Two reasons to not go that way.

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by pkc, 29 Nov 2012.

  1. pkc

    pkc

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    Life near or above deep sand beds or similar is a recipe for disaster!

    Firstly the supposedly helpful planktonic life including pods, all shed their shells, these shells are of silica and if there is no reasonable lighting available, then the only creature that could reduce this blocking substance, (being diatoms that make silicon from silica), will not reduce it.

    As with the sands on some beaches, this builds and fills in the spaces, where there was supposed to be anaerobic bacteria, oxidising nitrate to nitrogen.

    This area now produces Hydrogen sulphide and as we all know this one is not conducive to display tank life.

    As your supposedly valuable planktonic life pumps out silica, so declines the nitrate oxidisers depth as they loose ground to the more toxic gas-producing bacteria below them as this mass moves upwards.

    There will always be some ground at the surface for aerobic oxidisers and some area below them for anaerobic bacteria, but as time goes on this is reduced a great deal, so now you have nitrate issues and don’t dare move any live rock!

    The next is algae.

    Caulerpa to name one variety of algae that some keep on, above or use inadequate pre filtering their letting particles get to their nitrate reducing areas.

    Any porus area will reduce nitrate and that includes inside live rock grit or rubble a sort of substrate, which is also a porus area.

    All of these can become blocked a lot or a little.

    The pics that follow are what I have seen many times in the past but with out pics it is hard to get any one t realise this goes on.

    So nearly three months ago I trimmed some of my alga epart of the NWMS and put it out in the weather in a small plastic cage I made so the weather can affect it and tear all life out, but the wind could not blow it away or any birds or what ever move it, on the small sheds roof in my back yard.

    As you can see from fresh to over ten weeks the calcium carbonate make up of the algae is quite intense and able support two 20 cent pieces.

    One more substance to fill in the spaces in a substrate, live rock or deep sand bed that you need for nitrate oxidation.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

     
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  3. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    great info, very interesting
     
  4. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Wow, so where to now @pkc, what do you suggest, I know so many guys running DSBs, and refuges with Caulerpa (I'm excluded in this group), how would one go about abandoning their setups?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  5. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    So, running a sump light and no problem....

    Plus a couple of nassarius snails, strombidae snails, a few hermits, one or two pieces of rock for housing bristle worms, (numbers dependant on your DSB size obviously), and I have enough surface movement to not be of any concern.

    I use playsand on my DSB below the tank, and on my remote DSB (a 1.2m by .45cm tank). Got no diatoms issues. I was away for 2 weeks, and the front glass of the display was still acceptable. not as if the complete thing was brown. Below the tank, no sump light. The remote DSB uses 2 LED spotlights of 10W each.

    I'm away again from Monday for 2 weeks. I will clean my display front glass Sunday, and when I return take a picture. If silica was such an issue, then that would mean I should have a brown front. Without being able to see through it.

    But again a bit misleading, I do have loads of snails and they do feast on the front glass. If I do have a silica issue, then I would ensure that I get more silica in my system. That would mean I can keep more snails... :thumbup:

    I had a problem on my remote DSB in that my cheato ball did die off under 4 * 39W T5 10000K. I replaced that now with the 10W Leds cool white. and it now grows again faster than my big tiger Cowrie can eat it. I got the Cowrie now for 6 months. Not my choice of livestock but my sons who collected it for me.
     
  6. pkc

    pkc Thread Starter

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    Guys there is only one form of pre filtering that will not let any detrimental particles from getting to your external bio areas and really there has be pre filtering for any porus area to remain anaerobic and perfectly functional.

    This thread is just to remind you that filter socks and similar do not stop silica or cal carb particles from getting to your sump and in the tank,its just not worth talking about.

    The water pounds the particles through the socks!

    The particles need to settle out of the water as in a settling pre filter and the level when pumps are turned off have to be below the exit of this type of pre filtyer, this stops everything.

    This you would have to make your self, they don’t exist as yet for sale.

    I came up with one in 2002 out of desperation to stop that powder from getting to my external bio areas and it’s not hard to make.

    It gives you the benefit of never having your anaerobic area weaken to any extent!

    I have had this type of thing after my algae’s since back then and there has been no dusting on or in the anaerobic media.
     
  7. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I got a DSB of playsand, another remote DSB of more playsand. And my in tank substrate is real sea sand. And as you keep on insisting that play sand leach silica into your system, to be used by masses and masses of diatom blooms.

    As promised
    After 2 weeks away.

    The front side of the tank. I did not clean it, and I did ask the tanksitters not to do it either.
    [​IMG]

    A shot from the side
    To show all the diatom and algae and what not else against the front glass.
    [​IMG]

    If playsand was supposed to leach silica in excess. The where is my diatoms?

    Just to be sure, a silica test was done, taken from the main sump DSB chamber.No silicates were detected, even on the low test.

    Actually, looking at these pictures, and knowing that my snails teeth are mostly build up from silica uptake, I should rather start to dose silica into my system.
     
  8. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    what is the purpose of this thread ? i am struggling to get clarity?
     
