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sand bed primer links directory.

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A Guide to Links & useful info on Sandbeds & biologic Filtration.


to start











ron shimek





if you read only one, make it this one










anthony calfo and or wet web media







heres a great read posted by Lakshwdeep



books to get from the local collage lybrary, because there too expensive.

Recommended by members or referenced by other source's.


Meiobenthology: The Microscopic Motile Fauna of Aquatic Sediments

isbn 3540686576



Ecology of Marine Sediments

isbn 0198569025



Microbial Ecology of the Oceans




Dynamic Aquaria: building living ecosystems by Walter Adey & Karen Loveland

isbn: 0-12-043792-9



Chemical Oceanography and the Marine Carbon Cycle

isbn: 0521833132



Ocean Biogeochemical Dynamics

isbn: 0691017077



Ocean Circulation, Second Edition

isbn: 0750652780



Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas

isbn: 0982701209



Biological Oceanography

isbn: 0632055367




if you can recomend a book. post the title & isbn.


other articles or threads









Meiofauna of Sandy Beaches



The Deep Sand Bed – One Of The Most Effective Filtration Methods.



Feeding Acros








the use of partical size



Between the grains



Animals Between the Sand Grains - Meiofauna



Influence of artificial reefs on the surrounding infauna: analysis of meiofauna



abstract from

The effect of experimentally increased near-bottom flow on metazoan meiofauna at a deep-sea site, with comparison data on macrofauna



first page/abstract

The Effects of Meiofauna on Settling Macrofauna: Meiofauna May Structure Macrofaunal Communities, by Mary C. Watzin



The ecology of marine sediments: an introduction to the structure



Temperature and substrates as interactive limiting

factors for marine heterotrophic bacteria



Microbial processes in cold oceans. I. Relationship

between temperature and bacterial growth rate



Periplasmic aminopeptidase and alkaline

phosphatase activities in a marine bacterium:

implications for substrate processing in the sea



Correspondence between assemblages of coral

reef fishes and gradients of water motion, depth,

and substrate size off Puerto Rico



Effects of recurrent sand deposition on rocky

intertidal organisms: importance of substrate

heterogeneity in a fluctuating environment



Dispersal of marine meiofauna: a review and

conceptual model explaining passive transport

and active emergence with implications for




Direct measurements of secondary currents in a meandering sand-bed (in river's but seems related)






The Ecological Role of Water-Column Microbes in the Sea by F. Azam

















this ones interesting





sorry didnt read this one but looks good
































place's to order bugs













a most exellent way to create curent throught the refugeum & over the sand bed.

bonese 20l diy sump



this could be an interesting project for the local reef club.

Edited by bitts

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Nice compilation. IMHO, this should be stickied, especially with the number of sand bed questions.

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Good links here. Thanks for the compilation. Tracking this thread for sure.

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a good book to check out is


Dynamic Aquaria: building living ecosystems by Walter Adey & Karen Loveland


isbn: 0-12-043792-9



Very informative on a lot of different topics. "... takes a unique approach by integrating ecology and aquarium science. The result is a better understanding of both ecological food webs and the limitations imposed on these webs by their compression into micro- and mesocosms."

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thanks treygarz. added.

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I love this thread.

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What a great thread! Thanks everybody :)

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Captain Billy

Your great at putting this stuff together, but is any of it from your own personal experience?


This makes sand beds way more complicated than they need to be. Great info if you can absorb it but for the average noob it's way to much info to go through.

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please stay out of my threads, I'm sorry but I do not appreciate your continuing an argument from one thread into another. I'm sorry if I have not utilized enough personal experience to satisfy your needs. but I see no connection between my using this information to setup a system & how others should or must. it is just knowledge to be used as seen fit. if you believe this to be overly complex I apologize. yet the thread is only suppose to be a source of reference. not the methodology itself, that is for the individual to determine for them selves. as for personal experience with this methodology. I have been able to reduce water changes to around once every 6 months through this & strong skimming. but again I would prefer to have the thread be a source of reference for information about the methodology. rather than simply opinion on the methodology. many times I feel that it is of greater benefit for me to use my experience on this forum to recommend the correct person or thread. Rather then to give direct advice myself when I know of some one who is more knowledgeable than myself. that is the personal experience that I have to give. that this is the person I learned from, that they will give you the best answer I know of & do a better job of it then I can myself. to not acknowledge this, to claim to know more than these people & thus more than I myself actually possess. would be dishonest & defeats the purposes of the forum. I believe that most people are capable & will in fact learn more by researching information for themselves. rather than by having the information given with parts omitted. the information given biased by the individual giving the opinion, especially myself. which is why I normally will recommend multiple points of reference, besides myself. Again if this upsets you I am sorry, but it is what I feel is an approiate way to participate in the forum.

