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(Not so) Deep Sand Bed

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  1. #1
    dlhirst - Reefkeeper
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Detroit MI
    First Name

    Default (Not so) Deep Sand Bed

    I decided that the best way to combat the cyano in my tank was to do some deep cleaning. In that vein, I have been seriously vacuuming the sand bed (and seeing lots of detritus coming out). The cyano has been retreating well, but then someone warned me of more toxins in the sand? Like, I don't have enough troubles?

    My sand is maybe 2-3" deep, no more. Do I really need to fret over this?

  2. #2
    AZDesertRat - Reefkeeper
    Subject Matter Expert
    Water Treatment

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Phoenix AZ


    2-3" is approaching the depth of a fully functiooning DSB so could contain anaerobic, facultative and anoxic bacterias down deep. Personally I would say if you intend to vacuum and disturb it reduce the depth to less than 2" or go for the whole enchilada and increase it to 4-6" and leave it alone so the bacteria can do their job.
    Likes bigbill liked this post

  3. #3
    taziam10797 - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Eaton Rapids
    First Name
    Awards Monthly Giveaway Winner Monthly Giveaway Winner


    Chemi-Clean will get rid of the cyano. Just use a small tube to get what cyano you can out then apply the chemi-clean as per directions. good luck

  4. #4
    bigbill - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    warren mi
    First Name
    Awards Grow Out King - 2011 Grow Out Contest Photo of the Month MBI Participant


    i agree with the first 2 be very careful cleaning a sand bed. i have a deep sand bed and clean it once a month in sections. but its a must do if u ask me i got a few fish who like to tear up the sand bed from time one being my Marron clowns. my sand be is a mix of fine sand for 2 inches then crushed coral on top of that for 2 inch
    I have no fear of losing my life - if I have to save a koala or a crocodile or a kangaroo or a snake, mate, I will save it.
    Steve Irwin

  5. #5
    CR Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    First Name
    Jeff R.Solution
    Awards Photo of the Month - Emerald Eyes Photo of the Month Contest


    if the sand bed is accumulating debrie, i would increase the flow rate in the tank.
    if you have a calcium based material for the sand bed, i would simple change out 1/3 of each week instead of just siphoning it. phosphates from food and waste, that settled to the bottom, will bind to calcium and release it back into the system down the road.
    if the cyano bacteria is all over the tank, then the substrate cannot be singles out as the only or main issue.

    if you are dosing a carbon/vodka source, this will also feed the cyano.

  6. #6


    I agree 100% with taking it slow and working in sections if you plan to siphon or remove any sand bed.

  7. #7
    thepanfish - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    SE Michigan


    Are you currently using any sort of carbon dosing such as biopellets?

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