Substrates or deep sand beds, not in the display tank!

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by pkc, 6 Jan 2013.

  1. pkc

    pkc

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    I cannot convey this strong enough, these areas should not be where there is life!

    I realise some hobbyists think it is doing a good job, but you will never realise your tanks true potential with this in the display tank.

    Substrate houses silicon borers that make your tank leak after months or years, also the protists white spot and velvet and the worms called black ich.

    These are just few of what lurks in a substrate.

    When having a tank made if you can, get it made with a sloping floor down to the front of the tank to move rubbish that way to easily clean out.

    This type of tank floor can be cleaned by the use of a power head pump with a slight pvc pipe extension on it once a fortnight for a few moments blown over the bottom of the tank and it will move rubbish into the water collum onto the pre filter.

    A wave maker or two is good for this.

    That’s the maintenance!

    The ways to avoid these polluting things and still have a lovely looking aquarium base is so easy.

    Place your base rock around to the type of scape that pleases you, add between them with small gaps between each of these, maybe something like pure white marble, shells that are broken up, coral rubble or even non-metallic (in any way) stones, any of these scattered here and there of 5 to 15 mill in size are all very good.

    Its best to use lime or calcium based pieces of what ever you may put as a slight floor covering.

    Over time you get any algae you want in the aquarium, soak it in tap water first for 30 minutes or so to kill off unwanted life and sit under a rock or calcium pieces and it will look dead for time and then grow and spread from there.

    Seed your tank with several small pieces of safely checked live rock for crabs and mantis; this will add corallines from the rock to the tank and spread.

    This can be done with small live rock pieces that have sponges on them as well.

    Then place corals that suit that depth and flow or water here and there.

    If you live near the ocean where the ocean gets above 25c in summer, you can find heaps of life in rock pools to add and fire up the colour in your aquarium, or order these from the lfs.

    I have not used a non active substrate in many years and never will again!

    The active aspect of a substrate works very well only as a reverse flow under gravel bed.

    I always made mine with small micron Dacron over the pumps intake preventing any rubbish from getting into the substrate.

    There is no substrate in my tank as just one example.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    Not to argue..but coming from a Newbies perspective..:blush: ...would the decision to use/not use be mostely influenced by the Live Stock we wish to keep...?:blush: As an example...I love the Purple Tile Goby(Hoplolatilus purpureus) and I believe they need at least 3" of ,preferably, substrate for burrowing..would you then suggest the "sloping" from the back down to a "bare bottom" front..?...or even less substrate..say 1/4 from a back corner sloping down to "bare bottom side/front...?
     
  4. pXius

    pXius

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    In the end of the day it comes down to what you want to keep.
     
  5. pkc

    pkc Thread Starter

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    I don’t think you are arguing, this hobby is about all sharing experiences, not opinions with out actual experience of what some put forward, they only harm the hobby.

    You can’t slope the tanks floor and include a substrate, it defeats the purpose.

    The gobies,that’s a hard one; personally I would not have any kind of life that is dependant on a substrate any more

    That being said back when I did keep sleeper gobies,shrimp gobies and other substrate dependant types I set up a section at one end and feed them specifically in conjunction with the bed.

    I would siphon off the mess they made a few times a week and from time to time go and get some of its food source,benthics and inject them into and onto the bed.

    Then I would siphon it off sometimes and smooth it over each week.

    I have gotten substrate dependant fish to go onto non sand sieving foods and anything that lives in a substrate is easily turned to life out of the substrate, they only live in it for protection, if your tank has no predators they soon adapt if gotten young to begin with.

    I use to make homes for them out of coral or course sand set in cement, salt set in to wash out later to make holes as such and sometimes drilled and shaped so they have a hiding hole, these days I drill right through the dead rock for tube worms and all kinds of things to live in those holes, including those types of fish.

    These days I like the inverts over substrate dependants.
     
  6. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    Yes...I definately do agree...( no intention of giving up on my future wish fishy..:p)...I was asking from the perspective of then trying to combine both, my "preference" combined with a "benefical" lay-out..:blush:
     
  7. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    Posted basically same time...OK..I get the " defeats the purpose"..:blush:...Hmmmm man-made burrow's..I saw a few of them in regards to other Gobies...didn't know it might work with Tile Fish....I thought they were "shy"...
     
  8. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Without substrate, you do limit your fish choice a lot. Blennies and Gobies that like to dig are then excluded. Also some wrasses that like to sleep in the sand.

    Enough clean up crew, especially hermits will help in reducing rubbish build up.

    A lot more important is your rock placement. Can the hermits get in between the rocks to do their job? Is the rock placement open enough to allow a lot of water movement in between. And is the rock pushed through the sand onto the glass bottom to prevent the Sand diggers to dig under and topple the rock stack?