Edited by bitts

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I hope this thread has been useful. please ask about things or simply add to it, if there is something you think would be beneficial or helpful. I keep meaning to add info about the difference in acrylate and silica sand, since some one asked me about it. but I just haven't done it yet fore which you do have my apology's. now I must confess that I'm stumped by the acrylate sand it seems to be more of a polymer type. that can be added to strengthen things like porous rock & concrete in construction which could perhaps be used to strengthen diy rocks but it would I expect limit the rocks ability to filter. now if by chance I have it wrong & it was suppose to be silica based sand vs agaronite sand than this is due to the buffering propriety's of a dsb made of agaronite sand. despite the ph of a reef tank being to high for the sand to add in buffering. I will keep looking in to the acrylate & if I find any useful info will post it.













Edited by bitts

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Captain Billy

No arguement, just an honest question.


I prefer to give people adivce based on my personal experience and what I know is successful.


I maintain dozens of large reef tanks, and I have no room for error. It simply has to work right with minimal upkeep costs. I have seen tanks with every type of set up imaginable, overly complex to overly simple. There is a fine line and when you start taking care of very expensive tanks, you cant play around.


I understand what your trying to do, but I have people come into the shop every day utterly confused by threads like this and in 20 minutes they are telling me they learned more from me than months of research. People like simple, sure results that work. Once you find success then your in the position to begin trying new things, but for a new person looking for info on sand beds, this is too much. When you take a beginner and say "Here are 20 different ways to do things. Take your pic an hope it works!"....Your not helping them IMO.

Edited by Captain Billy

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clutter your sand bed with frag plugs is ok if you plan your flow right.


but as a rule of thumb imo it's a lot easier to have everything off the sand bed besides a few main rock's holding up your aqua scape and coral's if you prefer that look.

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It should be obvious this is not the beginners forum, and so it is appropriate in specialized forums to have specialized information. Likewise, it should be obvious external links written by other people may not reflect personal experience. Most of the hobbyist articles were written by highly experienced aquarists who found it was useful to look up references instead of just giving only their personal experiences. For the scientific articles, it would be absurd to see an article with no references.


My point is that just because something is not from personal experience doesn't not mean it is accurate or inaccurate, and personal experience often can mean anecdotes of half-truths and not real cause-and-effect information.


If you are so concerned about beginners getting confused, captain billy, make your own guide to sand beds. Otherwise, you're acting like a back-seat driver, criticizing those who are sharing useful information with your "honest questions" and self-aggrandizement.

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Captain Billy
My point is that just because something is not from personal experience doesn't not mean it is accurate or inaccurate, and personal experience often can mean anecdotes of half-truths and not real cause-and-effect information.


Sorry it just annoys me when people jump into thread like experts when they are really just touting info they read from other experts and simply standing on their shoulders like a soap box.


Read all the info you want, but be a better teacher and use this knowledge to combine and distill this information to make it easier for people with different setups to apply this knowledge, not spend hours sorting through info that is useless in most scenarios.

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Sorry it just annoys me when people jump into thread like experts when they are really just touting info they read from other experts and simply standing on their shoulders like a soap box.


Read all the info you want, but be a better teacher and use this knowledge to combine and distill this information to make it easier for people with different setups to apply this knowledge, not spend hours sorting through info that is useless in most scenarios.


So, it's okay to criticize someone when they reference experts, but people should believe you because you have a lot of "personal" experience?!


I also get annoyed, but only when criticisms are directed at the informer instead of the information, which is the impression I've read in all your posts in this thread: borderline ad hominem attacks coupled with boasting your own experience. It's true that bitts has a lot of links posted here, but it's ridiculous to complain that he didn't take the extra effort to write summaries on all the links info or another article. This is a free forum where people volunteer to post whatever they wish.

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Here is a good take on water changes by Mr. Wilson on another site.


"In my opinion water changes are good for the following purposes, in order of importance/effectiveness.


