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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sue me! I have DSB... actually a VDSB. (And D stand for deep, not dirty).

So what I'm understanding from reading tons on here is this: A DSB is for newbs who will make mistakes because a DSB will absorb things and act as a "buffer" for bad things.

ie, in the short term, a DSB is good because it sucks all the badness and makes things more stable. In the long term, it is bad because it will eventually leach all these bad things into the water cloumn, causing wild algae blooms the like of which no man has ever seen in the natural sea.

Am i understanding this correctly? I see a lot of people on here getting "mad" at people with DSBs because we are wrong for having them.

i'm just trying to get a straight answer. it can't be both ways, unless it's a long term vs short term compromise. Are DSBs good or bad??

I don't want to have to "yank" my DSB 2 years from now. I love my DSB. It's AWESOME. It creates a very nice, irregular bottom, provides housing for such wonderful creatures as gobies and their shrimpmates, sand sifting gobies can actually sift.

BUT, If i'm gonna have to yank it... fooey!

BTW, I don't understand 80% of what was said in this crazy thread about natural DSBs. Do I need to understand this kinda stuff ("pelagic transport, settling, tectonic transport, geologic recycling") in order to have a nice mini reef in my living room?

Hoping the answer is "NO",
 

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i'm just trying to get a straight answer. it can't be both ways, unless it's a long term vs short term compromise. Are DSBs good or bad??
Try thinking of dsb as you would carbon filtermedia. You place fresh media in tank, leave it to do its job, remove used media and throw away, add new media. A dsb is not bad. It works, but, it has a saturation limit and must therefore be replaced periodically. Some propose a partial replacement on a yearly basis while others wait and take it all out at once perhaps every 3 years. I think some are even vacuming the suface of the sandbed on a regular basis to reduce the buildup of detritus, and, then just adding small amounts of fresh sand periodically to replace that vacumed from the tank.

I love my DSB. It's AWESOME. It creates a very nice, irregular bottom, provides housing for such wonderful creatures as gobies and their shrimpmates, sand sifting gobies can actually sift.
It is OK to keep a DSB! As you pointed out, there are many critters as well as many corals, that do best in a dsb system, (not to mention the appearance). How could you humanely keep a jawfish or sand-sifting star in a bb tank? Many of the LPS and soft corals seem to prefer high nutrient systems like the dsb, also. A bb system is ideal for keeping hard corals, but, the bb is not going to be best for every coral or critter. It comes down to a matter of preference and what you want to keep.

I see a lot of people on here getting "mad" at people with DSBs because we are wrong for having them
You are not 'wrong' for having or wanting a dsb tank. Expecting the DSB to last forever without some kind of replacement/cleaning of the sandbed would be wrong, therefor, learning all you can about them is only going to benefit you in the long run as well as help you make informed discisions now.

HTH;)
 

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Bottom line is if you just leave it as it is eventually you will have problems kinda like your toilot backing up!:D You will have to replace parts of it and keep it clean somehow or you better get ready to fight Hair Algae and cyano and whatever else pops up.
 

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Banggai Mommy
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We need one. ;) But we're lazy reefers, and the nutrient sink works beautifully for our purposes. That, and we move every couple of years (or upgrade!), so we're good for the meantime.

Current DSB is just a little over 2 years old; we've got a tentative move next spring. (And if we stay, we'll upgrade.)

Danielle
 

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I had 4.5" when I started but now its 6, in some, 7 in other, 1 in some places.....thankyou gobbies.....other than that except a little bit of diatom build up its no to bad, but if I change I may only go w/ 2", haven't been swayed either way yet, I don't think BB is going to be the way for me, it looks great on Spankys tank, but I don't have the patience to have coralline cover the bottom.....tennage boy = no patience
 

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I think the DSB system is ideal for new reefers, because it does allow for a little laziness and ignorance (please, no-one take personal offense-ment this in general). It is more forgiving if you like to watch your fish and critters eat-often, too.:funny:

I know I got away with a lot of laziness with my tank when it had the dsb. Since removing the substrate, I have found that I must be much more diligent with maintenence-can't leave the skimmer for 2 months between cleaning, any more, and I really see the differance now if I don't do those weekly bottom suckings and water changes. Those little bacteria have sure been busy cleaning out those rock pores!. One day after siphoning, another row of crud dunes will magically appear on the bottom.:rolleyes: I'll likely be in for many months of crud coming from my rock-it was very dirty when I finally went bb.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the info everybody.

