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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What if the top of the sand in some places is crispy. When I touch it I can break through and then it's soft under neath. I heard it was because the tank didn't have enough flow. I have fixed the flow issue, but have noticed the sand is still crusty in places. It seems like it may be crusty up under the rocks too, but I can't reach those areas to check. I just don't know if I need to remove sand or just take some of the top off during W/C, or if there is another option. If I have a YWG will he still be able to stay in the tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I have heard some replies say to take everything out of the tank and clean, and some say take some sand out from one side at a time. Give me some more ideas. I don't have the big trash cans now.
 

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Here is what is happening to your sand.


You don't have enough benthos in it to keep it oxygenated and the CO2 is rising up high enough to drop your PH in the lower levels and as the PH drops, it begins to desolve the calcium carbonate (your sand) like it were in a calcium reactor. As the liquid calcium carbonate begins to reach the surface of the sand, where the PH is higher, it turns back into a solid and "glues" your sand together. This is a larger issue than it sound like right now. As the top layers of sand get glued together the O2 content of the lower levels of the sand will contiue to drop causing your sand to liquify more and glue the upper layers together more and as time goes on you could end up with zero O2 in your sand bed causing the anerobic bacteria to produce hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide is an extremly poisonous gas. It could kill everything in the tank before you know what hit you.

My suggestion is for you to get a couple of cups of well established live sand from a friend or your or LFS or somewhere. You have to acclimate this sand to your tank you can't just dump it in there. Acclimate it like it was a hard to keep coral. You can agitate your sand with your fingers to oxygenate it. I think your tank is relativly new so there will be a very low likelyhood of any hydrogen sulfide in your sand now. You can check for hydrogen sulfide by looking up at the bottom of your tank. The hydrogen sulfide will show up as bark brown or black spots. Not specs of sand but spots the size of a dime or larger. Keep agitating your sand bed every couple of days untill you are no longer finding clumps of sand it should not take more than a week or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I got 4 bags of the carib sea sand and 60lbs. of sand from another customers tank. Now I think that is part of my problem. I have been reading not to use sand like that. I guess I am screwed for listening to the dude at the LFS I used to go to. I haven't been there for months though. The tank has been set up with this sand since last March. I have noticed in the back of the tank the sand is a little marbled with dark colored sand and white. I know it sounds real bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I hate to say it but I just looked under the stand up at the bottom of my tank, and there they are. I do see places where the sand is dark. It is just my luck. Can anyone find me some southdown sand and ship it to me. I won't put that much sand back in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
bump
 

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Don't move anything. Post pictures of the dark spots on the bottom of your tank. It could just be detritus in the sand.
 

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I had that happen to my first DSB. I just removed all the water, critters and rock I could with out disterbing the sand then put the rest of the rock in a seperate container and washed it real good with FSW. cleaned the tank out and put fresh sand in, then seeded from my LFS sand. You have to be sure there are either enough benthos to keep it airated or airate it yourself untill it does. I use aragonitic speacial grade reef sand it has a larger particle diameter than the southdown does. It has particle sizes from .25 up to 1.5 mm mostly about 1 mm in diameter. I have found that it works the best for preventing this from happening. Southdown I think would tend to get compacted to easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What about me getting the 60 lbs of sand from some one elses tank. That would have been disturbed wouldn't it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here is a picture of underneath the tank in front of the right overflow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
bump
 

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Yup, looks like hydrogen sulfide. Don't do anything to it untill you get a second opinion. I will send this thread to a mod.
 

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Low O2 is the target not O2 free. O2 free is very bad for your system.
 

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I think it is being a newer tank and hads to do with ALK and Calcium the reason for the clumping, The Anerobic is normal in a deep sand bed Don't stir it up, It is harmful to the tank once it is released. You need to get some sand stars and the like.Keep the sand moving. I need to look up somemore info on it, I don't have it on the top of my head.


Read this, It may help You
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
What about me getting the 60 lbs of sand from another persons tank and putting it in mine when I started things out. Was this part of the problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What will keep this from happening again?

We are thinking of pulling all the sand out and just putting in a SSB.
 
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