How to keep sand from becoming anerobic?? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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How to keep sand from becoming anerobic??

I cant seem to stop my sand from going anerobic and turning blue green gray, also it has taken the lives of all my neons. ph is 8.0 nitrates 0 and anmonia is 0 as well .


side note: the only remedy is to bleach the crap out of the sand and them was for days on end...

When in doubt.... SCREAM AND SHOUT!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 07:26 PM
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Have a thinner layer like less than 1/2", and get something like burrowers working on the sand. Stir the sand around every week.

I have a 2" layer of Tahitian Moon Sand, but I have not seen my sand turn colors, though occasionally there is the rotten egg smell when I do remember to stir it...
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 08:51 PM
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eden Marel View Post
Have a thinner layer like less than 1/2", and get something like burrowers working on the sand. Stir the sand around every week.

I have a 2" layer of Tahitian Moon Sand, but I have not seen my sand turn colors, though occasionally there is the rotten egg smell when I do remember to stir it...
considering that TMS is black, any color change won't be very obvious.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 09:26 PM
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If you smell rotten eggs... it has gotten anaerobic. Tahitian Moon Sand won't change colors... it is black already...

Like Craig said, Malaysian Trumpet Snails and Poking it with a stick helps. With planted tanks it is hard to actually "stir" it...
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eden Marel View Post
Stir the sand around every week.
That's probably the worst thing you could possibly do.

How deep is your sand bed?

If it's a deep sand bed you want (and will have) an anerobic area. It's great for denitrification. What you don't want to do is stir it up and bring that layer to the top. That's what will kill your fish off. Stiring it is a HUGE no-no.

If you have a shallow sand bed (less than 1") then you shouldn;t have problems with an anerobic zone at all.


It sounds like you might have a sand bed that is deep enough to have an anerobic zone, but not deep enough for that zone to do it's job. You may want to add some sand so that you have a deep enough anerobic zone for all of the activity associated with it to take place. Or remove some sand so that you just don't have an anerobic zone. Both options are good, but that in between depth is what can occasionally lead to trouble.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mmelnick View Post
That's probably the worst thing you could possibly do.
Thats probbably the best thing you can do, actually. Unless you are going for a deep sand bet to denitrate-ify
You just have to do a larger water change if when you stir you realize it is too late and it is allready anaerobic

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-01-2010, 08:40 PM
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Question

Have been thinking about using deep sand in a sump for a non-planted tank. Can this be effective in freshwater for denitrification?

Assuming this would be a bad thing in a planted tank as the plants use nitrate.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-02-2010, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by fishsandwitch View Post
Thats probbably the best thing you can do, actually. Unless you are going for a deep sand bet to denitrate-ify
You just have to do a larger water change if when you stir you realize it is too late and it is allready anaerobic
I do agree with that if you're trying to keep a shallow sand bed but it was just a little bit too deep (which sounds like might be the case here). But I would recommend making the sand shallower if you didn't want an actual deep sand bed. Otherwise you'll go through this over and over again.

But once you have a DSB going leaving it alone is always the best practice. You should choose if you want the DSB for denitrification, or if you want a shallow bed without an anaerobic zone and add or remove sand to get what you want.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 06:54 PM
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Would malaysian trumpet snails help with bubbles that come from substrate? I have 1/2 to 3/4 inch MTS covered in flourite 1/2-3/4 inch, I've been having alot since I just started it up. Thanks,
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 07:20 PM
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wow I have 2 inches of sand and mine is fine after 1 month


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 07:25 PM
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In my opinion sand is best in the sand boxes, or on the beach to lay on...

In aquarium I use smallest available gravel ( 'fiter sand') on top on Turface and I have never had any anaerobic problems. Nor any other problems!

But then, I also wouldn't use any sort of 'mineralized soil' nor any other medium requiring masochistic traits....
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-03-2010, 09:49 PM
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agreed edwardN, sand compacts and gravel does a better job of letting anerobic zones breathe(tiny bubbles). If you must stuck to your guns on the sand id suggest clams or again malaysian snails as they bury themselves thus stirring the sand slow. Ive also gotten better root systems off of plants in gravel as opposed to sand. Your ph is 8 and that is also probably an attribute to your sand as you have no idea of the mineral content in it unless it lava. common playsand is full of various minerals, some of which break down.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2010, 12:21 PM
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If your pH is 8.0, no wonder your neons didn't survive... They are VERY sensitive to high or low pH's.
prefer their pH around 6.7-7.0
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2010, 02:03 PM
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I wouldn't be so quick to blame your sand. My 75 had a 3" front and 6" back to the sand bed. I uprooted, replanted, etc all the time. If you're having issues with low-oxtgen zones in your substrate.... plant more! :-) Plant roots give off O2 into the substrate and completely negate all these worries of bad spots in the sand.


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my 75 (the old tank)
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