DSB for Burrowing Species

GHogg

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Hey! I'm currently aggressively researching absolutely everything I can as I plan and save to set up a 120 gallon tank!

Something that has really eluded a concrete answer from my perspective is the use of a DSB for burrowing species. In my 120 I'm hoping to house an Engineer Goby, a Jawfish, A leopard wrasse, and possibly a brittle star and some nessarius snails.

I primarily love the burrowing habits of the first two and its never been super clear to me: Is a 2 inch substrate bed sufficient for these species, or is a DSB truly required? I'm less interested in the nitrogen cleansing properties, and simply want to offer whatever substrate is going to facilitate the best habitat for these burrowing fish and inverts. I'm also worried about the potential of burrowing activity in a DSB to release sulfurous compounds and nuking my tank. Whats the best course of action? I'm truly impartial to both approaches and want to implement whatever is best for the livestock.
 

Alexreefer

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I'd say 2 inches is more than enough, u could go 2.5 if you wanted. DSB's are only good if you leave them alone, All the junk that collects under the sand for years could crash ur tank if disturbed. So I personally would not go any deeper than 2.5 but we could also have some other people chime in and state their opinions.
 

NJBillyV

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I could not stand watching a DSB sitting there rotting without the ability to touch it, year after year. I don't find it attractive at all and I'm not sure who does. The benefits of a DSB can easily be achieved using other equipment/methods. Besides, 1970 might call and want theirs back.
 
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GHogg

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I'd say 2 inches is more than enough, u could go 2.5 if you wanted. DSB's are only good if you leave them alone, All the junk that collects under the sand for years could crash ur tank if disturbed. So I personally would not go any deeper than 2.5 but we could also have some other people chime in and state their opinions.
That's sort of the thought process that led to this post. 2.5 is an interesting recommendation though. Most of what I've read advises against a sand bed between 2 and 3 inches. Like either you have 2 in sand bed that you vacuum regularly or a bed over three inches that you leave alone. Is that not the case in your experience?
 

Alexreefer

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yes, keep in mind if you decide to siphon the sand during water changes you will lose sand over time. I don't think half an inch will make or break your tank crashing as it will move around and some places will have more sand than others
 
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GHogg

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yes, keep in mind if you decide to siphon the sand during water changes you will lose sand over time. I don't think half an inch will make or break your tank crashing as it will move around and some places will have more sand than others
Thanks for the replies! So how to you care for a 2-2.5 inch sand bed without vacuuming? Is it simply a matter of having smaller particle sand and relying on critters keeping enough movement in the bed? is 1.0-2.0mm aragonite small enough, or is sugar sized sand the only option? I'm super paranoid about dead spot formation and the like, but if I can set up a 2 inch bed and leave it that would be best case scenario.
 

Alexreefer

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Thanks for the replies! So how to you care for a 2-2.5 inch sand bed without vacuuming? Is it simply a matter of having smaller particle sand and relying on critters keeping enough movement in the bed? is 1.0-2.0mm aragonite small enough, or is sugar sized sand the only option? I'm super paranoid about dead spot formation and the like, but if I can set up a 2 inch bed and leave it that would be best case scenario.
I would take great precaution in sand choice as too much flow with fine sand will cause a sand storm. Not sure about your coral choice but high flow with SPS is a must. @brandon429 is a pro when it comes to sand and cleaning. He helped me completely clean out my 2 inch sand bed without re-cycling what so ever. Seeing as you are most interested in housing sand sifting fish( especially the goby) they will help move the sand. Most people never have problems with a tank crash with a 2 inch sandbed, even just a siphoning of the sand every couple of weeks could help control build-up. Also if you get a powerhead like a gyre it would help eliminate dead spots in even the tiniest cracks, leaving less space for food and organics to settle. I would love to follow through with your build and see how it progresses.
 

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