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Old 04-29-2007, 10:07 AM   #1
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Cleaning sand


How do I clean the bottom of my tank? I have been using a siphon, but recently someone told me when I do that I am lowering the amount of copods in my tank. Is this true? Should I use another method? A little help please.
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Old 04-29-2007, 10:17 AM   #2
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How do I clean the bottom of my tank? I have been using a siphon, but recently someone told me when I do that I am lowering the amount of copods in my tank. Is this true? Should I use another method? A little help please.
Is it a DSB (4" +)?

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Old 04-29-2007, 10:21 AM   #3
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about 3 inches
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Old 04-29-2007, 10:55 AM   #4
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about 3 inches
OK, so you really are using the sand for looks rather than function. A true DSB by definition is not supposed to be messed with (vacuum, stir etc...) at all, and the worms and pods are important to it's function.

Yes vacuuming will remove some pods I suppose, but keeping a shallow sand bed clean is much more important to your reef than all the pods in the world would be. Keep in mind that there is overwhelming scientific data which shows what will happen to any substrate in our reef tanks over time, and that removing the sand at some point will be necessary as phosphate builds.

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Old 04-29-2007, 11:59 AM   #5
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Ditto, either add more sand to improve the biologicl denitrification activity (with an occasional siphoning of just some surface detritus or to remove any growths of algae that might appear), or look to reduce it a bit more for easy cleaning with thorough siphoning for looks.
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Old 04-29-2007, 12:39 PM   #6
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ok I will add more to make it a true dsb but how will I keep it clean?
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Old 04-29-2007, 05:25 PM   #7
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ok I will add more to make it a true dsb but how will I keep it clean?
As Tom said, all you can do with a DSB is remove detritus from the very top layer of sand. With a DSB you want the sand to stay in tact because it's the area of the sand with low oxygen that will give you the denitrification you want.

With a SSB you can siphon all you want, and in fact a well cared for SSB may out last a DSB (Tom??).

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Old 04-30-2007, 05:51 AM   #8
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ok I will add more to make it a true dsb but how will I keep it clean?
Before you do this...please do a search on here for DSB's.

There is some husbandry changes involved with DSB's vs SSB.

look into it more and decide which you'd rather keep. But definitely know the pro's and con's of whatever you decide.
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Old 04-30-2007, 05:54 AM   #9
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Make it deeper and get sand sifters.
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:22 AM   #10
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I've made it deeper and now I have to add more sand sifters. Thanks for the info guys
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Old 04-30-2007, 03:03 PM   #11
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With a SSB you can siphon all you want, and in fact a well cared for SSB may out last a DSB (Tom??).

Steve
I would speculate that this is true, however, I would also speculate that with a shallo9w sand bed and even moderate ctivity by sand sifters and polycheates, that the sand will saturate with respect to phosphate more quickly than a DSB, both due to the smaller size of the sand compartment and due to better interstitial flow due to shllower depth. I don't have any hard data for this claim, simply because I don't think there IS any hard data one way or the other, however knowing WHY these things occurs allows for some speculation.

If you use sand, you have to accept that the calcareous sands are reactive in a marine environment, and that it will adsorb phosphate and react chemically with phosphate anions. This is the ultimate limit to the usefullness of sand as a soft substrate in closed systems, and can become the downfall of closed marine systems once the sand reaches the saturation point of the substrate compartment. Judicious husbandry of sandbed systems, whether deep or shallow, will prolong their lifespan: however, the biggest issue over time will become how you handle phosphates, how to export them and how to limit their accumulation in your system by reducing imports into the system by the multitude of routes they may take. Ultimately, if we choose to keep a sandbed zoo, then we must accept that sandbeds must be changed when we start to see issues with surface algal blooms, and the time this takes to occur will depend on how good a job we do limiiting imiports and maximizing imports to our sand compartments. Aragonite sand beds are not set-it-and-forget-it mechanisms, rather, much like most filters, must be cleaned of the materials they remove from the environment they are fiiltering...


Sorry for the non-answer, but I hope this clarifies the issues with sand substrates in closed systems. Unlike live rock, they cannot cleanse themselves of potential algal nutrients via turgor excretion of bacterial cell wall detrititus.
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:49 PM   #12
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Make it deeper and get sand sifters.
What type of sand sifters are you referring to here, Loverotties? When I think of sand sifters I think of animals that sift sand in order to eat the fauna in the sand, and this is not what you would want with a true DSB IMO.

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I would speculate that this is true, however, I would also speculate that with a shallo9w sand bed and even moderate ctivity by sand sifters and polycheates, that the sand will saturate with respect to phosphate more quickly than a DSB, both due to the smaller size of the sand compartment and due to better interstitial flow due to shllower depth. I don't have any hard data for this claim, simply because I don't think there IS any hard data one way or the other, however knowing WHY these things occurs allows for some speculation.
Could very well be, Tom.

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Old 04-30-2007, 05:23 PM   #13
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What type of sand sifters are you referring to here, Loverotties? When I think of sand sifters I think of animals that sift sand in order to eat the fauna in the sand, and this is not what you would want with a true DSB IMO.



Could very well be, Tom.

Steve
In sugar fine sand, the biggest mover of both sand and interstitial circulation of water are the polycheate worms in the sand. THESE are the true sand sifters, as the seastars and other echinoderms and the nerites and conches are mostly only janitors for the top centimeter or two of the sand bed, and tend to be predatory to most benthic life that we really want to stay. Benthic polycheates leave tracks deep into the sand, even in 15 cm depths of anoxic areas (how do they do this??? ) and by their motion through the sand tunnels move water through for interstitial circulation. Percolation accounts for some of the water motion, but together, these are still slow; slow enough to allow for interstitial water movement, yet still slow enough for stratified O2 gradients to form based on bacterial and other benthic organism utilization of oxygen by heterotrophs. In the deepest most O2-depleted sections of the sand, specialized species of anaerobic bacteria can then enzymatically strip nitrate of oxygen atoms, or utilize other elements as electron receptors in their respirations of CHOs in the absence of free O2. It is this activity by both obligate and facultative anaerobic bacteria at different depths that we strive for with deep sand bed biological filters. It is unfortunate that these same activities leave behind detrital remains in the sand with no real means of ejection that account for phosphte saturation of the sand beds.

If we could only find a phoshpate-hungry sea cucumber that would burrow once a month through the sand and clean it of its bacterial cellular remains and phosphate residues.
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:16 AM   #14
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?
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:19 PM   #15
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?
I'm not sure what the "?" was for, numan, but what Tom was trying to explain was the difference between a SSB and DSB, and how each must be maintained differently.

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