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Running a DSB pros and cons

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I've known and read that running a 2 to 3 inch sand bed is the most practical way to do it. But I have seen and read that running a sand bed that is deeper can be beneficial but if disturbed can cause major issues. I've wanted to try it myself and see what the out come would be. I also knew a guy that never did a water change and his tank looked amazing. There was growth everywhere. What needs to be done to minimize water changes.
 

PorpoiseHork

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If you do not plan on having any sand bed dwelling critters, aside from smaller clean up crew, then a 1-1.5" bed is more than deep enough. Just want to remember to vacuum it out at least every month or two. Otherwise it will just turn into a nitrate/phosphate factory with all the waste buildup.

I have run 2-3" deep beds and large crushed coral beds, and they were nothing but problems. So I'll stick to shallow ones that I can easily clean or remove with little effort if needed.
 

SCUBAFreaky

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2 bags of fiji pink and one of oolite
I recommend caution with the oolite sand or any other sand that is similar to a sugar-sized particle. The smaller particle sand does not stay put in higher flow tanks. I know you're considering a few SPS and for the flow that is required you may have issues with the oolite blowing around. Also, the oolite sand is hard to clean with a gravel vacuum since the grain size is so small that you just end up vacuuming up the sand along with the ditritus. It looks very nice but it is a pain to deal with. I have oolite sand in my 72 gallon and have regretted using it from the beginning. I'm not saying don't use it but just consider all of the negative aspects of it before you pull the trigger on it.
 
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Never thought of that. I'm also trying to figure out how to plumb the kalk reactor, carbon reactor and weather to put the pumps for dosing 2 part before or after the skimmer. As I dont want anything more than the powerheads in the dt.
 

RickD

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I run my sand (Fiji Pink) about 2", but my pistol shrimp likes to move sand everywhere and sometimes he builds up 3" piles along the rock and the glass, but he is never satisfied so two days later, he tears it down. I know for sure the detritus is getting trapped, so I typically siphon the sand during the water change. I had oolite a few years back and bare bottom and never did like either one.
 

Reefahholic

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IMO, a DSB is good for lazy reefers as long as you set it up properly and don’t put anything in the tank that preys on your DSB life.

The life in the sand eats up uneaten food and keeps the PO4/NO3 somewhat in check. As long as your not feeding too heavy.
 

Reefahholic

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What would eat what's in the sand and would hermits and snails eat what's on the sand

Like Webster1234 said....the two main critters that eat the life in the sand are the sand sifting Starfish and Gobies. The Conch, Goatfish, Sea cucumbers, and some Snail and Crab species can deplete the life too. If you set one up...do some research before you add anything. DSB's are pretty cool to watch and if you can resist the urge to stir the sand, then it might be an option for you. My primary reason for setting one up was for denitrification. I soon realized that Siporax could accomplish the same goal. As long as you control your feeding and skim the tank, you really don't need to setup a DSB, but they absolutely work.

The infauna and CUC in a successful DSB is very diverse though. 200+ larger species are commonly found in a mature DSB. Ron Shimek tested a DSB he had in a 45 gallon tank and found 90,000 to 150,000 smaller critters that were about 1/2mm+ or about one fiftieth of an inch. I'd bet there's a lot more than that.

If you do decide to go this route PM me and I can give you some advice when you get started.
 
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