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How deep a sand bed to use?


spoondigity

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spoondigity

I have roughly 2" of aragonite as a substrate currently in my 10 gallon tank. I am hoping to keep a small goby in the tank such as a clown or red head. I also want to have some live sand (I already have some live rock) so I am considering adding a lb. of live sand on top of what is currently there. Would this be considered too much substrate in a 10 gallon? One individual at my LFS said that he wouldn't use more than 1" total substrate in a 10 gallon. It will not be a reef tank, at least not initially.

 

Thanks for the help

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ParticipationTrophyWife

I think you're probably fine. Even a small handful of LS will help your sand bed to "go live". I never had any LS, just 20 lbs of LR in my 10, and it added life to my sand. There are a wide variety of opinions on the depth of the sand bed (mine is about 1 1/2 inches), I don't think there's any one right answer. Your mileage may vary no matter what. I am reading the Book of Coral Propogation by Anthony Calfo and he says never to go less than 6" for maximum denitrification (in a 10 gallon, obviously that's not practical).

Tasha

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2"~3" should be ok (barely) but we nano-reefers have a serious height issue to contend with unless you're fortunate to have a 15H, 20H or 29H.

 

your sand is already live. your live rock is seeding it as we type. but if you're getting the LS free, go for it. it'll add bio-diversity. you could stay at 1" or zero for that matter. it depends on what you're going to keep and the filtration backing you up.

 

the aragonite (highly recommended) will dissolve though (slowly). i have to add about 1/2" every six months.

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tashayar,

 

yeah, calfo's a little over on that depth. i think he was more worried about what he was going to do with his 40,000 lbs of aragonite sand! :P

 

6" in the 10g! hehe, you might want to use sunscreen on the corals.

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> Anthony Calfo ... says never to go less than 6" for maximum denitrification

 

That's in a full-size reef only. In a smaller tank, he recommends no more than 1.5". In any size tank, he really is against a sandbed between 2" and 4" deep, since that's enough to cause die-off in the lower part of the sand bed without getting any of the benefits of the really deep DSB.

 

And all of this presumes you don't have fish or other critters regularly digging all the way through your DSB.

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ParticipationTrophyWife

Yeah, that makes sense...and seeing that huge truckload of sand in the book blew me away- esp. when I glanced at my 20lb bag sitting here in the basement.

Tasha

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