    The whitespot cyst can glue themselves to any substrate like material. Be that sand, shells or even live rock itself. The comment that the substrate houses the protist white spot does not hold water
    I do agree that the display tank should not house a DSB. The DSB should not house any predators. Or excessive sand diggers. Whelks or Nassarius snails are good to have in DSB, as their dig up a little bit of sand when they do hide.
     
  9. pkc

    pkc Thread Starter

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    We have a lovely yellow and blue tile fish here and they do fine, that is of course if you don’t collect a really pretty little one and find it on the floor dried up after 5 months of thriving.

    I hate the pyroferus I caught as a flavissimus mimic, it pics on every one, that’s what would have happened to the tile.

    Its my wife’s favourite, that and I am taking pics of it as I make it go full adult at half the normal size, they are the only reasons I caught it and tolerate it.

    Most wrasse hide in the substrate, I have never had a problem with not providing a substrate for any kind of dependant type once i understood them, unless some one picks on them, then they jump out, I have a screen over the top tank for that reason
     
  10. Quintus

    Quintus the irish aXeman

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    @RiaanP, pretend i'm dumb and explain in greater detail why a DSB in your DT is Bad?

    DSB in display tank - good or bad? - General Reef keeping - Reef-Face.co.uk
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  11. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    with an in tank DSB, it limits your lifestock choices a lot. Anything that will sift and clean the sand is then out of the question. Also anything that will dig and upset large spaces of sand.

    Then the areas the rock lies on the sand is also not utilized as a DSB. The sand directly under the rocks.

    Your rocks will never be 100% secure lying ontop of a 150mm deep layer of sand. Any new critter that decides to tunnel in under the rocks can cause a potential rock fall. Unless you got plastic rods running through the sand that acts like stilts to create a stable rock stack.

    Sand storms, with SPS in the tank.

    You reduce your viewing panel by 150mm. Take a tank that is 600mm deep and you lost 25% swimming space. So effectively you make your nice deep tank a much shallower tank. Why have this tick layer of sand in your display?

    Hope that is enough to proof way an in sump DSB is better, or a remote DSB.
     
  12. Quintus

    Quintus the irish aXeman

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    thanks
     
  13. JamesHunter

    JamesHunter

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    Interesting read thank you .... mmm wonder what lurks in my sand
     
  14. pkc

    pkc Thread Starter

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    For the short term or with a lot of work, substrates in your display tank are fine, but substrates in your display aquarium do several things that are not conducive to good over health of your reef life for the long term!
    As organic matter permeates them this inspires with in this anoxic zone, the obligate anaerobe, this one is the main culprit for hydrogen sulphide production.
    No matter how fine your particles, organics gets in and with the developing communities of creatures living in there as well, their waste is organic.
    Even if you siphon off your bed, where it is under the live rock,it will produce hydrogen sulphide, its just nature.
    From this you will get far to many sulphur reducing bacteria and the valuable microbes that control the nitrogen cycle, are reduced by these.
    Also many protista are photosynthetic, especially the protist called velvet. Part of its life cycle is dependant on living in and one that substrate while photosynthesising its food needs via a symbiotic relationship with cyano bacteria.
    White spot is also part of the second largest community with in your aquarium being protista and part of its life cycle is dependent on a substrate as well.
    Carnivore worms work from substrates in their attacks on marine life as well.
    External substrates of varying depths and media should not be out of your bio system set up, they are incredibly valuable as anaerobic/anoxic zones and metal conversion sinks. There is no way that I would not have them in some form in my waters somewhere, but I know from vast experiences to never have any in the display tank or some where with out protection, so that no inorganic particles or organic particles can get to them!
    We all do the hobby in the way that suits us and sometimes the learning curb from that decision is fruitful, sometimes it isn’t. So it’s the individuals as to which way they go. It is a well-known fact, that when we learn the hard way, we remember it very well!
    Here is a little on this.
    http://southeastqueenslandm.aforumf...lphide-sulfur-so4-in-the-marine-aquarium#7009
     
    Last edited: 10 Jun 2013
  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Extract from your link.

    Sulphur will not form from substrate inside your tank, unless you got an in-display DSB.
    And will not be released in significant volumes unless you go and dig up your DSB. Switching off your return when you do disturb your DSB is anyway what you should do. Remember not all detritus is bad. What happens to the final end result of detritus? after it passed the guts of do many worms, copepods and bacteria? It becomes silt. Marine mud. Just another extra fine substrate for bacteria to live on.

    Whitespot, you should quarantine your fish. Same for velvet. And as far as I know whitespot can hatch on the rocks. Do not depend to be on the sand. They hatch in the wild close to where the fish sleep. Because they fell off after dark where the fish sleep. And they hatch before sunrise looking for the sleeping fish to re-infect. So out in the great coral reefs whitespot certainly do not depend on substrate for survival. So running a barebottom tank in the hope that it will be a cure for whitespot is not going to work. Barebottom holding tanks are just easier to scrape the bottom clean to get the cyst off.
     
  16. Quintus

    Quintus the irish aXeman

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    Specify on the silicon borers
     
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