Any LOOONNGG Time SSB Users?? I Need some advice

mrmittag

New member
I have been over all the LONG threads about DSB's and BB Tank set ups.

I personally would like to have a Shallow Sand bed 1-2".

For those of you that have kept SSB's for a long period of time, What is the
best way to keep it cleaned so it essentially lasts "forever"

and is it still advised to keep the LR suspended above the SSB to prevent the "wicking" effect, and proper flow?

Your advice would be of tremendous help!
 
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power boat jim

Active member
There are a few ways to keep it clean. Take a length of pvc and stir it up from time to time, replace it through vacuuming it out (you can reuse the sand after rinsing it). For cleaning around the rocks use a turkey baster or a power head to blast into the hard to reach areas. I have been doing all those thing in combination for the last 9 years.
 

mrmittag

New member
There are a few ways to keep it clean. Take a length of pvc and stir it up from time to time, replace it through vacuuming it out (you can reuse the sand after rinsing it). For cleaning around the rocks use a turkey baster or a power head to blast into the hard to reach areas. I have been doing all those thing in combination for the last 9 years.


what is the preferred depth? 1-2" i suppose.

any further discussions on husbandry, siphoning techniques, flow and sand replacement would be very beneficial to me!!
 

power boat jim

Active member
what is the preferred depth? 1-2" i suppose.

any further discussions on husbandry, siphoning techniques, flow and sand replacement would be very beneficial to me!!

Depth doesnt matter all that much. Some wrasses like to bury themself in the sand so I keep a couple inches along the front glass.Under the rocks I keep less then an inch, just enough to keep the rocks from hitting the glass bottom.

I siphon an inch or so of the bed out every 2-3 months and replace the sand.I keep the flow in my tank as high as the fish can stand to help keep the inhabitants healthy. It also keeps detritus from building up as fast.
 

mrmittag

New member
Depth doesnt matter all that much. Some wrasses like to bury themself in the sand so I keep a couple inches along the front glass.Under the rocks I keep less then an inch, just enough to keep the rocks from hitting the glass bottom.

I siphon an inch or so of the bed out every 2-3 months and replace the sand.I keep the flow in my tank as high as the fish can stand to help keep the inhabitants healthy. It also keeps detritus from building up as fast.

Makes sense. is using something like eggcrate under the rocks so they dont hit the glass while using a SSB a good or bad idea??

will I eventually have to break down the tank to clean under the rock????
or can I get away with it if i just replace the sand around them?

all good advice.......any siphoning techniques??
 

power boat jim

Active member
Makes sense. is using something like eggcrate under the rocks so they dont hit the glass while using a SSB a good or bad idea??

will I eventually have to break down the tank to clean under the rock????
or can I get away with it if i just replace the sand around them?

all good advice.......any siphoning techniques??

Eggcrate isnt necessary, just blast around the rockwork with a power head or baster once in a while and you should never need to break the tank down down for a cleaning. Siphoning is low tech. I use a bucket and a short length of garden hose.

You just need to keep the environment free of excess detritus, breaking down a marine tank to clean it would probably do far more harm then good unless there is some sort of contamination present.
 

jda

Dogmatic Dinosaur
I use 3", but is some places, there are just 2. I consider this SSB. I just gravel vac some of it every few water changes... not too much at a time or it might not handle nitrate and phosphate as well until the bacteria re-establish. I try to get to all of it every few years.

I used to replace 20% of it a year. I just clean it now.

After a while, you can start to see where the "deader" spots in your tank are located and you can vac there more often.

If you have sand burrowing wrasses, snails or other stuff, then just go slow so that you can spot them and not bury them to the bottom.
 

mrmittag

New member
Awesome..thanks so far.

As for putting down my rock...should I put small layer of sand underneath??

I feel that this will just get moved out from underneath it anyways over time.

What is the best for rock placement with a SSB?

I'm just touchy about puttin 100lbs right on the glass ya know...
 

GroktheCube

New member
IMHO, right on the glass it better. You dont need to worry as muc about shifting an settling. The water and substrate put FAR more load on the bottom than rocks. Tempered glass can support a lot of weight without breaking, the seems would go first. That's why tank failures you hear about are almost always a seem giving way due to an off level tank/stand.
 

mrmittag

New member
IMHO, right on the glass it better. You dont need to worry as muc about shifting an settling. The water and substrate put FAR more load on the bottom than rocks. Tempered glass can support a lot of weight without breaking, the seems would go first. That's why tank failures you hear about are almost always a seem giving way due to an off level tank/stand.

From my understanding the bottom of larger tanks are not tempered, it's just thicker glass.

Hence why I can have my drain holes drilled in the bottom.

At least that is was I understand... someone please correct me if i am wrong
 

Timfish

Timfish
Premium Member
There are a few ways to keep it clean. Take a length of pvc and stir it up from time to time, replace it through vacuuming it out (you can reuse the sand after rinsing it). For cleaning around the rocks use a turkey baster or a power head to blast into the hard to reach areas. I have been doing all those thing in combination for the last 9 years.

This is what I do. While I have maintain a couple of systems a couple of decades old invariably they get moved so I can't say I have a shallow sand bed with rock in place as long as Power Boat Jim's.
 

dkeller_nc

New member
My 20 gallon nano was set up in 2004. It has an approximately 1-1/2" bed of aragonite sand.

No maintenance whatsoever is done to this sandbed - no vacuuming, no replacing, and I make no effort to remove detritus from either the sandbed nor rocks. There are a few critters stirring the SB around, primarily nassarius snails.

There have been no negative impacts on the tank from the non-maintenance of this sandbed over the 9 years that the tank has been setup that I've been able to discern. Nitrates are consistently zero when tested by Salifert, phosphate hovers around 0.03 ppm when tested by Hanna checker. The inhabitants are primarily SPS corals, although there are a few LPS and a few "MPS" as well. Fish load is fairly small - a sailfin blenny and a banggai cardinal at present.
 

spider1218

New member
i use about 1-1/2 to 2 inch bed. gravel vac what you can during water changes and blast what you can't. enjoy the look!
 

davidfrances

New member
I stacked my live rock on a frame made of glass block and 1/4" acrylic sheets. I basically blocked off about 50% of the bottom of my tank that is now BB, and the remainder is 1-3" in depth. I also have several MP10's embedded in the rock work to keep the BB areas clear.

Once a week I stir up the sand with either a turkey baster or a pvc rod.

You need to drill holes in the glass block with a hole saw. Glass blocks have a vacuum inside, and the first hole is made with a small hole saw. Otherwise they explode rather dramatically.
 

Hawkdl2

Mad Scientist
The SB in my current 120g cube is about 2-3" and about 5 years old at the moment. I don't sift, replace or purposefully stir it, though I do have a 4-5" Melanurus that regularly sand dives and a pistol shrimp that moves a lot of sand. I occasionally push sand back into the shrimp's holes, but mostly to show him who's in charge (he doesn't seem impressed). My rock work is supported on ~1" sections of 4" ABS piping. I've set up my rock work this way for the past 15 or so years and always had good luck doing it this way, but I don't think it is necessary. I do this to give my pistol shrimp more room to excavate, which they do with zeal, and under the old theory that it allows more water movement within the sand bed and under the rocks.
 
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