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Deep sand bed experience?


kilmca
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Wondering if anyone on the forums has a deep sand bed, 4" to 6" in depth, and how long have you had it?  I've been doing research online about them and they get mixed reviews.  I've read plenty of experiences where they have gone bad and the hydrogen sulfide that is released kills the tank inhabitants.  considering going with a 29" tall tank and a 5" deep sand bed would make it 24" tall like i want.     

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4 hours ago, kilmca said:

Wondering if anyone on the forums has a deep sand bed, 4" to 6" in depth, and how long have you had it?  I've been doing research online about them and they get mixed reviews.  I've read plenty of experiences where they have gone bad and the hydrogen sulfide that is released kills the tank inhabitants.  considering going with a 29" tall tank and a 5" deep sand bed would make it 24" tall like i want.     

I think Greg @youcallmenny tends to run with deep sand beds so hopefully he will chime in.

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I've run a 4"+ DSB right from the start.  Frankly I wonder how people don't.  The myths about waste are just that, a myth.  A DSB processes waste, why would it be harboring the bad?  As Mark @cjmdh can painfully attest, even moving the bed in totes with the livestock didn't kill anything.  To be clear, we took everything out of the old 75g and put it in totes, moved the tank over to our new house and dumped everything back in.  

Plus how could you go without a jawfish or a pistol/goby pair?  I usually don't take a super strong stance on husbandry methods but I seriously love my sand bed and you should too!

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2 hours ago, youcallmenny said:

Plus how could you go without a jawfish or a pistol/goby pair?  I usually don't take a super strong stance on husbandry methods but I seriously love my sand bed and you should too!

I do love your sand bed Greg... we just don't get much quality time together though.😍

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4 hours ago, youcallmenny said:

I've run a 4"+ DSB right from the start.  Frankly I wonder how people don't.  The myths about waste are just that, a myth.  A DSB processes waste, why would it be harboring the bad?  As Mark @cjmdh can painfully attest, even moving the bed in totes with the livestock didn't kill anything.  To be clear, we took everything out of the old 75g and put it in totes, moved the tank over to our new house and dumped everything back in.  

Plus how could you go without a jawfish or a pistol/goby pair?  I usually don't take a super strong stance on husbandry methods but I seriously love my sand bed and you should too!

I've never had a Blue Spotted Jawfish because I've never had a sand bed that was deep enough so that's another pro for going with one.  Glad to hear about a good experience.  what critters do you think are important/essential to maintaining a healthy sandbed?  

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Good question.  I've been through a host of interesting critters.  Don't get sand stars, they eat sessile life which is what is breaking down the waste.  Brittle stars have been great for me.  Tiger conchs are my favorite.  Fun to watch and very useful.  The most important thing is nassarius snails.  Lots of 'em.  Between them and the conchs, that seems like enough.  I still use other snails for the glass/rocks.  The usual, trochus, turbo, nerite and just a couple small hermit crabs.  Bristle worms, spaghetti worms and the like are great in there too.  Some people hate them but I think they are just a part of the CUC.  Despite finding some giant ones, they've never caused any problems.  That said the majority of my fish are wrasses and they love to eat them so it helps keep them fat and happy.  

Consistency/grain size turned out to be really important too.  I prefer oolite with maybe a little tiny bit of courser mixed in.  I've got a ton of flow and it blows around at first but settles down pretty quickly.  Also get a long-handled sand rake and treat it like a zen garden. 

One huge con too is keeping the glass clean.  It's too easy to scratch up the glass, even with a quality scraper.  If you can accept that it's probably going to be kind of gross looking on the glass under the sand, you're good to go.  That turns people off though and I understand that.  

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I've read plenty of times not to get sand stars cause they eat the important life.  I've also read not to get jawfish or wrasses because they also eat the important worms and other life in the sand bed plus they disturb it.  didn't like to hear that but than I also read constant mixing of the sand by snails is good so that seemed contradicting.

The tank i'm considering is 29" tall and i think i'm going to frame the stand and trim around it so you can't see the entire 4" to 5" sand bed.  The tank is in wall so i can recess it below the trim around the tank.  You might be able to only see 1" to 2" of the sand bed.  do you think there is an issue with not seeing the lower levels of the sand bed?  Thanks!

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2 hours ago, kilmca said:

I've read plenty of times not to get sand stars cause they eat the important life.  I've also read not to get jawfish or wrasses because they also eat the important worms and other life in the sand bed plus they disturb it.  didn't like to hear that but than I also read constant mixing of the sand by snails is good so that seemed contradicting.

The tank i'm considering is 29" tall and i think i'm going to frame the stand and trim around it so you can't see the entire 4" to 5" sand bed.  The tank is in wall so i can recess it below the trim around the tank.  You might be able to only see 1" to 2" of the sand bed.  do you think there is an issue with not seeing the lower levels of the sand bed?  Thanks!

This sounds like a good approach to me.  I personally wouldn't worry about the wrasses disturbing things since, as you note, the snails/conchs will do that anyway.  Now, what they decide to eat is a different issue...

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