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Cultivated Reef

the sun sets today on kgoldy's all natural 90


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I like how you found a foo dog to guard the tank. (also known as a temple dog, like Statue's at the chinese restraint.)

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I'm biased but the idea of a dsb sounds solid & stupid simple. while being fantastic for the macros. 6 inches of sugar fine would do it, leaving plenty for the water column to remain useful.

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I'm biased but the idea of a dsb sounds solid & stupid simple. while being fantastic for the macros. 6 inches of sugar fine would do it, leaving plenty for the water column to remain useful.



Are you talking about in the display, refugium, or both?

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specifically the fuge, but I'm in favor of them pretty much any where.


I've read through a lot of your DSB links (from your sig). Right now I'd say it's a toss up on if and where I want to do a deep sand bed... I only know one person locally who recommends using a DSB, so guidance from most of the reefers in my area seems to be against it's use because of the risk of crashes.


How many inches (or pounds would be more helpful) would you recommend in the display and fuge? With so much reading, I've seen some inconsistency, or some pages that just don't get specific on how much sand is optimal.


Having substrate that's good for burrowing is important to me, because I'd like to have pistol/watchman pairs in the display. So would a 50/50 mix of oolite/medium grade sand be good? (0.2 to 1.22 mm grain size/1.0 to 2.0 mm grain). Or possibly some other ratio?


p_967052_FS31738i.jpg and p_967104_13556.jpg

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From my experience, the sand will separate out into layers if there is a large difference in size. I had it happen to me with some black and white sand....the black all ended up on the top.

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You know, recently I've read a little bit on the RDSB, or remote deep sand bed. I've seen them set up in sealed buckets with an "in" hole and an "out" hole.


You'd probably need a fairly powerful seal on it, but it's definitely an interesting idea and the temptation to mess with it would be removed. I'm thinking it would be best to build one out of acrylic/abs/pvc and have a clear top that could be screwed down.

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I kind of like the idea of a RDSB in a custom acrylic cage. I've got a fair amount of room around the 40 (inside the cabinet), and behind the display tank for further expansion. Since I made the cabinet deep enough for a 20 gallon tank for the ATO, I have about 8" x 48" to utilize. Maybe I can make a HOB style acrylic DSB/second refugium when I feel like dumping more money into this project...


Would I risk a second cycle if I added the RDSB at a later date?

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Yeah an HOB would be another potential solution.


As long as the sand you added was dry there wouldn't be any issues with a cycle.

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I think that's the way I'll go. There's a void behind the tank that wouldn't be bad to fill. I'll just have to consider where my wires are going if I set it up.



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when mixing grian sizes the big worry is compaction. the small grains fill in in between the larger grains. but having them layer them selfs is not really a concern. What actually happens is they become "well sorted through erosion.


depth will be based on grain size Okay I'm going to just quote my self


Permeability, Porosity, pore water flow, Bioturbation, Grain Size, & the effects Hydrodynamics.

Permeability refers to the speed with which water may flow through the sediment, supplying O2, dissolved, & particulate nutrients throughout. Thus it largely controls the conditions for the fauna. While Porosity is the total pore volume of a sediment, this void ratio being affected by the sorting and mixing of grains. Combins with their shapes to determine the density of the sediment layers & its compaction. The shape and texture of the grain will also affect the velocity of water flow. Therefore, pore water flow is not simply dependent on hydrodynamics forcing the water through, but also upon other variables, such as the development of bacterial films upon the sediment itself. Which can in fact have its own vertical stratification of O2 within itself, even allowing for the effective use of shallow sand beds. These are then affected by bioturbation by the benthic fauna rearranging how the sediment fits together. This biotubation can extend up to 20cm below the sediment’s surface, in some truly active areas. but will normally result in the anoxic zones forming around 10-15cm below the surface. keep in mind that this bioturbation can increase the transport of solutes, due to microbial mineralization. Up to three times, compared to molecular diffusion, turning over the pore water in roughly one to two years. While both bioturbation and bioirrigation can result in the release of phosphates and ammonium, resulting in increased eutrophication.


Vertical Stratification of the Sediment.



