Sand Bed

Personally I run about 1.5 (in some spots) to 2". My oppinion is that the "Deep" sandbeds and Plenums (UGF's) are a thing of the past.

Anyone want to chime in on the merits of a bare bottom tank?
 
All the things I have heard on podcasts and reading say deep sand beds are the way to go??

But what do I know; I have an empty tank?? :)

All I have read currently points to deep sand beeds like 3-5 inches

In fact one of the podcasts done by Rob has a poll up right now on sand bed depth.
 
like anything associated with a marine aquarium, deep sand beds work well if properly setup. With any sand bed, good water movement will prevent excess nutrients from settling into the sand bed causing the problems we all hear about that are associated with a deep sand bed.
 
I read that plenums provide an area where anaerobic reactions occur which reduce the nitrate level. I haven't tried it myself but I was thinking of setting one up for my next upgrade. Right now I only have about 1.5 inches but I've never had a problem with nitrate. I guess if it ain't broke don't fix it.
 
Trust me, there is no perfect way to set up a tank and if you poll 100 people on how they've set up their tanks, you'll get 100 different answers.

I run what works for me. I had a plenum for 7 years and I'm lazy with maintenance. Those two factors are a recipie for disaster and I learned the hard way.

When all that accumulated nutrients was released into the water column I lost a bunch of my hard corals. I started testing the water under the plenum vs. the water column and it was shocking. With a pH of around 7, NO3 in the high 200's, PO4 off the scale, and the water I siphoned out nearly poisoned me with high levels of Hydrogen Sulfide gas that had collected in the fish room.

BTW the tank water tested at pH-8.3, NO3-5ppm, and PO4-0.5ppm.
 
if you poll 100 people on how they've set up their tanks, you'll get 100 different answers

Yep you got that right! I just finished (well almost) removing my 2" sandbed. IMO unless you have plenty of cukes and other sand stirring animals even 2" is too deep. The DSB experts seem to say you need around 4 or more inches for it to serve it's purpose (filtration). I wanted sand only for asthetics so I thought I'd try the 'shallow sand bed' but after a couple of years what I found under the surface was really nasty. The removal process created cyano and algae outbreak in my tank costing me a couple of nice pieces but I feel it had to be done. Anyone who has ever removed a mature DSB knows what I'm talking about.

For me this all started with a clam that wanted to dig itself down to the bottom of my tank. After stirring up the sand around it I noticed some problems... 6 months later the only sandbed is behind my rockwork where I'll leave it for now.


p.s. I have heard a lot of talk lately about the plenum and wasting method, I've never tried it but sounds interesting.
 
soon as you guys start talkin plenum, water column and all those abbreviations, i'm lost... haha... sorry, still a newbie with that scientific talk. plenum? water column? cyano?

from what i'm getting from those who responded, there's more risk of something bad with a deep sand bed compared to a shallow sand bed? i think i have good water movement in the tank... i've got 2 402 power heads plus the fluval 404 pushin at full speed. while staring at my tank, which i've been doing for about 2 weeks straight, waiting for life to crawl out, i notice debris spinning in and out of the live rock and all around the bottom of the tank. what else should i be concerned with if a deep sand bed requires the proper set up?

anyone have any recommendations on something that i can attach my power heads to that will filter or not allow any living things into it? right now i have these sponges on them, kinda ugly lookin... only thing i could find. they're replacements for some filter, just kinda shoved the sponge around the cone thing that goes into an undergravel tube.

i've had the rock and sand in now for about a week and a half. the water has been running for over 3 weeks now. wondering if it might be too soon to add a fish or 2?
 
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=6968965#post6968965 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by hiepatitis
do you guys vacuum the sand when doing waters changes

i wasn't planning on it. someone had told me not to mix up the sand much once i've got everything established. will that make the difference?
 
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=6958664#post6958664 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by thereefgeek
I haven't vacuumed my sandbed in over a year and it's teeming with microscopic worms, brittle stars, copepods and live mysid shrimp. All these little critters are what basicly eat fish poop and allow me to be lazy instead of vacuuming my sandbed all the time.

Oh yeah, I have a Strombus gigas about 2" long that vacuums it for me :D
 
i've had the rock and sand in now for about a week and a half. the water has been running for over 3 weeks now. wondering if it might be too soon to add a fish or 2?

Definitely too soon to add anything. Are you testing your water parameters (do you know what is important to test)? Your tank will take some time to cycle, gotta be patient.
 
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