Live sand

Discussion in 'New Members' started by Andreas, 14 Feb 2008.

  1. Andreas

    Andreas

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    hi there guys. i'm reasonable new to saltwater aquariums and need some advice on Live Sand.I've got a 250 liter tank with a 150 liter sump
     
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  3. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    Welcome to the forum, i take it the advice you want is whether to use it or not?

    I do, i find it cuts down on many of the "new tank syndrome" problems including diatoms and cyanobacteria, it comes with some critters (mostly good)
    But a good friend of mine thinks it is a waste of money saying "how live can it be if it has sat on a shelf in a shop for nearly a year before you buy it" i have to answer i don't know, but it works for me.
     
  4. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Andreas! Welcome to MASA! I hope you enjoy our company here!

    Look - I am not sure how much you know of live sand.
    Here's short definition (my own, btw): live sand is "dead sand" that have become populated by bacteria, amphipods, copepods, worms, etc

    What does live sand do:
    - live sand acts as a long-term sustainable filtration method, where the microscopic animals life consumes detritus, and breaks it down to it's lowest form (by all means of critters living in the sand - making the sand "alive")

    As such, filtration is aided in your tank.

    I am a VERY strong believer of live sand - and will go so far as to say that one can run a tank (that's not too heavily stocked) only with live sand (DSB = Deep Sand Bed).... and no other form of filtration.
     
  5. Andreas

    Andreas Thread Starter

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    First off thanks for the warm welcome!!!


    what do you classify a DSB as? Is it the amount of sand?

    i think that live sand is a good addition to any tank by the sound of it?

    also what is a fair amount of sand to add to a tank
     
  6. moz

    moz

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    DSB, sand bed at least 100mm deep, and welcome.
     
  7. Kanga

    Kanga Retired Moderator MASA Contributor

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    masahello Andreas, Yip 120mm to 150mm to be safe
     
  8. Andreas

    Andreas Thread Starter

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    I've read another article that says arogonite by CaribSea is very good.

    Has anyone tried it? Costs involved?
     
  9. Kanga

    Kanga Retired Moderator MASA Contributor

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    A lot more expensive, some say its great as a buffer some say not.
     
  10. Andreas

    Andreas Thread Starter

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    What do u mean by buffer.

    Could you give me a rough estimate of the price of live sand, different types etc.
     
  11. lanzo

    lanzo Sponsor

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    I built myself a DSB in DECEMBER, and let m tell you....MY TANK HAS NEVER EVER LOOKED AS GOOD AS IT LOOKS NOW.

    I used ceramic stones in my 1st sump and this lead to a very high nitrate reading(nitrate is 0 now)
    I used oolight araganite(sugar fine) and this is the BOMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    U can use PLAY SAND too, but rinse it out (3-5 times)!
    Tjek out my DIY DSB THREAD by LANZO

    AND WELCOME, YOU WILL LEARN ALOT!
    These guys know what is going on!!!
     
  12. lanzo

    lanzo Sponsor

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  13. Shaun

    Shaun Retired Moderator

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  14. moz

    moz

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    Andreas, if you live near the coast you could use sea sand, collected from below the low level mark in a clean area.
     
  15. IMarine

    IMarine

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    Hi friend welcome i got to agree with wee man i changed my deep sand bed to live sand that i got from liyaqat , at the time my nitrates had no reeding at all,very high,after the first 7 days dropped to half then to zero in 14 days, i now that some reefers will not agree with what i say but it really works
     
  16. Muz

    Muz

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    Dude, Live Sand is a complicated subject and goes much further than having a few critters living in the sand waiting to be eaten.

    In order to fully understand Live Sand I really suggest some extensive research on the subject with your friend Mr Google. To understand Live sand you must try to grasp the embracing of live sand methodologies in modern aquaria and the history of experimentation from bare bottom tanks all the way through to deep sand beds. I run a BB tank with a DSB, but this is not always popular.

    The quest and recognition of Natural Nitrate Reduction through using sand beds I suppose is what led to it becoming more popular as well as recognising that some fish and inverts require critter infested sand to survive in our aquariums that are often too small.

    The term 'live sand' saw the introduction of sand in a bag being sold off at stupid amounts to unsuspecting aquarists has it's foothold in the hobby, I challange anyone to show me any life at all in these products that sit on shelves for months. As far as I am concerned you can take any dry sand and seed it with a cup or 2 from a mature system and within a month or 2 you will have a strong culture which will serve as a nutrition source.