Kevin1000, that's an interesting article: this guys really likes sand beds! He says, "THE most important component of a coral reef aquarium is a deep sand bed." He goes on to say, "The imagined problems are proposed by people who are ignorant of the sand bed dynamics."

Well... I'll see how things go. Does anybody know where I can get a detrivore replenishment kit? I don't see many bugs in my sand.
 

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oodley boodley is so right

Deep Sand Beds are good for hiding stuff you want to pretend is not there
 

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Rotten Kitty
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I think alkalinity is easier to maintain without a dsb, others have also said this. I used to have to add buffer almost everyday now it just once a week. For me a BB is easier just my 2 cents.

Just recently had my skimmer off for about three weeks and only had a algea bloom in the refugium for that lasted about 1.5 weeks then disappeared. Hmm do I need a skimmer, yes I just spent $100 to upgrade mine so it is now the skimmer from you know where. LOL SPS's like low nutrient levels, the faster the skimmer removes stuff the better.
 

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reefBoyDc said:
Thanks for the info everybody.

Kevin1000, that's an interesting article: this guys really likes sand beds! He says, "THE most important component of a coral reef aquarium is a deep sand bed." He goes on to say, "The imagined problems are proposed by people who are ignorant of the sand bed dynamics."
He also stresses that a DSB can only remain functional if the DSB critter counts and species are healthy. The way to do this, he said, is to perform critter counts using a microscope on sample DSB areas every 3 months or so. In order for the reefer to be able to do this, they will need a microscope and a critter identification source that they can reference. Please note also that no animals that eat the DSB fauna should be kept with a DSB system (hermits, stars, certain fish, etc...).

Well... I'll see how things go. Does anybody know where I can get a detrivore replenishment kit? I don't see many bugs in my sand.

Inland Aquatics and Indo Pacific Sea Farms are the two most often used for this.
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks!

A microscope huh? Hmmmm... Hum.....

OK i gotta get some sand bugs. I'll get a magnifying glass ;)
 

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You know, Mike, you really don't have to buy a detrivore kit. All the worms and pods will hitchhike in on your live rock. Those kits do not contain pints of living critters, you only get like 5 individual animals at most. If you have reasonalbly decent liverock, you already have many times that amount already in your tank - already paid for, already delivered, in place and ready to work. All they need to move into your sandbed is time, food, and no predetors. It will take time whether you buy a kit or not. The only thing I would suggest to speed it up (marginally) is that you try to come home with a 1/2 cup sand or bottom crud from established tanks or live rock holding tanks whenever you visit reefing friends or lfs. My own tank dsb was crawling with various sp. of worms including spaghetti worms, mini brittle stars, and pods and they all came from my liverock. I never shared sand with other tanks, either. HTH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks Oodley... well, my LR from liveAquaria was devoid of life when i received it. It had tons of coraline and it seems to be a nice porous rock... but not a sign of life. Not one! Not one little tube worm, or pod... nothing. I just got a rock with a couple shrooms on it over the weekend, and that little piece of rock has more life on it than the entire rest of the rock. Lots of tubeworms, there's a pod and what seems to be a little baby fish of some sort swimming around in a deep hole in the rock, spaghetti worms all over... I think you're right though, maybe a scoop of sand from the LFS will cure this anomalously dead LR i got.
 

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I think you're right though, maybe a scoop of sand from the LFS will cure this anomalously dead LR i got.
Just make sure you dont get copper in that sand, you are going to have to ask them if they use copper in thier system.

Kaye
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Good thinking Kaye. I don't believe they do since they have corals and inverts in those tanks. I know exactly which tank to get it from too. They have this big tank, maybe 200gal, which has the biggest sand bed in the world (like more than a foot!) and i've looked at it and seen many many bugs in there.
 

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Well than it's time to grab a cup of sand.......LOL

BTW Mike, I went BB in my 90 on Sat. and put black slate on the bottom......Beautiful! But watching my PH Levels just incase the slate messes with the PH. LOL So far so good!

Kaye
 
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