements "sift" the sand sufficiently. Any other sifting of a healthy bed will cause serious harm.
What you posted says that Deep Sand Beds are not a problem and most problems are imagined by ignorant people.

AH, and the bad advise, I can post those links also, but I'll just bring one to mind right here, since you want that aired also. You advised a Aqua C nano skimmer to an rk4435. Bad move, he went with it, now he has to buy another skimmer, because that one isn't worth garbage, oh and the one you advised second, was the one I pmed him in the first place. To bad.......
In that post I said that I have no experience with that particular skimmer, or the other one I posted. I gave him options of the ones that I had experience with and they were not applicable to his situation. The two I suggested I only suggested because many members on here have used them and have had success and fit his profile.

All you did was keep information that could have benefited many people and only let it benefit one person.
 

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Amen Reef! I for one wasone of thise people had my tank up or couple months and decided sand looked like crap so I went in moved everything including stirred the sand up etc. Guess what.........
 

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Amen Reef! I for one wasone of thise people had my tank up or couple months and decided sand looked like crap so I went in moved everything including stirred the sand up etc. Guess what.........
How deep was your sand bed when you did this? What kind of sand was it?

What happened to the tank?

The only time I ever had a problem with hydrogen sulfide was when I was real new in this hobby. I had an algae problem and took almost all my rock out of my 46 gallon and left it in 5 gallon buckets to kill the algae. I didn't know that I needed to keep flow in those buckets, and when I got home that night I smelled rotten eggs in living room. It was disgusting.

On the other hand, when I switched over from my 46 gallon to my 150 gallon, I took my 4" sand bed out of the 46 and scooped it right into the 150. No rotten egg smell. The substrate was fine enough that the microfauna was doing its job of converting nitrates to nitrogen gas. Fine granular sand does the best (between 0.05mm and 0.2mm) for harboring the correct bacteria to convert nitrates to nitrogen gas.

The reason that there is so much fear around hydrogen sulfide is in relation to the old "plenum" style filtration (this was an space under the substrate that was very low in oxygen and harbored anaerobic bacteria that would convert nitrates into nitrogen gas, which leaves the system naturally). Hobbyists used to use an undergravel filter base with a crushed coral substrate (the crushed coral is coarse enough particle size to allow water to pass through to the plenum (that undergravel filter base). The problem was the hobbyists wouldn't always clean the crushed coral and it would essentially get "clogged" and therefore the area underneath (the plenum) would start to "rot". This would form hydrogen sulfide and when the hobbyist finally decided to clean the substrate, the tank would be filled with it almost immediately.

Deep Sand Beds, when done correctly and because of their small grain size, are a much less likely culprit for the formation of hydrogen sulfide. In this article by John Cunningham in Aquarists Online, Deep Sand Beds are further explained and in this article by Ron Shimek, common DSB myths are debunked.

I am moving the discussion of Deep Sand Beds to its own thread as not to highjack the Original Poster's (Frighty Dog) thread.
 
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