Adding more sand to established tank

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LovesDogs_CatsRokay

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Hi all! I’m wanting to add more live sand to my year old biocube because the sand bed has gotten pretty thin in spots from syphoning cyano and my goby moving it all around. Do I need to worry about a mini cycle or algae outbreak? Should I add a little at a time of the course of days or weeks or is it okay to add it all once? It’s a 32g biocube, and planning to add a 10lb bag. Maybe not all of it through. Thanks!
 
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brandon429

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the exact procedure for that is not capping off the old sand, make it clean per the sand rinse thread kicked up here just for that kind of prep

your existing sand needs to be cloudless, that clean, then you add equally rinsed new sand, cloudless, and you are set. anything that caps detritus is bad, clean sand is always compliant and good and doesn't have any invasion issues etc.

always rinse incoming sand, even if its live, as that removes only waste and not bacteria which is the only component of live sand a display tank cares about. The fancier diverse live sand is meant for separated refugiums, not a display tank. a display tank should get worked, not sit sinking.

clean sand is neutral sand, like having a bare bottom tank still but we get the neat looks and in my case rock support structure raising so it doesn't sit so low in the tank.

theres not any scenario where clouding will benefit you, so we made a giant thread about not doing that.
 
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LovesDogs_CatsRokay

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Are you saying my existing sand needs to be cleaned also? I'm not replacing it, just adding to it. It seems like the taking it out and adding it back in would an unnecessary step. It would also be a pain as I would likely have to take all the rock out to get to the sand. Its a small tank so there's not a lot of space to work inside it. The sand should be pretty clean to begin with. I have 4 or 5 nassarius snails in there and my pink-spotted goby is always stirring it up.
 

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Rinse the crap out of the new sand.

Get a section of pvc pipe and funnel the sand directly to the desired locations in the tank....add in the dead spots about 1/2 pound per day till its filled in. Turn off your wave makers while doing it and for about an hour after.

FWIW i don't run a DSB in my display...just a 1/2 to 1 inch layer.

I don't worry about a tad bit of detritus, it's not worth the return on your time to try and remove.

It could be a problem if you have utterly filthy sand but then you have bigger problems.

In high flow areas where the glass had become exposed...im considering adding shelf rock and just attaching blastos and favias or zoas rather than continuing to try and fight with replacing it every couple years.

I am actually working on grafting zoas directly to the glass floor at the moment.
 
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saltyfilmfolks

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Use live sand and add slowly in a tank that small.
You may get a bit of cyano and possibly some diatoms, but it'll clear up.
 

brandon429

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snails add waste to sand, not remove it. steps in post 2 is the right way, any other way is dirt capping which is what planted aquarists do to lock in nutrients.


the only animals that actually clean sand are so fast (sifters) they're kicking up the waste into the water for mech filtration to catch


it will not wreck your tank if you skip order of ops, its just unideal for algae battles that w come one day, this is an interception point you have. All that work you mentioned is whats required, since a detritus system isn't in place to prevent the sand from clouding or your current sand would already pass a drop test in tank like the tanks from our sand rinse thread (page 3 ish here).

any aquarium which you can reach in and grab sand, and drop it down and a massive clouding results, is an aquarium begging for carbon dosing/crutches one day.

diamond goby=sand cleaner

worms, pods, stars, snails, anything slow, are sand bioloaders contributing to the problem, even if they are turning over sand. not fast enough per our inputs in these small squares
 
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Newb73

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snails add waste to sand, not remove it. steps in post 2 is the right way, any other way is dirt capping which is what planted aquarists do to lock in nutrients.


the only animals that actually clean sand are so fast (sifters) they're kicking up the waste into the water for mech filtration to catch


it will not wreck your tank if you skip order of ops, its just unideal for algae battles that w come one day, this is an interception point you have. All that work you mentioned is whats required, since a detritus system isn't in place to prevent the sand from clouding or your current sand would already pass a drop test in tank like the tanks from our sand rinse thread (page 3 ish here).

any aquarium which you can reach in and grab sand, and drop it down and a massive clouding results, is an aquarium begging for carbon dosing/crutches one day.

diamond goby=sand cleaner

worms, pods, stars, snails, anything slow, are sand bioloaders contributing to the problem, even if they are turning over sand. not fast enough per our inputs in these small squares
Are your points specific to certain depts of sand or types of sand?


He already said he has been steadily removing it via vacuuming and or scraping away nusiusnce algae growing on top. (Similar to the sand procedures i use).

If his sand has been removed and he has bald spots then please explain to me exactly how much "detritus" is locked on a bare sheet of glass which wont even hold cyano?

Is it....magic glass??

That does bring up a good point...there would be no harm in continuing your slow removal procedures till its down to almost nothing before replenishing. Thats what i do.

Then again, i dont mind "bioloaders" as i struggle to add nutrients to the tank as its runs too clean for coral health....ill take what ever nutrients i can get...already stopped skimming and cut down on chaeto harvesting (and feed like crazy).

Perhaps if the tank wasn't overly sterilized all the time you wouldn't need to worry about your high nutrient levels as you wouldn't have any.


And ymmv but my experiences is that carbon dosing is an excellent way.....to grow cyano (at least w biopellets, I've had better luck with intermittently dosing of various carbon sources by hand, but find it unnecessary once the tank matures).

It's fine if you think nitrate reactors and chaeto are "crutches" but i disagree.

d108a221009ef0ef1201cfdf996af9c3.jpg
 
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brandon429

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I read that he still has sand, so he still has detritus. Lots of people debate sand rinsing, they don't run tank correction threads to have seen the benefit vs storing up wastes in a sink. any doubters should not rinse, and leave detritus in place till something presses for a different style. The oldest tanks in each size genre of reefing don't store up waste in a sandbed, all the interim ones do though.

If someone wants to not rinse, ok no prob. I prefer my corals to get whole proteins they eat/digest, so the dissolved nutrients never mattered to me much. If the poster wants to cap existing sand, can do. If its bare bottom, I didn't see that, add highly rinsed new sand to the clean tank = gtg

I can recommend being detritus free in good conscience, storing detritus up has all kinds of different outcomes so I moved away from old school dirty bed setups. Any tank suffering from low nutrients can increase whole protein availability and export to make up for that, which is how the ocean produces so much coral with very low dissolved waste.
 
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Thanks for the advice everyone. We will probably rinse the new sand but not bother with the existing sand. It’s really not that deep to begin with so I think it’ll be okay.

If we only add a little bit of sand each day to we need to store the sand any particular way while it’s waiting to be added to the tank?
 
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Thanks for the advice everyone. We will probably rinse the new sand but not bother with the existing sand. It’s really not that deep to begin with so I think it’ll be okay.

If we only add a little bit of sand each day to we need to store the sand any particular way while it’s waiting to be added to the tank?
Super old thread but did you end up adding more sand to your tank? I also have a 32 gallon bio cube and was wondering if I could add sand to the top layer. I have black sand and i’m considering adding some thinner sand to the top layer. The blacksand is very granular and I might want to add a finer pink layer on top.
 
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