Removing remote deep sand bed

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plankton

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I setup a removable deep sand bed in my sump 9 months ago but now I’d like to remove it to give me more room in the sump.

What do you think the impact to tank chemistry might be and how to mitigate any negatives?

7F4776DE-121C-43A4-B279-A4F263B57469.jpeg
 
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brandon429

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zero impact, just remove it.

if your display has normal live rock.

removing accessory / extra unneeded surface area does not cause a lack of bacteria on the remaining. the remaining is either enough or it isn't, and in our sand removal thread we've never seen a single reef using so little live rock in the DT that a problem would result. this highly new info that few others will agree with comes to you via the updated cycling rules 2020

what you have a cycle/recycle question primarily, a nitrate/phosphate or tuning nutrients issue much further down the line. the ammonia nh3 control is your main issue to plan for, and its fine.

the greater feeling is that you must bring up new surface area to replace that old / not the case. can yank it offline in any normal reef setting.

lets see a pic of display rocks ratio

don't remove in sections, that's dangerous. disconnect it, clean the sump out not connected to the main tank, put back an empty sump and nothing happens in the main tank because that upper system doesn't depend on your lower surface area, it has its own.
 

Dkmoo

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drain the water first then scope them out - there's gonna be a lot of waste/nutrient trapped in there.

also i would remove them in 2 to 3 different parts - there's going to be biodiversity in those sand, a sudden removal of all of it may upset your tank's balance.
 

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here's another helpful customization: you are safe in performing any activity with that deep sand bed as long as its not plumbed into the main system.

If you were to send a cloud into the main tank:

so if you want to clean it out in sections, disconnect it first ~
 
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Thanks for the link and why I didn't put sand in the display tank and instead added a DSB into the sump in an acrylic box. I have a 25G lagoon with 25 # of LR. I prepared a 4G bucket as I would for a water change. Removed the DSB box, cleaned the skimmer, entire sump area, then added about 5# of LR rubble in same area. Washed Chaeto then turned everything back on. Pulled out ALOT of detritus that accumulated and feel the tank is just cleaner. Tank looks fine, polyps are out (corals probably liked whatever got kicked up from sump). Thanks all!
 
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brandon429

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Although this seems trivial you just applied some of the newest approaches to cycling the hobby will see for the next decade, it has to do with what bacteria do and do not do on submerged surfaces.

if your whole tank is dead today when the lights come on then we have bombed, but if not, then new science is proven again because your reef tank cannot last a full day with bioload and not enough surface area.

your thread proves that when we remove accessory surface area, anything to the side or periphery of live rocks, that does not leave the tank lacking bacteria. Most important, live rocks do NOT take on extra bacteria to make up for accessory removal as they have no free spaces to add new bacteria even if given time.

This is for sure the longest standing misnomer in reefing, there isn’t a book, peer reviewed article (though we’ve got peer reviewed work threads :) ) that says this information

we typically ramp down the lighting for a week after a bed swap, helps the corals adjust to removal of organics reserves
 
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lelandmarine

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Although this seems trivial you just applied some of the newest approaches to cycling the hobby will see for the next decade, it has to do with what bacteria do and do not do on submerged surfaces.

if your whole tank is dead today when the lights come on then we have bombed, but if not, then new science is proven again because your reef tank cannot last a full day with bioload and not enough surface area.

your thread proves that when we remove accessory surface area, anything to the side or periphery of live rocks, that does not leave the tank lacking bacteria. Most important, live rocks do NOT take on extra bacteria to make up for accessory removal as they have no free spaces to add new bacteria even if given time.

This is for sure the longest standing misnomer in reefing, there isn’t a book, peer reviewed article (though we’ve got peer reviewed work threads :) ) that says this information...in fact all writing on the matter comes from web posts (article writers won’t touch the info, surface area mechanics is an unspoken science for us) and those posts say that we must remove accessory surface area slowly to allow bacteria to build up elsewhere.

that has never been true, what’s happened though everyone does remove in sections is they slowly removed the accessory, the live rock stayed the same, and on the last portioned removal they felt better about the process but still nothing changed with the live rock

display tank live rock is simply so powerful as a filter it will stand alone without any accessory, thats real surface area mechanics.

your post in going in the sand rinse thread because that’s where we study instant vs portioned sandbed removal, you’re on page forty one :) (that’s a lot of work examples showing the science)

removing accessory filter zones in sections is dangerous because it risks waste casting, and removing them all at once is safest because it prevents this and because of what bacteria truly do on submerged surfaces.
If I may ask, what is “waste casting”? Does it refer to stirring up all the detritus in the sand bed?
 

brandon429

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Yes thats it for sure

A small portion of sandbed jobs undertaken can kill the setup if we mix around detritus locked in sand

most tanks have the waste pretty well aerated and it’s rather inert risk, but thats not all reefs for sure. We collect loss posts like that one up top to show how stopping the upwelling or casting of waste will preserve the system consistently and the leftover rocks will handle the bioloading consistently
 
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Knock on wood, tank still good and sump much cleaner. I can only assume that I had enough biological capacity and have enough diversity to absorb any nutrient spikes. My only regret is I no longer have a preditor safe area for pods to live. I do still have chaeto so maybe some pods might make it. Thanks all for the replies.
 

