How many inches of sand do you have in your reef tank? Does it matter?

BRS

How many inches of sand do you have in your reef aquarium?

  • NO sand for me

    Votes: 87 9.0%
  • Up to 1"

    Votes: 137 14.2%
  • 1" - 2"

    Votes: 427 44.3%
  • 2" - 4"

    Votes: 294 30.5%
  • 4" - 6"

    Votes: 16 1.7%
  • 6"+ Pics please!

    Votes: 3 0.3%

  • Total voters
    964

shakacuz

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i have a 40B. the sand comes up to about 1/2" above the bottom trim of the tank. no real reason as to why i went with this amount, but it works for my wrasse, firefish, and pistol shrimp.
 

Karen00

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I chose about 1-1/2". I figured this would be a good depth to allow my goby/pistol shrimp room to burrow. Apparently my pistol shrimp has very different ideas regarding his burrow and now there is about 3" surrounding his burrow and the other half of my tank is now bare bottom. I move the sand back to recover the bare spots and by morning he has brought it all back to his burrow. I thought "ok, I'll just add more sand to the bare spots" and stop fighting him on it. Well now the 3" sand bed around his burrow has grown to 3-1/2" because he moved the new sand over and I'm left with the same bare spots again. I have to stir his part of the tank. I'm a bit worried how deep it's getting. :)
 

Treefer32

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3 years ago I started with 160 lbs of sand in my 340 gallon mixed reef. I put egg crate on the bottom to set my rocks on then filled with lots of sand. I have a 69" by 36" area to fill so, was hoping for 4" across most of the tank... Then came the fish and all my plans went out the door. My Dragon wrasse... Likes to build what I'd call a hobbit hill. He relocated a few inches of sand then relocated a bunch of rubble / rocks etc. and that is now his home... Where he sleeps. He sleeps under probably 2-3 lbs of rock / rubble that he's pulled from other parts of the tank. As he's grown over the last 2-3 years he's gotten to be about 6-7" long and much thicker so he needs at minimum 2" deep just to bury himself. Plus probably another 1 inch to adequately bury the egg crate. Then, on top of the relocating of sand, well he digs holes all over the tank, with his fins, his mouth, his body... He sends massive sand storms into the entire tank.. This debris then goes into my overflows and into my socks and skimmer. I suspect over the last 3 years I've probably washed out of my filtration 10-20 lbs of sand. There are several bare spots in the tank forming...

Fish are annoying! I didn't know how annoying they could be! (But also fun to watch).
 

reefertanker

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1. How many inches of sand do you have in your reef aquarium?
1-2” in reef and 1.5”-5” in Fowler

2. Is there a reason that you chose the depth of sand that you did?
In reef tank I choose it to stay right at the black skirt on the tank. As for the Fowler it is a AIO waterbox and doesn’t have skirt so I decided to make an incline like a hill so one side has about an inch and half and it climbs up to about 5 inches. Plenty of sand sifters trust me.
 

BigSkyRich

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Here's a topic we never talk about, Sand Depth.......NOT!! Well things changes, people change, ideas change so let's talk about it some more today! I personally love the look of sand. But how much is too much and how little is too little or does it even matter? Let's discuss!

1. How many inches of sand do you have in your reef aquarium?

2. Is there a reason that you chose the depth of sand that you did?


image via @TriggerThis
74eb841c4ea1f26e553934100825818c.jpg
Timely topic. I'm in the planning stage of building my second tank, a WB130 FOWLR. My first and current tank is a WB100.3 mixed reef. That display has 4-6" sandbed. I was going back and forth on the FOWLR as to whether to do a BB or sand. Read a lot of posts from wherever I could find them. I've decided that I will be doing a sandbed, probably 4-6" deep as the advantages of the biodiversity far outweigh the advantages I've seen with a BB. Also, I plan on using Marco dry rock on this new build - first build was live rock from LFS. If someone cares to convince me otherwise, I'm all ears
 

LPS Bum

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I would say mine is a little less than what was in the thread picture. Probably 2-3 inches.

