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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All. I know this is a tired/opinionated subject but regardless I am looking for some advice from TRT. I have a 40B with the following specs:

40 Gallon Breeder w/o sump, established for 10 months:
Octopus BH-100 Skimmer
Refugium with dragons breathe and chaeto (lots of pods!)
TLF Reactor running Rowaphos when necessary
Water levels all check (dKH, phosphate, pH, calcium, Mg, etc.)
4 T5-HO (2 10ks, 2 actinic purple)
35 Watt Fluval LED with UV, Blue, and White light.
3 Powerheads---can get upto 2000 gph of flow.

I have been battling algae, but adding the TLF reactor with Rowaphos has greatly helped. My concern now is my sand bed. Every water change (I do 5 gallons a week) my nitrates spike. I know this occurs because I clean the sand bed and it releases nitrates, etc. My thought now (that I have plenty of LR) is to start to reduce the sand bed down to 1 inch by siphoning sections during WCs. If I have enough LR, what is the point of more than an inch of sand outside of it being a waste collection area? If there is a benefit to having more than an inch, would it help to have MORE flow on the sand bed to continue to move detritus into the skimmer, instead of removing the sand bed? If I add to much flow now, I feel it would be exposing the anaerobic areas all the time.

I know there will be multiple opinions and I would like to hear all of them!

If reducing the sand bed is the route to go, should I physically remove large amounts during WCs, or siphon it out slowly?

I just added a coral (blasto meletti) that struggles every water change. Towards the end of the week it begins to look better. I would assume that is because of the nitrate spike, but let me know if that is incorrect. The coral has grown more heads since being in my tank

Thanks to all.
 

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I'd take the sandbed down to as shallow as you can and still like the look. It is really just the toilet of the tank, and you only need to clean it more when it is deeper. Check out the "Regarding DSBs" link in my sig for a little more info on the ideas behind deep sand beds. Regardless, I'd siphon the sandbed to clean it regularly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response Chris. I have done a ton of research and have been leaning towards taking it down. Thanks for your feedback and the link!
 
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