Some of you have warned me that my deep sand bed will create anaerobic pockets and hydrogen sulfide gas.
I have 2-5" of substrate in my tank. It is very deep and hilly. It is pure substrate with no supports.
After doing my research, half of you say it will go bad, and I need deep root feeders in the hills. The other half of you say it will be fine as long as nothing disturbs it.
There's absolutely no way I am tearing this scape down and redoing it, especially with my plants that are well established.
What should I do?
i am currently using a deep sand bed in my tank. when i was looking for information people were attacking it like it was black bread algae. the thing is that it can work but you must do everything correct. there are alot of myths that people have made about the DSB which arent completely true.
for a deep sand bed to work you need:
MTS - they stir the sand which expands the aerobic layer, break down mulm to a size that bacteria can process
Live Californian Blackworms - they do everything the MTS do but better, they eat mulm and bacteria in the subtrate and help make tunnels to expand the aerobic layer and push down the anaerobic layer.
Plants (Vital) - plants use the metals such as iron that is produced by the bacteria, the roots provide oxygen to the anaerobic layers. aerobic bacteria live on the plants roots and ozidize the methane to C02 and hydrogen sulfate to a harmless solution. with out the plants the DSB wont work properly and can cause problems
Assassin snails - do what the MTS and also control snail population to help keep a balance.
i have plants, assassin snails and MTS in my sand bed and they all do an awesome job. i had blackworms but my betta eat them.
Things you MUST NOT DO:
you must not vacuum the sand bed - the mulm is what fuels the bacteria in the sand bed. also if you do deep vacuuming you will disturb the aerobic and anaerobic layers too much, kill a ton of bacteria and release gasses that will turn you tank into an apocalypse
DO NOT us cories, loaches etc to steer the sand - snails disturb the sand just enough so that there arent any issues. however, bottom dwellers disturb it too much and will cause more damage then good
DO NOT up root the plants, EVER - unless you want to release hell on your aquarium i advice you leave the plants alone. that means no rearranging. if a plant is dying then cut it off and leave the roots in the sand to decompose.
P.S make sure the sand isnt to fine but isnt to big (grain sizes). pool sand seems to be the best. also it must be 4 inches min and 5 inches max
im only scrapping the surface with this because there is ALOT to know. if you have any questions i will be happy to answer them