- removing detritus

- reducing/diluting secondary metabolites (algae & coral toxins)

- reducing/diluting heavy metals, or what we call trace elements in the aquarium hobby

- reducing/diluting vitamins

- reducing/diluting nitrogen (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate)

- reducing/diluting phosphate

- reducing/diluting bacteria

- reducing/diluting TOC


Water changes are limited by the percentage you exchange. A 10% water change removes 10% of the "bad stuff". The exception to this is detritus removal, if you are vacuuming the substrate, blasting out rock work and vacuuming the sump. Water changes do not effectively replenish water chemistry, as it is limited by the same percentage issue. In other words, a 10% water change only assures that 10% of the total water volume has the right proportions of calcium, carbonates, magnesium, and all the other "good stuff". While it is nice to remove some of the bad stuff, filtration devices are more efficient and calcium reactors and chemical dosing assures that 100% of the water has the proper water chemistry (good stuff).


Water changes can cause harm if they aren't carried out diligently. Some of the negative aspects of water changes are...


- reduction of pro-biotics (bacteria & plankton)

- introduction of impurities via source water, salt mix, mixing tools or hose

- introduction of excess trace elements and vitamins from salt mix

- temperature fluctuation

- salinity fluctuation

- PH, KH, calcium, magnesium etc. shock from bad salt mix

- classified/non-homogenous salt mix due to partial bucket or bag use

- old, clumped/compromised salt mix

- exposure of corals to atmospheric air

- partially dissolved salt mix

- poorly aerated salt mix

- accidental overfilling system

- accidentally over-draining system

- sand bed disturbance releasing hydrogen sulphide or depleting DSB infauna (beneficial organisms)


The main issue with water changes is they need to be calibrated to the demand. If you have "x" amount of nutrients building up in your system, then you need to do water changes according to that demand. A 10% water change will reduce your 20ppm nitrate down to 18ppm, but your residual nitrate accumulation may be at a faster rate than your weekly or monthly water changes. We aren't talking about a static amount that you can slowly chip away at, unless you have filtration devices and nutrient export of other sorts to make up the difference. If that is the case, water changes may not be necessary, and they are clearly the most expensive and least effective method of nutrient export.


We know that zero nitrates and phosphates can be maintained without water changes through carbon dosing, DSB, GFO and refugia to name a few. We also know that water chemistry can be maintained without water changes, and that there is an excess not a deficit of trace elements. Why add trace elements (heavy metals) when we statistically have too many? Most reef tanks don't require physical removal of detritus, including many of the tanks that receive major and frequent water changes. This only leaves secondary metabolites as an agent that we need to export. It is possible that this is enough justification for water changes, but it is equally possible that they are removed more efficiently through UV, ozone, protein skimming, mechanical filtration, mangrove trees, macro algae, carbon, bacterial assimilation, biological assimilation by micro organisms and coral, or simply time.


In evaluating any procedure you must first establish what you are trying to accomplish and why you are doing so. If water changes offer something that you are not getting with your current regimen, and you feel there is a demand in the first place, then by all means do so. On the other hand, if you feel that your application has all of these criteria covered and see no need for adding trace elements & vitamins, then water changes may no be a cost effective method of maintaing your reef.


The bigger the tank, the less you rely on water changes, and vice versa. A reef tank of 50 gallon or less, can be maintained with major weekly water changes at a lower cost than purchasing UV, ozone, calcium reactor, dosing systems, a refugium and mechanical filter. You can reinvest the capital and operational costs into a good source water filter, salt, and a water changing system. Once you get over 200 gallons, water changes are less appealing.


This doesn't mean you can stop doing water changes without consequence. Many people claim that their tanks look better after water changes. If you have a good system and are confident that it can be somewhat self sustaining, then slowly reduce water change frequency or volume. If you see negative repercussions, then resume water changes as before."

Edited by bitts

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so as much as I hate the idea of letting bias color the thread I have rewritten the first post to include a basic out line of Biogeochemistry, Meiobenthology, Microbial Ecology, & anything else that popped out of my head while I babbled away. I hope that it is not to misleading or confusing & that it gives a basic understanding for the info from the links to be useful. I apologize for the topics that I only touched on or completely skipped over, but I'll try to come back to them at some point.

Edited by bitts

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At this point I have separated the write up, out of this thread into its own. I still feel very strongly that this remain a reference thread & would encourage all to post what ever links they find.

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