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  1. #1
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    Question What stops a 1"-2" sandbed from crashing?

    Everybody seems to be getting away from DSB's because of a potential "crash"and are now suggesting to use only 1"-2" sandbed. Why is this? Wouldn't a shallower sandbed reach it's saturation point quicker and hence "crash" quicker? Is a 2" sandbed not enough to create anaerobic areas? Doesn't a DSB offer better filtration? If not a DSB why not just go bare bottom or use a satellite sandbed that you can replace on a regular basis? :banghead: It's hard to keep up with the flavor of the month. I'd like to keep the next tank up for years so I'd like to make the right choice. I'm honestly leaning towards a bare bottom with a sandbed and macro in the sump. Any suggestions/opinions would be great.:idea: :banghead:

  2. #2
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    the shallower bed isn't deep enough to build up hydrogen sulphide because it stays better oxygenated.
    There is no hard evidence that a dsb will crash eventually, but there is no doubt that a sand bed will eventually need an overhaul of some sort.. If you can do your dsb or plenum in a sump, there is no question in my mind that the sump system is the best way to go.
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  3. #3
    Senior Member MalHavoc's Avatar
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    Generally, no, a 1-2" sandbed is not deep enough to create the anoxic layers where toxic gases like hydrogen sulfide accumulate.

    The problem with satellite sandbeds is that if you replace them, you've got a month or so to go before they are fully up and running. The concept is an interesting one - unplug your sandbed at the first sign of trouble. But when you do that, there goes all the nutrient processing ability along with it. Since sandbeds don't turn on instantly, a new one won't immediately process at the same level. So, for a while you're fighting with nutrients.

    My next tank will be essentially bare bottom. Perhaps an inch or so, on average, just for looks. A refugium full of live rock and a nice macro like chaetomorpha will do nicely. I'm planning on having close to 6000 GPH worth of current in a 4 foot tank anyway, so a 4" layer of sand just isn't going to work out very well.
    Jason Nugent
    http://malhavoc.homeunix.com/
    ReefCentral Admin

    180 gallon Oceanic with Lifereef Sump, 33 gallon with VHO, 20 gallon frag tank with MH

  4. #4
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    With an inch or so of established sand in the main tank, a sump redo wouldn't be the end of the world. Using some old sand in the new bed would also help speed up the maturation process. Obviously if you can fit two sumps, you are set up perfectly. That way you could encorporate a plenum as well as a dsb and/or a refugium with algea and always have a backup bed running, as well as having a great amount of bio diversity in terms of nutrient processing ability
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  5. #5
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    I will be doing a plenum in a remote location (part of the sump system) that can be isolated if need be. I am also building it in a fashion that will allow sections of the bed or the entire bed to be removed at any time. It will be done in modulars that fit together like 1 layer of 2 to 3 inch high hollow blocks. I am about 75% done building it and will post some PICs of it when it is done.
    Rob

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