Sand Bed

MDharmony

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I've read the several posts about the pros/cons of BB/DSB/SSB and I've decided to go with a SSB. I have bought an established 8 yr old tank 75gallons with lr and a 2-3 inch sand bed with some sort of red algae growing on the sand. The tank is clear otherwise and has good parameters. I am not sure if the last owner changed or added to the sand. Now here's my question. I have a new 72gallon bow front that I want this SSB. Should I purchase new sand altogether, mix some new sand with the already established sand or just stick with the established sand. I know it's full of beneficial bacteria and I don't want to have to cycle my new tank but I'm not sure. Thanks

btw this is an amazing site with a plethora of info and truly amazing people that genuinely help others. Thanks again.

Michael
 
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Tonyscoots84

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MDharmony said:
I've bought an established 8 yr old tank with 2-3 inch sand bed with some sort of red algae growing on the sand. The tank is clear otherwise and has good parameters. After reading some forums on sand beds, I've learned that the sand must be changed. I am not sure when the last sand was changed or added to.
if you do by any chance change out that sand bed i would be very careful.... remove all livestock, frags, colonies, fishies, liverocks.... before disturbing that sand bed.... by the way that reddish algae is cyano...:tired:

since that sandbed is were most of the bacteria is removing it u will be restarting the tank and would use precaution before adding the livestock back in until the tank is fully ready..... others here will further this answer and add more to it...
 

meschaefer

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Tonyscoots84 said:
if you do by any chance change out that sand bed i would be very careful.... remove all livestock, frags, colonies, fishies, liverocks.... before disturbing that sand bed....

Tonyscoots84 said:
if you do by any chance change out that sand bed i would be very careful.... remove all livestock, frags, colonies, fishies, liverocks.... before disturbing that sand bed....
Cause that needs to be said more than twice.

I would go 1/2 and 1/2. The old sand will quickly seed the new sand, and by replacing 1/2 the old sand you are exporting a lot of nutrients that have binded to the old sand.
 

PalmTree

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You know I was wondering the same thing when I transfered my 75 into my current 180. After draining the tank down to the sand bed my apartment smelled like shipment day at the south street sea port.:shocked1: Make a long story short I kept a five gallon bucket of the old sand and tossed the rest out. The 5 gallon bucket was what I used to seed the new sand I purchased shortly after. No problems yet!:biggrin:
 

masterswimmer

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Hey Michael, glad you're reaping the benefits of MR. There are a lot of very knowledgeable and helpful people here.

First things first, the red growth on your sandbed could be a diatom bloom also. Not necessarily cyano. BTW, cyano is technically not an algae, it is a bacteria, Cyanobacteria .

As for the SSB issue. As you've read there are a few theories regarding sandbeds. I happen to run a SSB as well. I agree with Tony as far as using only a portion of your current sandbed to seed your new sand. Just place a few 'pockets' of your established sandbed within your new sandbed, don't spread a thin layer, and you'll have a live sandbed in no time.

Again, as Tony mentioned, I'd remove all your current tanks' inhabitants before removing the sand. The organics and nutrients trapped within the sand is something you don't want to release into the water column with livestock in there.

Good luck with your new tank. I hope you intend to post pix of your progress.

Russ
 

tomzpc

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I'd go with all new stuff personally. Sand beds become waste traps IMO and are unlikely to contain much variety of life beyond what is in your rock unless the person has been re-seeding the sand with life. I'm in favor of no sand bed or a shallow sand bed and personally I don't think that the sandbed serves any purpose other than aesthetics or for maintaining burrowing fish.
 

Tonyscoots84

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tomzpc said:
I'd go with all new stuff personally. Sand beds become waste traps IMO and are unlikely to contain much variety of life beyond what is in your rock unless the person has been re-seeding the sand with life. I'm in favor of no sand bed or a shallow sand bed and personally I don't think that the sandbed serves any purpose other than aesthetics or for maintaining burrowing fish.
if done the right way a sand bed could be a major contribution to healthy tank... i thought the same way when i had my 29 gallon.. with enough stirrers such as nass. snails, starfish, ect.... the sand will be const. turned and kept clean and can be a big area of denitrification.. the sand acts as a buffering agent for many par. of the tank.. its a very useful thing to have in a tank... of course depending on ones taste and it being aesthetically clean is the owners husbandry and clean up crew....
 

tomzpc

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Tonyscoots84 said:
if done the right way a sand bed could be a major contribution to healthy tank... i thought the same way when i had my 29 gallon.. with enough stirrers such as nass. snails, starfish, ect.... the sand will be const. turned and kept clean and can be a big area of denitrification.. the sand acts as a buffering agent for many par. of the tank.. its a very useful thing to have in a tank... of course depending on ones taste and it being aesthetically clean is the owners husbandry and clean up crew....
IMO the denitrification benefits of a DSB are highly overrated since the active sand bed itself is adding to the bio-load itself. Besides, elevated nitrate levels are rarely ever an issue in a reef tank with a fair amount of live rock and good water circulation anyway. Sand beds also don't work as a buffer the way that they were once thought to either.
 

meschaefer

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The poster indicated that he has done his research and made up his own mind about his choice of substrate. His question was simply on how to proceed with his choice.
 

vanceny

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i'm in the same situation, tank's been up for at least 5 years with a dsb. I'm upgrading to a 90gal and going ssb. I have the new sand thats going in already and will probably use 1/4 of the existing sand. Does it matter if it comes out of the fuge or the display? The level of the sand in the display varies from 2" - 6" whereas it is a constistent 5" in the fuge. If i look through the bottom of the display tank I can see black patches spread through out, I assume this cannot be good stuff.

MDHarmony - what did you decide in doing?

Vance
 

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