Light penetration of the bed can reach up to 2cm, referred to as the microphytobenthos, allowing for autotrophic activity through out this area. Mostly by cyano bacteria, but also by many forms of phyto. This is an important consideration in understanding the emergence of cyano mats. Despite its apparent onset being incredibly sudden, the slow incremental development has occurred below the surface. thus great importance should be given to the amount of algae between the sediment & glass. Also this upper most portion of the bed will be enriched with a majority of the free amino acids present in the sediment. Combining with the sediments organic build up & content from detritus, will thus promote bacteria growth within the substrate. resulting in its population being a degree of magnitude greater than that in the water column. This bacterial load of the bed will usually account for 4% of the available organic carbon. It is this bacterial film that is thus feed upon by the detritivores. Bacterial growth will intensify at the interfaces between the oxygen level stratification. Particularly between the oxic/anoxic interface of decomposing particulates. normally there is an inversely proportional relationship between the sediment grain size & the level of organic matter. For example the fine silty mud of a seagrass bed can be 5 times more biologically active than a near by surf zone. While at the same time being comprised of nearlly 40% from organic matter. Other considerations to be made in regards to the bacterial population would be, selective bacterivory by the meiofauna. Resulting in zonation & possible elimination of the bacterial strain. Due to the combination of predation & competition from other bacterial strains. Resulting in a lose of biodiversity.


Through the sediments vertical stratification, the ph can have fluctuations between readings of 6 & 9. Due to assimilation by microalgae near the surface & the presence hydrogen sulfides at lower levels of dissolved oxygen. This fluctuation is how ph & O2 levels allow for a dsb to help maintain calc levels. But this will be dependent primarily on the beds depth being great enough combined with the grain size allowing for the rpd to develop. But also in the lower portions of the void system. Where pore water becomes a gelatinous ooze of bacterial film the oxic state of the pore water & that of which the sediment is coated in can be greatly divergent. Allowing for great dichotomy between the resulting color of said sediment & the pore waters actual oxic state. Again, yellowing of the sediment reflects the oxidation of Iron & not the rpd.

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as to the sand itself I like caribsea agaramax, personally.


How is that for burrowing inverts? And won't the high flow required for SPS mess things up?


If I'm laying, I guess it would be aragamax on the bottom, larger grain on top?

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The combo your talking about would work but I'll bet that you'll be happier with just the agaramax. Just ends up looking better. throw in some pee sized gravel if need be for things that need it (jaws & such). the main thing is having enough depth to fully develop the mixing depth. 5-6 inches of the agaramax can do this, 8 is about as deep as you should ever need. But will make it easier to deal with replenishing the sand that has been dissolved over time.


for most thing that dig it will be just fine the issue is stability more than anything else. which is why the jaws need their pebbles. but the smaller size passes through there gills easily which is one thing I like about it in this situation.


again layering the sand is most likely unneeded. the flow can be raised once the grains have developed a bacterial matrix, helping to hold them in place. If you do mix the sand, the flow will remove the smaller grains for you.

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Yeah I've got 90 in my 29, damn ____ is a pain in the ___! which is why I like to put it in the fuge if only for the money. It's also why the RDSB is such a good option. with it only needing to be a 5gal bucket with 2 uniseals their damn cheap. then you can fill it with sand from lowe's or homedepot.


Dangit put it in the fuge once there big enough. I've done this in a ten divided in half & had it function so doesn't take much. But it needs to sized appropriately for the system to work the way its expected to. on my 75 I will probably do the dsb in the fuge. with the display being a bb setup. or maybe a dusting of gray coast from seachem.

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RDSB at a later date sounds like a good plan for me. I built the cabinet knowing I'd expand the system's volume anyway... May as well utilize what's available for the non-display-worthy DSB.

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Did a search, got two results... Are you talking about his old one, or new one? What lessons should I look for? (I'm at work, so I can really only skim through things until I get home....)

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UPS Proof of Delivery


Dear Customer,

This notice serves as proof of delivery for the shipment listed below.


Tracking Number: 1Z40WV460391623644

Service: UPS Ground

Weight: 51.60 lbs

Shipped/Billed On: 02/02/2011

Delivered On: 02/08/2011 3:13 P.M.

Delivered To: BELLMORE, NY, US

Left At: Porch


Thank you for giving us this opportunity to serve you.





Can't wait to get home!

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his new one that he start for the contest with the copper pipes in the stand. Best example of a dsb on nr.


Seabass' Seagrasses.... Just read the whole thing. Looks neat. I need to stop looking at other projects... All the inspiration means I'll be working on this tank forever. :mellow:

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