I use a sugar fine sand bed and gently stir it up with a turkey baster twice a week. It gets the algae, detritus, etc into suspension so that the skimmer can get some of it (I do it when I blow off my rocks). There isn't a lot of flow at the bottom of my tank, so it works well for my Scolys, Fungia and Elegance corals. Any more flow and I couldn't use the sugar sand, as it would blow around everywhere.
 

Moab_Reefer

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In my 50G cube i use to have lots of sand. The maintenance of having to clean it got to be very time consuming and often when cleaning the sand would get sucked up into my sand sifter. I decided when I redid my rock scape to reduce the sand down to about 1" or less. I love this much better. Although with my Gyre and wave engine it creates one small bare spot, i guess I need to do some minor adjusting, then in another area I have some sand that is about 1.5" deep. I think it looks better, cleans better, doesn't suck up into my syphon when I manually clean the sand bed and much of sand/nutrients can be exported with the wave engine during nutrient export cycle that I run every hour for about 10 minutes.
 

HillCntrySaltheads

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I have a 4" ish bed currently. I usually shoot for 3" but put 4 this time to account for loss during water changes. The deep bed provides great space for pods, coral skeletons, some clams, also aids in helping new tanks to cycle.
 

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reefviper101

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Here's a topic we never talk about, Sand Depth.......NOT!! Well things changes, people change, ideas change so let's talk about it some more today! I personally love the look of sand. But how much is too much and how little is too little or does it even matter? Let's discuss!

1. How many inches of sand do you have in your reef aquarium?

2. Is there a reason that you chose the depth of sand that you did?


image via @TriggerThis
74eb841c4ea1f26e553934100825818c.jpg
I used to believe in hype of some much sand per gallon tank size yrs later I have come to the realization it is more of a personal choice what ever makes u happy for me just about 1 and a half inches so u can make mounds and hills and crevices
 

Kayanarka

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I have 4 up front and slopes to maybe 3 in the back.

I liked the idea of pistol shrimp/goby combo so I wanted enough sand for them to play in. Now I have a sand shifter goby and a wrasse so It worked out for the best. The sand shifter goby is probably my favorite thing to watch, he is always changing his home.
 

hbash

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I have always had a sand bed on my reef tanks. The last setup had about 5" of fiji pink. It looked nice until the crud built up and the bristle worms took over. At night, I would go to the tank with a flashlight and you couldn't see sand only churning bristle worm spaghetti. Horrible. So, I am trying bare bottom, real reef rocks and 3 large ceramic media blocks and a gallon of there spheres. It's a new setup and currently cycling. Hoping for the best. Bristle worms SUCK!
 

spd3001

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My 6" inch sandbed is home to a pearly jawfish, a yellow watchman goby and a tiger pistol shrimp. The tank (24"x24" wide and 36" deep) is doing well and is about 9 months old.

I built the bed based on a paper by Dr. Ron Shimek. From bottom to top the layers were built as follows:

Particle size = 0.1 to 0.5 mm: 40 lbs @120 lbs/cu ft - Nature's Ocean Marine White Sand #0
Particle size = 0.125 to 0.25 mm: 45 lbs @ 77 lbs/cu ft - MarcoRocks Bahama Aragonite Sand
Particle size = 0.25 to 1.0 mm: 60 lbs @ 96 lbs/cu ft - CaribSea Aragamax Sugar-Sized Sand
Particle size = 1.0 to 2.0 mm: 15 lbs @ 85 lbs/cu ft - CaribSea Dry Aragonite Special Grade Reef Sand
Particle size = 3.0 to 6.0 mm: 2 lbs @ 72 lbs/cu ft - CaribSea CORALine Caribbean Crushed Coral
 

Gillstrap

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1. Approximately 1.5-2" depth. In spots it's 0" and others it's probably 3" or more (we can thank the "diggers" for that).
2. My LFS only had 3x 40lb bags of CaribSea Oolite, otherwise I probably would've added a fourth (I may still yet at some point down the road just to top the sand up in spots).
I think I’m going to add some more sand to mine. Do I risk kicking off a N cycle when I do this?
 
BRS

When was the last time you had a sick fish in your saltwater reef aquarium?

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