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brandon429

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wow that coral pop just wow

costly set of sticks P such nice balance and health/spreading of the corals that's fraggable gold there
 
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brandon429

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I think we should dim the lights a bit off normal blast, or shorten the photoperiod a couple days, something that is then up ramped a bit

just because those colors pop so much, we think that's the ultimate topoff in bleach/lightening control but nothing there looks in distress anyway.
 

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Only the top surface of a DSB hosts nitrifying bacteria because of its density. Removal of it doesn't do much to the biological filter. If it were a wet / dry full of gravel its another issue entirely.

I would watch nitrate levels closely. If there's going to be an issue it would be there and will take a week or two to manifest.
 

brandon429

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all extraneous surface area works the same regarding safety in removal, we are never left with inadequate surface area when live rock is in the display.
LR is such a convoluted surface that it’s filtration ability exceeds the bioload we add in every case where work threads go



Doesn’t matter if bioballs removed, siporax, a shallow DSB, doesn’t change. We have already been removing those filtration sets all at once routinely in tank upgrade threads.

even when the extra filtration is removed incrementally in line with common rules, live rocks take on no more bacteria, nh3 control is inherent where rocks go.

if we slow down flow, and up the feed, to allow upgraded stacking of bacteria then surface area decreases vs increases, water clouds due to no more surface area avail, wastewater sees less contact zone, and efficiency drops. If the masses had their way (all removed bacterial mass must be assigned to leftover surfaces) our filters would be worse off, not better.

same analogy: any reef tank here can self install seven canister filters full of siporax. wait a month, they’re all now cycled.

run them years

take them off immediately one day, nothing cares they were extra.

surface area mechanics are a new zone for debate in reefing that’s fun, can’t wait for a formal referee to decide what is true and publish the first written discussion on the matter

a chemist gives us the chemistry of it all

a microbiologist gives us the generics and specifics of it all

but we have no wastewater treatment managers to tell us about the rules of surface area addition and removal, so a huge gap exists and when it’s filled, bottle bac sales will drop.



when i read anyone’s rules about bacteria or surface area physics I’m always thinking: can that rule withstand four hundred reefers in a work thread showing otherwise?
 
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Only the top surface of a DSB hosts nitrifying bacteria because of its density. Removal of it doesn't do much to the biological filter. If it were a wet / dry full of gravel its another issue entirely.

I would watch nitrate levels closely. If there's going to be an issue it would be there and will take a week or two to manifest.
Good point and still have my nitrate test kit and my Hanna UL phosphate and will measure once per week just to check. My expectation is that my chaeto will grow nicely.
 
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Some random shots after lights came on. Polyps still out so so far so good.
 

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your ruby red monti looks like a slug

not rorschaching/ shape awesome
 
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brandon429

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That color palette is my ideal sps goal, bright orange setosa it appears wow
 
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That color palette is my ideal sps goal, bright orange setosa it appears wow
Thanks. I love bright or even odd colors and there is nothing like a fluorescent orange setosa or teal Oregon tort that sorta thing. I have a couple small rainbow torts I hope grow out. The growth and coral color really took off once I got my salinity and alk under control. Otherwise I imagine the coral spends most of its energy contstany adjusting to the tank water chemistry conditions.
 

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Bump


this thread has been used to help five hundred aquarists make decisive moves regarding surface area. This thread was cleanly executed and documented and followed up, it ranks in my top ten reefing microbiology threads.

bacterial mass taken out in bioballs removed, or marine blocks, or sand, or filter media or remote deep sand beds is not transferred onto alternate locations, ie the rocks


it’s simply removed along with whatever materials we are removing

and the bacteria that are still on rocks remain, and are sufficient, and if algae systems are a strong or stronger component to ammonia control then apparently enough of those communities remain on the rock as well.

extra surface area competes for oxygen, to remove it and use the right amount is to maximize oxygenation for the system although overdoing it ten times over like we all do doesn’t causes oxygen deficits. The few posters who can test for o2 with lab gear consistently report ok levels from tested reef tanks.

All the dangerous detritus was not mixed around in this job, it went right out with the remote dsb, what an ideal place to be storing waste vs all inside the display.

The old rules said any removed surface area (bacteria) had to be given time to translocate onto other surfaces like the rock, that we should remove items in segments.
That does not occur, they got it wrong and we make use of the new rules on a daily basis nowadays. This thread is important to reefing microbiology because it shows many dollars on the line applying a polar opposite rule vs old days and getting fantastic results.
 
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