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Old 04-15-2022, 05:44 PM
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Default Deep Sand Bed

Getting back into the hobby after a few years off . This time I’m wanting to do most of my nitrate/ phosphate removal with macro algae and possibly a dsb experiment.. After reading lots about denitrifying bacteria and these zero oxygen areas that are needed for the process to work:

“With no available oxygen, denitrifying bacteria use the oxygen present in the nitrate to oxidize the carbon. This leads to the creation of nitrogen gas from nitrate, which then bubbles up out of the wastewater”

The bad is the creation of bad gases locked in the dsb. I’m thinking we can remove them and increase the removal of nitrate by :

If we utilized a deep sand bed (6-8 inches) and had a way of bubbling the whole thing like a protein skimmer every so often, like once every few months. The exact amount of time would be a project if its own. To let the bad gases/nitrogen escape. This would be done when the dsb is disconnected from the main tank to let the gases escape and all water could be sucked out. The dsb then could be left to settle and once happy no tank killer gases would be released into the tank, reconnected .

There could be other easier lazy ways;

such as gridding the dsb into 10-12 squares and vacuuming out a small section say once every month or two. Again disconnected from the main tank etc…
Or
Disconnected and just rinse out the bed etc


I personally think the future of reefing will be less mechanical and more algae based. So has anyone experimented at all with dsb ?
These are all just thoughts as again i think the future is algae and live rock is not porous enough to actually truly be used for large scale denitrifying bacteria removing nitrate.
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Old 04-15-2022, 09:20 PM
hillegom hillegom is offline
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I would like to follow this
Unfortunately I do not have a dsb so cannot add any discourse
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Old 04-16-2022, 01:21 AM
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interesting idea...

the first thing that pops into my mind is that you would run into an issue of instability. by "cleaning" the bed or portion of it by rinsing or bubbling would you basically be sterilizing it in a sense? so that part of the bed would lose its "removal capacity" while the bacteria colonies re-establish themselves.

so every time you did a cleaning, then nitrates would spike as the consumption is no longer at equilibrium. slowly dropping back down as bacterias colonize again.
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Old 04-16-2022, 02:33 PM
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I had a deep sand bed in my first sump. I hated it. It got gross and annoying.
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Old 05-03-2022, 05:50 PM
corallivore corallivore is offline
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Why not just use a plenum?
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Old 05-22-2022, 04:49 PM
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Once a DSB is established it should never be disturbed, or it will kill the tank. I have a DSB: I was a bit liberal with my siphoning one day and my corals shut up for a month and I got an outbreak of cyano. I really like my DSB and the benefits it creates for the tank, but they must be used with caution.
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Old 05-24-2022, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LifeIsGreat View Post
Once a DSB is established it should never be disturbed, or it will kill the tank. I have a DSB: I was a bit liberal with my siphoning one day and my corals shut up for a month and I got an outbreak of cyano. I really like my DSB and the benefits it creates for the tank, but they must be used with caution.
Yes but they do have a shelf life and eventually, you start to get symptoms of old tank syndrome.
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Old 06-06-2022, 05:17 AM
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I really liked a shallow bed in the display tank and deep bed in a compartment in the sump

* DSB gets ugly along the glass b/c exposed to light
* Easier to replace the sand if you ever want to
* Found it better than equivalent volume of live rock for keeping nitrates down

I also ran a DSB in the display for 3 or so years. Was always worried about disturbing it / releasing deadly gases but it never happened. It has been a while, but I think I replaced portions of it over the course of a month to try and solve an issue. YMMV

My "DSB"s was probably 5" deep so might be on the shallower end. I have a smaller tank so couldn't go much deeper than that.
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Old 06-06-2022, 03:32 PM
corallivore corallivore is offline
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I'm going old school.

I always had "shallow" DSB's like you're describing.

This time around, I dropped around $300.00 for sand, around 160lbs.

It's probably 8-10 inches in my 36" tank.

I used 1/2 live sand and 1/2 of some dry sand I soaked in substrate sauce.

There was almost no cycle. (I used bleach cured live rock I've been cooking for months as well).

I don't run a sump (RSM 250) but agree, with the option, it's a cleaner way to achieve the benefits.
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Old 07-25-2022, 11:21 PM
albert_dao albert_dao is offline
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You'll never be able to address 'old tank syndrome properly once it has settled in if you have any form of DSB.
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