Amount of Sand

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Amount of Sand

Postby nwieczorek on Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:33 pm

I am setting up a 75 gallon reef tank and I am going to be reusing some dry CaribSea-Arag sand that I dried out in the sun and going to seed it with some CaribSea-Arag-Alive sand.
A couple of questions...

How deep are people making their sand beds?

Are people "cleaning"/vacuuming/or doing anything else to their sand beds, after they are established?

Many months from now, many many, I would like to get a sand sifting goby, and/or a sand sifting sea star. How deep of a sand bed should I have?

Thanks,
Nathan
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Re: Amount of Sand

Postby Socratic Monologue on Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:11 pm

Depth: I've had bare bottoms to about 4-6", and found no difference other than the ability of the deeper beds to trap detritus. But I've never had sifters other than nassarius (which didn't last more than a couple months).

Cleaning: I've always vacuumed with every WC (weekly or so); see 'detritus' above. I have run a remote DSB in a 'fuge, and even with a filter sock, it got all gunked up over time, and I pulled it out rather than having to clean it.

Sifters (all secondhand info here): word on the street is that sifting stars (a) eat all the beneficial infauna in the bed, and then (b) die of starvation. So I've never tried one. My understanding of SS gobies is that if they don't eat prepared/frozen food in addition to whatever they sift from the sandbed, they're not going to do that well, so sandbed depth might not be much of an issue.

On the Carib-Sea "Live" sand -- it is just dry sand with a lab-grown bacterial culture added to it. This (the bacteria) is nothing you can't get from a little LR (and the LR will give you actual living things such as pods, micro brittle stars, detrivorous worms, etc). I'd recommend skipping that.
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Re: Amount of Sand

Postby tickle on Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:44 am

Ill second the info on the sand sifting stars. Everything ive read say stay away.
I also recommend vacuuming the sand if you go that route. You may lose some over time that youll need to repkace which may help replenish or diversify you're bacteria.

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Re: Amount of Sand

Postby jservedio on Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:28 am

IME as little sand as possible to cover the glass unless you are going for a true DSB. I recently went from about 2-3" of sand down to 1/2" max and it is so much easier to care for. The deeper the sand, the more detritus it'll hold and the more nutrients it'll sink. Additionally, anything over 1/2"-3/4" and you start to lose some of the flow through the sand bed and get particle stratification and create an oxygen gradient that get disturbed every time you vac it. For an SSB, the less sand the better.

Plus, with such shallow sand, you can clean all the glass all the way down to the rim without worrying about picking up sand in your magfloat and scratching the glass (if you have a rim).
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Re: Amount of Sand

Postby nwieczorek on Thu Jul 24, 2014 11:16 am

Thank you all for your input and advice.

Nathan
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