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SharkLVR09
08/30/2011, 12:05 PM
I have heard so many different things on this. . . I want to hear from a few of you guys...

What I hear are 2 different things about sandbeds.
1.) You want to stir your sandbed often to keep it oxygenated.
2.) You don't want to disturb your sandbed.


So, what I want to hear is what do you guys do and recommend. Thank you! I want to get this figured out.

evsalty
08/30/2011, 12:10 PM
I have heard so many different things on this. . . I want to hear from a few of you guys...

What I hear are 2 different things about sandbeds.
1.) You want to stir your sandbed often to keep it oxygenated. - Shallow sandbeds
2.) You don't want to disturb your sandbed. - Deep sandbeds


So, what I want to hear is what do you guys do and recommend. Thank you! I want to get this figured out.

The recommendations refer to two different depths of sandbeds. Shallow sandbeds SHOULD be kept stirred to help keep them clean and from solidifying. Deep sanbeds will develope both an anaerobic (low oxygen level) area and an anoxic (zero oxygen level) area below the anaerobic area. These two areas if disturbed can release toxic buildup gas (hydrogen sulfate iirc) and can wreak havoc on a tank.

ravenmore
08/30/2011, 12:23 PM
the anaerobic bacteria is supposed to lower nitrate levels. If you stir them they go aerobic and don't work. The levels of hydrogen sulfate in most normal reefs would probably pass through the water column too fast and not be large enough to really hurt anything. I'm not a fan of DSB's anymore though because they tend to collect detritus and contribut to phosphate issues in the tank at some point.

SharkLVR09
08/30/2011, 12:37 PM
I myself have a shallow sandbed and stir my bed often. Just want to hear some opinions and thoughts.

mc-cro
08/30/2011, 12:39 PM
If you start out stirring it on a regular basis, like once a week or so, to try and keep the detritus and phosphates from completely filling the DSB, then you will be fine long term. The anaerobic bacteria will be fine, its not like you are completely killing the entire colony of bacteria by sticking a stir stick in it. You may have some die off, but bacteria can multiply extremely quickly and will repopulate if necessary.

DO NOT stir a DSB that has been established for some time and has never been stirred. You could release hydrogen sulfate.

although, I have partially stirred my established sand beds on occasion with no ill effects. when doing massive re-aquascaping, or even just trying to clean the bed a little. I do have a large water volume compared to the sand bed though.

SharkLVR09
08/30/2011, 01:12 PM
Yeah, My sand-bed is only about 1.5" deep(give or tank a little). I was almost gonna go with no sand but the girlfriend wanted sand in the tank if it was gonna be in the living room. LOL!

NewbyReefer
08/30/2011, 01:33 PM
I have a shallow bed and just put tons of snails in there and they pretty much move enough sand on there own. My sandbed is only about 1 1/2" and maybe 2" at its deepest.

IridescentLily
08/30/2011, 01:42 PM
I've had two tanks with 5" dsb. I used to vacuum gravel only 2" deep or so when i did water changes with no issue, but i never disturbed it at any other time.
Currently i have about 3/4" of aragonite sand. And i also vacuum it when we do water changes, also with no issues.

Ron Reefman
08/30/2011, 02:34 PM
Yeah, My sand-bed is only about 1.5" deep(give or tank a little). I was almost gonna go with no sand but the girlfriend wanted sand in the tank if it was gonna be in the living room. LOL!

My DT has 1"-2" sand bed. I never stir it. However, I have quite a few critters that do the job for me. I even set up egg crate on pvc pipe legs to hold most of my LR off the sand so I would have more area for sand sifters to move around. My yellow sea cucumber goes under the sand for a week or two and then comes to the surface for 2 or 3 days, then he goes under again. I have 2 in the DT and 1 in the smaller tank.

laugh
08/30/2011, 04:54 PM
Pistol shrimp is the best sand stirrer I have ever seen. He moves sand all day everyday.