Sump disaster

mluz

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I stay in NYC for work most of the week. Last night I had to go to my daughter?s school, when I got home first thing I checked was the tank. Opened my stand and there water on the bottom coming from my 30 gallon tank that I converted into a sump (seam broken). I also have a 10 gallon tank that I use as a refugium with I would say roughly 60 lbs. of sand for a deep sand bed.

To make a long story short I had to go buy a new tank to use as a sump, remove all equipment and transfer into new tank. In order to remove my old sump, I had to empty out my refugium and of course remove all the sand. When I removed the sand it has a very strong sulfur odor to it and some areas were dark and almost black.

At this time I just put my chaeto into my new sump and do not have a refugium setup. But I would like to get it online as soon as possible. My question to you guys is, can I rinse out this sand and reuse it for a deep sand bed? I would rather not have to buy new sand if there is a way to cycle it again.
Thanks,
Mario
 

Bob 1000

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That's the thing it will have to cycle again,not to mention the phosphate soup that it will make just by adding it back to you system with out being rinsed enough... And I don't know how much is enough..
 

georgelc86

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Sulfer, that sucks becuase if i remember correctly your sandbed with a sulfer smell is a sign that its denitrafying your water. You can rinse it, but you dont have too. All you have done is oxygenation the bed and release the gasses. You dont have to discard. In fact, i personally wouldnt discard or rinse. If you rinse use saltwater not freshwater. The sulfer smell comes from the deep portion of the sandbed that is anerobic. Hope I spelled that right. The only down fall is that its going to take a few months to reestablish that anerobic zone in your sandbed.
 

mluz

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It’s just very frustrating, just when I thought I was done with the setup as far as equipment was concerned and now would be able to get some more corals and just enjoy it something else happens.

Aside from the 30 that went I also broke the 10 gallon that had the refugium in it when I removed it, so far the bill is over 100.00.
I’m going to put the sand back fill it up with fresh water but leave it off the system for now and monitor the water in the refugium until it’s all cycled before I put it back in line.
Guess I will have to do some more reading on DSB, and thanks for the link.
Thanks for responding.
 

mluz

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Yes, that is what i thought.

I've also been reading up on the sulfur smell, and it could be Hydrogen sulfide, apparently could kill everything in the tank if it mixes with the water column.

So now i'm back to square one, i don't know what to do. Should I rinse the sand with fresh water until is clean and loose all the beneficial bacteria or should i let it cycle by itself on a 10 gallon tank?


IMO, if you place freshwater with the sand you can possibly kill a large chunk of the beneficial microbes.
 

georgelc86

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I well the hydrogen sulfide is only a by gas product of a certain strain of bacteria. Keep in mind that the bacteria is anerobic and really doesnt survive well in aerobic conditions, which is where your sand bed is now since it got all stirred up. You have multiple biological layers in a dsb so even through we lost the netrifying function the other functions is what we want to salvage. I would do a combination. I would try to salvage microbes you have left by using water from a water change to rinse it and use it to fill the 10 with the sand. The benefit of using exiting water is the free floating microbes that will help you cycle the sand maybe a little faster. As usual monitor everything and after some time toss some snails and hermits in. If there is survival and no smell then it should be ready to rocknroll
 
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mluz

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I well the hydrogen sulfide is only a by gas product of a certain strain of bacteria. Keep in mind that the bacteria is anerobic and really doesnt survive well in aerobic conditions, which is where your sand bed is now since it got all stirred up. You have multiple biological layers in a dsb so even through we lost the netrifying function the other functions is what we want to salvage. I would do a combination. I would try to salvage microbes you have left by using water from a water change to rinse it and use it to fill the 10 with the sand. The benefit of using exiting water is the free floating microbes that will help you cycle the sand maybe a little faster. As usual monitor everything and after some time toss some snails and hermits in. If there is survival and no smell then it should be ready to rocknroll
Thanks for your help.
 

juiceguy

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i would not salvage the whole sand bed but rather take a few lbs of it and rinse it with some tank water until the water is runs pretty clear, you will lose some of the life that has been established on it but you will preserve some of the bacteria. i think carib-sea makes a live sand in a bag, you can use that with your cleaned sand to re-establish the DSB.
 

georgelc86

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Sand doesnt really go bad so he doesnt have to toss it in the garbage. If you toss it I will take it. You can do joe's idea also but I would keep half the sand in the 10 untouched and you can rinse the other half with freshwater to pull all the gunk out of it. Leaving some of the sand untouched is really the key here.

As for the carib sea. I dont know how live it is becuase there isnt an introduction of oxygen. But I use the stuff so i cant complain, dont buy it from petco, almost $40bucks for 20lbs is a little bit high.
 

mluz

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why dont you toss the sand bed take a couple pieces of small live rock out of your display and just use that with the chaeto.thats what im using in my new fuge.
I thought I would be a good idea in addition to the chaeto for nitrate control. I still haven't done anything with it, but I’m inclined to just wash it thoroughly and then just add a cup of sand form my display to seed it again.
 

KathyC

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If you can isolate your sump/fuge from your tank, I would rinse out the sand well using either rodi water or new SW (NO FW!!, the sand will absorb the phosphates and then you'd have a new & different issue...)and put it back into the fuge and let it cycle like a new tank. After the cycle hook it back up to your system.
 

mluz

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If you can isolate your sump/fuge from your tank, I would rinse out the sand well using either rodi water or new SW (NO FW!!, the sand will absorb the phosphates and then you'd have a new & different issue...)and put it back into the fuge and let it cycle like a new tank. After the cycle hook it back up to your system.
Kathy

Thanks for the heads up about the phosphates. My best bet then is to just rinse with rodi water and then just let it cycle.

My fuge is isolated from the display and sump, so i can leave it filled with water and a power head for as long as it takes to cycle.
 

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