  9. HiDeeHo

    HiDeeHo

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    Totally over complicating... Dsb works, has worked for many reefers...
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Silica
    and that even your copepods old shells would be a problem.

    This thread is actually a follow up on another post where DSB were made out to be bad, and in 4 years time would result in issues.
    Marine Aquariums South Africa - View Single Post - Phosphate levels: a never-ending struggle
    Better explained by Bob the Reefbuilder
    My question is now, my main DSB is 4 months old in its current location. It is a DSB that I just dug up and moved over form another sump. Plus added some sand to fill it up. My remote DSB is 2 years old. so if silica was such a problem, why do I not have it?
     
  11. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    that would be a nice theory if there was no life in your dsb. the moment your dsb is running correctly that theory is shot out of the water it would also imply those running miracle mud in refugiums are really bad off even worse than dsbs.
     
  12. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    redfish magazine has just done a fantastic article on dsbs it should be read by all.
     
  13. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Nothing wrong with a dsb, they do work. Two of mine have run on plays and and I've never had issues.
     
  14. pkc

    pkc Thread Starter

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    I have used the miracle mud and deep sand beds and plenum style as people I know have as well.

    The workings of a deep sand bed connected with life forms, like in the display tank or refuge are as follows.

    The top 15 mil is aerobic, then from there down to the base is anaerobic, bacteria existing in low to no oxygen and relying on the two atoms of oxygen they extract from the nitrate atoms to exist there that are of 1 part nitrogen and two parts oxygen, nitrogen is left over so it’s been called the nitrogen cycle since I started in the hobby and for a while now some call it the nitrite cycle.

    As time goes on the base becomes infested and expands up wards with bacteria that results in hydrogen sulphide, this as it is expelled makes contact with the waters oxygen and is instantly converted to sulfur.

    This is at fluctuating levels and the results are very clear guys, salt and sulfur have been used to kill off bacteria and other micro organisms for a very long time and you are using these in ways that is making your deep sand beds unbalanced and all over the place after some years.

    Some bacteria are very commofortable with sulphur but not all the ones we rely on.

    They even think sulphur accounted for a large die off on the planet a long time ago before human’s time here and the smell of the ocean is just that, sulphur!
    So the ocean is the largest of sulfur produces on the planet, unless a volcano goes off,lol.

    Sulphur, dead bacteria to ammonia resulting in PH imbalance, the next day balance is regained, the next week dead bacteria ammonia with PH imbalance and on and on!
    I found this on a club testing day in the early 90s that found high levels of sulphur in those ones including mine that we tested, along with the findings against bacteria running the nitrite to nitrate part of the cycle.

    Everything that is in your water gets into your fish due to their life being dependant on drinking enormous amounts of the water they live in, your deep sand bed with out on going propping up adds more substances to their drinking water.

    Advanced aquarists have just done an article on new findings on how marine eco systems actually work and they have just described how what I do works, its how I have done it for over 7 years.

    They are finally getting there with understanding some of what actually goes on to obtain and some understanding of it all.

    Over all it really doesn’t matter, I had to learn the hard way as many others will and really anything carries out some form of bio work in a marine aquarium, not always obvious or obviously good or bad until a long time has been spent on the hobby from information gathered from ocean activities.

    That’s how their researches are doing it and that's how I did it.
     
    Last edited: 16 Dec 2012
  15. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    still not sure what you are trying to say
     
  16. pkc

    pkc Thread Starter

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    What i am saying is deep sand beds have their draw backs if life is near or over them.

    That means if the bed is in the display tank or with algae in the long term it will suffer.

    But if some one wants use one then why not.
     
  17. pkc

    pkc Thread Starter

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    I don’t mean the silica in your sand; it’s the discarded algae based plankton shells and to a lesser degree zooplankton as they grow that is made of silica.

    All these creatures have to shed their shell to grow, the shed shells are part of the problem, not the silica in the sand from the beginning.!

    They are deposited all over the place and as with calcium particles, both block your deep sand bed because they are added continually over time.

    The silica in your sand just sits there unless it is near the surface and the diatoms use it, this type of silica doesn’t block anything unless you were sprinkling it over the deep sand bed for a couple of years.

    Dosing with silica has nothing to do with the type of silica from discarded shells!!
    That is a liquid, the particles are a solid!

    Lets leave it at that, use the deep sand beds and in the years that follow you will see what i mean.
     
    Last edited: 17 Dec 2012
  18. brentch

    brentch

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    So you're saying that it is the mechanical smothering of the sand bed by frustules, exoskeletons and shells that reduces it's capability to do its job..?

    What about bioturbation? Wouldn't worms etc. in the DSB keep it sufficiently aerated?
     
  19. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    read redfish magazine page 31 it is a good article on understanding what is going on in a dsb. if you expect a dsb to cover for bad maintenance practices. it fits in with a good maintenance regimen Redfish Aquarium Magazine
     
  20. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    ps i cant understand the worry about silica
     
  21. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    what i mean is a fear of it blocking your dsb.
     
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