Bubbles in\on my sand

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I added 10# oo;itic sand to my tank saturday. Soaked it real good and added it to the top of my crushed aragonite. Did a little stiring(just a little) and let it be. Now there are millions of tiny bubbles on the top of the sand and every now and then, one takes off for the surface with a few grains of sand. There are bubbles under the sand too, I can see them in the glass.
Do I need to keep my cotton-pickin' hands outa the tank :eek:, or, do I need to do somthing about this, and if so, what?
Thank you for your patience with me in my time of :confused:


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Resist the urge to micromanage things and relax a bit.

Bubbles in newly added sand are simply entrapped air finding its way home. No biggie, it will be gone in a couple of hours to a couple of days.

When the (bacteria on the) sand begins to function in the reduction of nitrates to nitrogen gas, you will notice a lot of bubbles under the surface of the sediment against the glass. These are the gas that used to be your excess nutrient on its way out of the tank. These gases will slowly work their way up through the sand and generally dissolve in tank water as they approach the surface of the sediment (hence you will seldom see any bubbles from them). Subsequently, the gas gets liberated out of the surface of your tank or in areas of gas exchange like your skimmer.

Relax, it is all going okay. :D

Cheers, Ron
Hi Hesaias,

You have to realize that in a "so-called" coral reef, roughly 80 % of the living mass is algal, so really these are algae reefs, and we are setting up algal reef aquaria.

When we set up such systems, we cannot help but have algae - if we didn't we couldn't keep corals. The game, if you want to call it that, is to manipulate the algal growth so that what we see is something acceptable to our aesthetic values.

So... you are not fighting an algal battle - over time you are manipulating algal growth. I think if you try to look at it this way, and realize that nothing happens fast in this hobby except system or organism death, then you can realax a bit.

It all takes time and patience.

Cheers, Ron :D
Interesting observation Dr. Shimeck on biomass. I was wondering when someone might reference such.
Completly off topic for this post(sorry if I am breaking someone's rules) I wonder why more of the academics are not involved in the discussions on artificial marine enviornments in this and other places on the internet?
I seemed to remember a comment by another avid poster, an academic, that he was "poohed, poohed" (to use the scientific term ,mine, not his) as to actually involve himself in such discussions and investigations.
Given the history of wildlife on this planet in the last 100 years, and the efforts, some profoundly effective, of those that have dealt with land based animals, it seems to be very short sighted for the academic community to not be involved in the artificial enviornments that are trying to be achieved by these people as a hobby.
I am really interested as why? Is it a matter of funding? Perhaps a mind set? Conservatism? Administration? (oh, the admimistration!)
Surely you see, as others must, that the reef enviornment will continue to deteriorate, just as the land envionments have, and that if we hope to keep some of these species alive it must be thru the efforts of an artificial enviornment. And of course, they are far from ideal. What a great area of research!
No soap box here. Just the trend seems so obvious. Are we just going to study this life until there is none left to be studied?
I know you are only one person at one university, but maybe you might give us a clue on the academics thoughts these days.
Thanks for what you do. It is more foresightful than most of your collegues

[This message has been edited by bmw (edited 01-12-2000).]
Well B,

Why are no more academics not into this stuff and helping hobbyists???

I can put a couple of reasons on this, and pardon me (all readers!) if I step on a few toes.

First, and probably primary. Most simply are
not interested in the hobby. They have a life elsewhere. There really aren't a lot of marine biologists/invertebrate zoologists/etc types in the world. Probably less than 1000 professionals world wide. (For one simple reason - there are NO jobs in it). Anyway, most of these folks are simply not into this as a hobby.

Second, many of those that are into it, consider the hobby as part of the problem - not part of the solution. They consider hobbyists - and rightly so, I might add - as contributing significantly to reef degradation through the harvesting of animals that cannot be maintained for long term.

This disdain for the hobbyists is re-inforced when they look at hobbyist literature and publications and see such ridiculousness as keeping animals too cold, and adding all the goo that is poured into tanks. Most of the hobbyist literature has the reputation within the marine biological community - if it is looked at, at all - on a par with astrology and the supermarket tabloids; primarily for the bs that is espoused.

At the same time most hobbyists neglect the most simple straight forward rules of animal care - such as maintaining animals in the conditions of their natural habitat and learning about the animals (not from your local LFS - but from your local real library).

This disdain for simple animal care rules results in a lot of needless mortality of keystone animals (those that may structure components of the ecosystem) such as anemones, some fishes, etc.

Given all this, why get involved?