    I think what you have to research and become comfortable with is what do you want to achieve in your aquarium, there is no reason why you cant save a ton and use pool filter sand as it will seed , but if you look at aragonite for example it disolves with a high PH, as it disolves it buffers the water, silca sand will not disolve and thus has no buffering capacity, so you must be aware that using silca sand will probably require you to add calcium and additives to maintain your alkalinity.

    I ramble.

    Muz
     
  17. Obi-Wan

    Obi-Wan

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    :lol:
    Imarine, don't you mean ..so HIGH, it was OFF the scale?
    :razz:

    Well well, haven't you come along, in a great way, in QUITE a short time.
     
  18. Obi-Wan

    Obi-Wan

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    masahello
    Andreas...A hint of what a websearch will offer:
    Aragonite Live Sand Filtration

    Then try to plod through the works of Fossa, Nilsen, Goemans, Shimek, Calfo, Fenner, Toonen, Sprung, Delbeek, Jaubert, Riddle ....... either use google, or buy/loan books/mags etc

    By then, you'll have your own grasp of things, or most likely LOST THE PLOT ALONG THE WAY...:blushing:

    Andreas, here's some practical, experience-based advice;)

    tsk tsk tsk
    :whistling: Don't think we should be spoonfeeding you now..but, ANYWAY

    based on your water volume (250+150)
    Ideally Sand MINIMUM surface area of 900cm^2, and min depth of 70mm, oolitic in size.

    That translates to about 11kg sugar sized sand.

    If you go deeper than min 70mm, your DENITRIFICATION FUNCTION will last longer, compensating for subsequent sandbed DEPTH LOSS, due to compaction and dissolution.

    Believe me, if you choose oolitic aragonite, it'll work faster if needed, AND dissolve with passage of time to yield SOME beneficial minerals.

    You WILL experience some of the same benefits with properly selected, and well maintained alternatives.

    eg) Sand collected near/on Reef or Tidal zones, even to an extent 'playsand' and'poolfilter sand'

    Regarding 'Bagged Live Sand', eg. CaribSea AragaLive and Ocean Direct.

    I have personally employed these on more than 60tanks.

    Usually as 25-30% COMPONENT of TOTAL Aragonite/Substrate bed depth.

    This MAY/NOT be ONLY INTANK, it may also be in BOTH TANK/SUMP, or INSUMP, or as a Remote (Deep)Live Sand Bed....

    With no 'Radar blip' of Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate detected.
    No liverock.
    No Bacterial accelerator/Cycling products.
    No Protein Skimmer.

    The subsequent items, LiveRock, Protein Skimmers were added later.

    I even use it to assist in reduced die-off of delicate organisms, and to reduce harsh curing/process/time for MOST of live rock I import.

    OTHER LiveSand referred to: with micro- AND macro-organisms, visible(usually), including but not limited to various algal,crustacean, mollusc, vermiform and other invertebrate species.

    This can be ocean collected,Commercial Aquaculture, or from established HEALTHY Hobbyist ReefSystems.

    The SECOND type, above, has more VARIETY/BIODIVERSITY , but has less IMMEDIATE impact on Nitrification/Denitrification benefits as the FIRST.

    Simply because: Nitrification and Denitrification are PRIMARILY microbial/bacterial driven functions.

    The FIRST type eventually morphs into the SECOND. Given time AND exposure to new rock/substrate , or substrate-bound Coral fragments, invertebrate additions, or even Natural Sea Water
    :crazy:

    Of course, all the above, are merely based on my own journey through aquatica.

    Begin your own.
    There's no better time than NOW.
    There's no better place than HERE!

    Go FOR IT!

    .....and be cautious, at the same time:biggrinjester:
     
    Kanga and Alfie like this.
  19. IMarine

    IMarine

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    With the good advice you liaquat gave me you so right only the best advice,and yes if any body thinks by laying on the shelf for so long it is not alive think again, email carib sea and find out, it is the best you can use
     
  20. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    :lol::lol::lol:
     
  21. Tom

    Tom

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    Welcome to MASA Andreas! :) Clean play sand sounds like a reasonibally priced alternative ;) Good luck. Where are you from? Maby the local sand will do.
     
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