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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Periodically I get several bubbles coming from my dirted substrate, capped with blasting sand.

This just started a day ago and I'm wondering if MTSs aren't to blame. I just added 2 adults about 5 days ago and I'm thinking that the babies are rustling the dirt enough to release the bubbles.

I just came home from a 2 day trip to find one of my shrimp had recently died. My tank has almost nothing in it except for 1 other RCS, a bristlenose pleco, assassin snail and about a million other snails in 75g.

I read that hydrogen sulfide could be the culprit but i don't notice the typical "rotten egg" smell (but i could be wrong about that).

My fear is that it's ammonia pockets. I tested .25 yesterday, but I've actually never seen my test kit read anything less for my tank so that's seemingly normal.

Any correlation between the bubbles and my dead shrimp? Do you think the MTS are to blame for releasing them? I have 20 RCS on order so I'm worried this could cause a real problem if I don't figure it out.

Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
MTS will turn over your substrate for you so they help the air pockets from happening. I have see other poke around the substrate here and there. hope someone can chime in with some better help
Any chance that's what killed the shrimp? For all i know, it could have just been old. The other one seems healthy (kinda lethargic). I haven't fed them yet because I wanted them to clean up algae, but i need to do that today. Maybe that killed him?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update:

Still have bubbles coming from the exact same spot in the substrate. Not sure how often but if it's consistent, I'd guess once every 30mins or so. Should I poke the substrate or is that a bad idea?
 

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I'm getting about 10 big bubbles a minute. I was getting half that until I disturbed the substrate a few days ago when exchanging some sand for Floramax. I'm also using dIY root tabs and added 15 MTS about a week ago. I'm not sure what the cause is but all the critters seem happy and healthy. I read an article that the bubbles could me harmless nitrogen from the nitrogen cycle.

From the article, "Freshwater Deep Sand Beds Work"

"A deep sand bed is a sand substrate coupled with bacteria and multicellular organisms working together as a powerful biological filter. Originally developed in the saltwater aquarium hobby, deep sand beds (DSBs) extended the biological filter from converting ammonia and ammonium to nitrate, to eliminating nitrate by denitrification - using the oxygen in nitrate, releasing harmless nitrogen or nitrous oxide. This was desirable because of saltwater organisms’ great sensitivity to nitrate. In freshwater, nitrates are much less toxic, requiring infrequent water changes to control levels, but the freshwater DSB as described in this article does more than eliminate nitrate." ---by Deirdre Kylie
 
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