Thirdly, research time and effort is limited. Even if you are interested in working with hobbyists or in the hobby, there is NO research money available for it. This translates into the fact that you as a researcher, have to do something else to be productive. Any time spent with hobbyists or in the hobby is time you can't spend on what you get paid to do.

If hobbyists want academics to help, they should urge hobbyist organizations like MASNA, or the like to sponsor research by offering peer-review grants.

These are just a few of the reasons, but they are probably the main ones.

Cheers, Ron
I did not expect the pros to be involed in a hobby. Do not know any carpenters that come home to build a bookcase for fun either.
I am just surprised that there is not more research that is both germane and accessible to the marine hobbyist.
But it would seem funding is the real rub, yes?
I would have thought that the aquarium industry would have quite a few grants going most years. I know that there are many very small businesses involved here, but there are some major players out there also.
What about all this "goo"? Who is developing these additives, and by what research do the advocate them?
Are there not organizations of retailers? Do they not offer grants?
Your suggestion about grants from MASNA is a good one.
What types of grants do you think would be attractive? And how much? My wife has worked some biggies, but also quite a few in the $5000 area.
This is a diverse group,there is probably someone with fund raising experience. How about jumping in?
BTW Ron, you missed my toes at least. I think they tend to shrink as the years go by. :)
Ah Gee,

There is plenty of research that is germane to the hobby.

Generally hobbyists ignore it.

Using examples near to my heart, why else would hobbyists persist in maintaining animals at temperatures other than what the animals have evolved at? Why else would hobbyists persist in adding materials like strontium, when reseach with corals indicate that is poisons, albeit slightly, calcium uptake and has no benefit to the coral whatsoever. As the king once said, "Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera."

There is a truly amazing amount of literature available for the hobbyist, all they have to do is read it. Eric Borneman, Rob Toonen, and myself have spent a lot of energy trying to convince hobbyists that they really don't have to try to re-invent the wheel again, and again, and again. Some folks listen, the rest go back to the tabloids.

As for directed research, while funding is critical, I think the more important factor from the aspect of most professionals, is the lack of interest in the questions hobbyists think of as important. For many of these questions - simply put, the answers are already known. There is no challenge and no fun redoing work.

As far as most additives go, the research that is being done appears to be largely market-research. That is, "See if there is a market, if so, produce it." There has been zippo research that has been peer-reviewed and published on the benefits of any of the additives...

You asked, "Why don't retailers offer grants?" Reality check time. Why fund someone to show that your product is 1) unnecessary or 2) harmful?

I know my suggestion of grants from MASNA was a good one. I have tried to get various personnel in that august assemblage interested in it for the last 5 years. Spoken interest, yup. Action, nada...

Grant size would vary with the project, the equipment required, and the time involved.

Consider the costs of setting up a simple reef tank... When you have to do experiments that require statistically valid answers and independence of tests (i. e. different tanks) how far do you think $5,000 will go...

If the grants were available, I would write proposals.

But I will not get involved with fund raising. Got better things to do...

Cheers, Ron
I did not mean "you" jump in for fund raising. Perhaps my wording.
By "plenty" I am guessing you mean "enough". That is good news.
Perhaps the public aquaria are doing more in the way of artificial enviornments. I will look there.
Thanks for your comments. I will give you an email about some reading reccommendations.

The hobby is very fortunate to have your involvement. I know that your writings and seminars have caused many of us to change the way we care for our tanks.

The members of this BB are even more fortunate to be able to have you participate in this forum. Thank you very much for all that you do.

Peace - John

Thanks for the compliment, but it really should be directed to the many readers of this BB who are able to evaluate the worth of various viewpoints.

If we, as hobbyists, can use the available data in a reasonable manner we are capable of significant advances - and over the last couple of years there have been several.

I hope we can soon start to noticeably decrease the number of deaths due to ignorance and mis-information, and forums such as this BB go a LONG way toward helping achieve that goal. :)

Cheers, Ron
I can only speek for myself and my situation, I "inherited a pseduoreef from a neighbor who did waterchanges w\tapwater, used,70w NO light, water too cool, etc. As I began this trek, I started to learn what was wrong and what was right with this setup from the good folks kind enough to put up with my ignorance and urge to fix it NOW :D
Little by little my tank started to look and be maintained better and better.While I am still on the road to a well kept reef, I am still on the road and committed to keeping my animals at the closest to natural setup. I hold all the life in my tank close because of the joy and relaxation they bring me and my family.
I just want to thank you personaly, along with all the other folks who have helped , and will continue to help me.
BTW the bubbles are going away(from the surface!)

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[This message has been edited by hesaias (edited 01-12-2000).]
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