changing dsb to ssb

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Charl_Stanhope, 27 Jan 2011.

  1. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope

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    Ive just looked at alot of tanks and I realised that Ive got much much more crushed sand,corals,shells on the bottom of my tank(think its called a sand bed) compared to what Ive seen. Its about 6-8cm deep. . Its advice given to me when I started a few months ago. Ive noticed it getting darker and darker every month and then I started getting brown hair algae. Can I just scoop up and take out half to 3 quarters of it with the fish in it or cant you take it out now at all?
     
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  3. Dane

    Dane

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    Hmmm. By the sound of it the problem is not the depth but the actual structure.

    A DSB should consist of fairly fine sand. Even fine sand DSBs still need about 15cm to be effective.

    Using coarse coral chips, shells etc allows for detritus to gather in between, decay and create a nutrient issue. Shells also leach out phosphates if I'm not mistaken.

    I would think about scrapping it and starting with sea sand, fine aragonite (Personally I think an expensive waste) or playsand.

    Theres nothing wrong with having an intermediately deep sand bed - like you say 6-7cm. Mine is that size. It wont provide the function that a proper DSB does - as a denitrifier, but it will provide a good substrate for inverts etc to colonise.



    If you are planning on changing it... Then you will need to take some precautions WRT to stirring up all the detritus that has settled in it (if this is your problem...). Maybe vacuum it before hand, and a nice water change after disturbing it.


    Can you post some pics of it so we can see what you are using?

    D
     
  4. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Remove portions per week, ensuring that you siphon the detritus trapped within out as well. Say 20% per week, start at one side and get it out.

    You can replace it with either aragonite (if you got the dough for it) or with a thin layer of playsand. Just wash the playsand properly.

    Do you have any sand sifting creatures, like Golden head gobies, or sand shifting starfish?
     
  5. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope Thread Starter

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    I havent got any sand sifting creatures. What type of play sand do you use(if you get more than one type) or can I just get it at a hardware store or a store that sells playsand. Ill post a few pics.
     
  6. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Reggies play sand, about R40 a bag. Just wash it thouroughly until whitish ;)
     
  7. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Wash with tap water and rinse with RO water, no soapy stuff please :)
     
  8. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    use a large diameter pipe and syphon out the substrate, dont remove it any other way !

    I would do it in 25% or 1 third portions

    The critters will migrate from the current substrate to the new substrate

    Adding LR will bring in more sand dwelling critters !
     
  9. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    You are in Hermanus, why not use the real thing. Get sea sand from unpolluted, far off beach. Collect at low tide, from below water line, wet sand.

    Only us inland guys that got only aragonite or playsand options as viable. Real mission to get the real deal here in enough quantities.
     
  10. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope Thread Starter

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    Its easy to get but how safe is it? the water is really cold here as well.about 15 degrees. Would all the stuff die off in the tank once the temp increases or should i collect it and just boil it a bit. also Ive read that if you collect the sand you can get oil and bad stuff in it but we havent got a stretch of ocean where you get big boats or anything going through. I use the water.Ive had it tested and its perfect.
     
  11. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    yes, some colder water organism will die.
    So yes, boil it, and wash it as you would wash the playsand.

    To test if it is safe, you can DHL me about 50KG.... I will test it...:)
     
  12. Neil H

    Neil H Moderator MASA Contributor

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    in the interests of getting propper test results i will humbly test 100KG for you as well !
     
  13. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope Thread Starter

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    pity I dont have courier friends otherwise I wouldve done it gladly. haha
     
  14. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope Thread Starter

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    dry beach sand????

    Can I collect beach sand from my nearby beach. Since we a small town the beaches are very clean. I dont want to collect sand on the low water mark since the water here is colder than the temp in the tank and the water doesnt look very clean today. Can I just collect dry sand from the cleanest beach.Its on a sand dune and it looks very clean. Its just sand. Then I want to boil and wash it. any ideas? im scared to use play sand coz I dont trust these shops in this town.
     
  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    wet sand should be cleaner.

    Dry sand, yes, then you need to wash it.

    But as you want the sand, and not the live in it, then i believe dry sand should be OK.
     
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