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Deep Sand Bed Help

jesusq

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Hello,

I have set up a Deep Sand Bed of about five inches. last night when I was fixing thing sup, I moved a little bit of sand and the underneath sand was blue/black. I heard this was not good and could be fatal for the living on the tank.

What can I do? It would be almost impossible to remove the sand bed.
 

Mark L.

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Your best bet at this time would be to do a few water changes over the next few days, change out your carbon, maybe wet skim if you don't already. Basically try and clean up the water column as much as possible. Also try not to disturb the sand bed any more.
 

d2mini

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And... the thing is, at 5 inches it's not technically a deep sand bed to gain the advantages of a true deep sand bed, but as you can see it's deep enough to be dangerous.
The other thing you might be able to try is siphoning out small portions of the sand bed every time you do a water change, being really careful not to release that gunk into the water column.
Or maybe small portions of the sand can be removed over time by skimming off the very top layer?

One to two inches of sand in the display tank is plenty. If you want to do a dsb do it remotely in a bucket or a fuge. DSB's in the display are a ticking time bomb.
 

steveb

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That blue/black area is a low oxygen zone... If you disturbed and smelled anything like rotten eggs then it is producing hydrogen sulfide which, if the concentration is high enough, can be lethal to your tank inhabitants...

If you think you have released hydrogen sulfide into the tank it is very important that you aggressively aerate the water (adding oxygen) and in addition to granular activated carbon you need to add granular ferric oxide in a reactor or some type system that pushes water through/over it it.

Please read this article Hydrogen Sulfide and the Reef Aquarium by Randy Holmes-Farley - Reefkeeping.com especially the section on dealing with removing hydrogen sulfide.
 

Mark L.

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I agree 100% Dennis. 5" is right at that point of not being deep enough to be beneficial but just deep enough to cause problems. I'd slowly remove some also. Slowly being the key word here.
 

Jaybird

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I don't mean to hijack this thread but it is still on topic. I just added 3" of sand to my new fuge. Obviously not even close to dsb. Are there benefits to having 3" or would I be better off removing it because it could become as said, a time bomb?
 

CBBSteve

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I don't mean to hijack this thread but it is still on topic. I just added 3" of sand to my new fuge. Obviously not even close to dsb. Are there benefits to having 3" or would I be better off removing it because it could become as said, a time bomb?
Hi, Jaybird. If it were me, I'd take it all out of your fuge. 3" sand in your fuge - now that's a ticking time bomb...
 

CBBSteve

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Hi, jesusq.
I happen to be a proponent of deep sand beds. IMO, a properly constructed dsb can provide years of nitrogen reduction capacity to your tank. Instead of taking some sand out, as some have suggested, why don't you add some more sand? My previous tank, before the overheating event last August, had 7 inches of sand.

Do not worry about the dark colored area below the surface. That is an anaerobic zone, which is your objective in a dsb. It's in the anaerobic zone where nitrates are reduced to nitrogen gas; it's supposed to be there.

good luck,
Steve
 

rlpardue

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I've always been intrigued and a little intimidated by the deep sand bed idea. The recommended grain size is absurdly small; in an email exchange I had with Ron Shimek, he said that the ideal size is even smaller than he publicly recommends (it is impossible to find silt-sized grains from vendors). Like <60 microns lol. I eventually located some "excess material" from a Florida sand vendor that's basically the stuff that makes it through his particle-sorting process and is finer than his smallest screen can sort out.

I recently set up a remote DSB (with this uber-small sand) in a 45g refugium that will be getting 10 lbs of livesand (shipped submerged in water straight from Tampa Bay Saltwater in Florida) to seed it, along with a small amount of rock from the same source. The shipment comes in tomorrow. If I go to all this effort to incorporate a plankton-making, nitrate-reducing RDSB and it fails I will...I don't know what I'll do but it will look childish and involve a lot of whining to my wife lol.

I'll take some pictures as it progresses and see what happens. Good luck with the black zone - I have noticed a smidge of black a couple of inches under the sand and don't know if I should worry about it - I've only had sand in the tank for about a month so it seems premature to worry about a rotting layer of stink.
 

d2mini

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I'm going to be setting up a new fuge and it will be 6-8".
There won't be anything to disturb the bed, and if I ever want to remove the bed or replace it I can cut the fuge off from the rest of the system.
May be a mix of sand and mud, not sure yet. I have mangroves, hence the mud thought.

But fuge or some kind of remote container is the best way to do a dsb.

Lee, that's interesting about powdered substrate. Hadn't hear that before. Post pics of the setup!
 
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