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Sand in marine tanks
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Huntress
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Houston TX

PostPosted: 2005.01.13(Thu)14:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm maybe I'll talk to Marcos about putting it int he best of the board. Floridaboy would you also consider an article preparation?

Incidentally I was the one who deleted the previous thread because you had already posted the exact same post in another topic. I'm sorry if you weren't notified, but most times moderators just don't have the time to PM every single poster that's had their post moved, edited or deleted. If that should happen and you need to know why, you can post your question in the site issues board or just assume that there was an issue that a moderator had to deal with in one way or another. I personally, quietly move at least 10-15 posts per day. We've got a mod team of roughly 10 people, so if I'm doing 10-15 and the others are averaging the same then that's over 100 posts played around with per day. This really goes for all members as well. Smile

HTH
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sirreal63
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Joined: 21 Feb 2004
Location: St Louis

PostPosted: 2005.01.13(Thu)18:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheVillageIdiot wrote:
oh, so the 75 isn't a reef tank?


No, it is a freshwater tank, high light and growing like crazy. The 75 will probably never hold salt again. it has a built in trickle filter and that isn't actually the way I wanted saltwater to be filtered.


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TheVillageIdiot
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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Location: Roswell, GA

PostPosted: 2005.01.14(Fri)7:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay,

that is beautiful! congratulations! my little 20 is covered in hair algae, I'm considering a blackout ... Sad

anyway, as for your sandy discourse... (and this question is directed at sirreal or floridaboy)

what about pool filter sand?

If you have a gobie or two in a tank w/ sand, will they disturb it enough to prevent the afore mentioned "bomb"? Also, w/ live rock in the tank, happy live rock, (and maybe this is a dumb question) will you get a "live sand" effect from organisms in the live rock spreading to the sand?
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SLACkra
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

PostPosted: 2005.01.14(Fri)9:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can answer one of your questions. yes if you have live rock most likely the oganisms will start inhabiting it. I actually have some really weird worms that I see now and then. even if you buy mostly base rock and non live sand/substrate and you get some good quality live rock eventually the living critters will spread. as that is how live rock is created. just wondering what is "bomb" with gobies?

cheers

andrew
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2005.01.14(Fri)9:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheVillageIdiot wrote:
okay,

what about pool filter sand?

If you have a gobie or two in a tank w/ sand, will they disturb it enough to prevent the afore mentioned "bomb"? Also, w/ live rock in the tank, happy live rock, (and maybe this is a dumb question) will you get a "live sand" effect from organisms in the live rock spreading to the sand?


My friend, I would stick to finer aragonite based materials vs. silica. other than that all I can say about sand is... I don't know.
That was the point of this thread; my suspicion is there are many newcomers to our hobby who have 2, 3, 4 inches or more of various types of sand under large rock piles and they have no idea what is happening in there. Many years ago this became a significant problem in aquaria, and to combat the problem they developed the undergravel filter; to circulate water under the substrate. I believe the experts over at Fenner's site are preaching less than 1 inch OR 5 inches of sand, not 2 inches, 3 inches etc. I believe they are also prescribing no deep sand inside fish tanks. Yes, the inverts will migrate into the sand from the rock, but you may still end up with anaerobic pockets (sulphide) under the rocks. Depending on who you ask, this may or not be a disaster... and that's really the problem, some have success with nitrate reduction (bubbles) and others have lost their entire system in a few days from disturbing a stagnant substrate. In theory, if you have a population of micro organisms in the sand this will help, but as you research this, make sure you understand the author's system parameters, goal and bio load; you may be surprised to find that some are only maintaining 2 or 3 tiny fish in their systems! Personally, without an undergravel plate, I would not have a substrate (of any kind) deeper than 1/2 inch in a moderately to robustly populated fish tank. When and if nitrates become a major issue, I would instead look to water changes, lowering the bio load, additional skimming and certainly a remote planted refugium with a DSB, but keep in mind refugiums/DSBs are relatively new and experimental methods. The good news is, some are reporting dramatic reduction of nitrates with them.

PS- Huntress thanks for your clarification above, I'll help as much as I can.
And thanks to all those dedicated to your great forums, many will benefit.
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Last edited by FloridaBoy on 2005.01.14(Fri)9:45; edited 2 times in total
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TheVillageIdiot
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Joined: 23 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 2005.01.14(Fri)9:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know that some books (and this is for planted tanks) recommend putting a heater in the substrate to help prevent anerobic build up (as well as nutrient distribution)... it seems to me that the convection current created in fresh water, would be the same in salt water and the resulting circulation would reduce ab build up...
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SLACkra
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

PostPosted: 2005.01.14(Fri)9:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

with the whole plenum thing. coulding you just make the gap wide enough to stick a small submersible eater. this would make very smal amounts of water movement due to the whole hot water rises thing.

andrew
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2005.01.15(Sat)10:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good questions, my friends.
Fenner's book indicates the plenum, as it was originally started by Jaubert in the Monaco Aquarium has met with mixed results; his tanks have only few fish, no skimmer and the water is pumped in from the sea... a unique set up, apparently. At any rate, the "plenum thing" is still regarded as experimental in my opinion, so not sure about a heated version. My contention is that sand beds/substrates in today's marine aquarium are often neglected and generally misunderstood, to the point that they often become the downfall of the system after 18 - 24 months. I also noticed that Fenner's 2001 edition indicates sand beds in the marine fish system are providing mixed results; some good some bad, and "no single approach has emerged as the winner." Exactly the point of this thread.
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TheVillageIdiot
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PostPosted: 2005.01.15(Sat)12:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

Floridaboy,

So would you say for beginners (or even everyone) that if they're going w/ a sand substrate, to limit it to about an inch? Or is it better for them to just choose a crushed coral/shell substrate...?
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SLACkra
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PostPosted: 2005.01.15(Sat)20:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

in all my salties I have never had over 1.5" of substrate. the type of substrate depends on what you are keeping. if you're going to get wrasses that like to burry themselves you get sand. I personally like crushed coral gravel for begginers as if you intoduce some bristleworms eventually teh entire thing will become alive with them and if you over feed no big they clean it up. like having a free cleaning crew. here in aus somthing big is the deep sand beds. the lfs I go to has a dsb on the the giant reef tank and preditor tank(sharks triggers) and a lot of the people who I talk to use dsbs. look natural and very cool. cept the price of getting that much sand a lot of people just get the sand from the beach.(also snails ect. fun with freebies).

andrew
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