Live Sand Filtration and Systems Information
Live Sand Filtration
Live sand is one of the most popular mediums preferred by saltwater aquarists as a natural biological filtration source, but it has many other purposes. From adding it to a tank as a shallow or a deep sand bed substrate, to using it in combination with live rock, to setting up a Jaubert/Plenum style NNR filter, learn all about what live sand is, how to cultivate it, and more.
FAQ - When should live sand or other substrate be added to an aquarium?
The big question when adding live sand or other substrate media to an aquarium is, do you put live sand or other substrate in "before" or "after" you do anything else? Acutally it's an easy decision to make, because it all comes down to using common sense based on how, what, and when you put items into the tank. Here are some example situations.
What Live Sand Is, and How It's Used
From what live sand is and how it is used in a saltwater aquarium, to what types to use and how to purchase or culture your own, add it to an aquarium and maintain it, your About Guides profile live sand in great detail.
How Much Live Sand Should You Use?
Unless you are going to be using the Jaubert/Plenum method of filtration, excessive amounts of live sand should not be used. The sand bed becomes too thick, creating unwanted DOC's. Here is an easy explanation of how much Live Sand you will need for your tank.
DSB (Deep Sand Bed) or No DSB?
Since the Live Sand Filter was created by Dr. Dean Jaubert, the pros and cons of the DSB (Deep Sand Bed) both with and without a plenum have been discussed. Here is a quick overview of both sides of the debate.
Sand Stirrers For Your DSB
Looking for something to keep your Deep Sand Bed stirred up or just some critters which will do a great job of keeping your sand substrate free of uneaten food and ditritus? Here are some sure-fire inverts that will get the job done.
Purchasing or Culturing Your Own Live Sand?
How do you know if you are getting live sand or dead sand? Want to create your own Live Sand? This information will help you.
How To Add Live Sand To Your Tank
Just dumping a bucket of new Live Sand in your tank isn't the best way to add it. Here is a better method which will not only keep the tank the way you want it to look, but also keep the critters in the sand and on your Live Rock happy and healthy.
Adding Tank Janitors
If you want to keep the life in your Live Sand, you will want to some critters to keep it stirred up. Strangely enough, these are called Sand Stirrers.
What is a Jaubert/Plenum Filter?
Your Guides define what a Jaubert/Plenum filter is, and explain how this type of NNR biological filter is set up and works to reduce nitrates naturally in saltwater aquarium and reef tank systems.
The Why's & How's of Sand Beds
From the reefs.org Archive, an extremely detailed and involved article by Ronald L. Shimek, Ph. D. about using Live Sand Beds and allowing them to function as naturally as possible.
Live Sand Q & A's
Information from FINS Reefkeeper FAQ's for recommendations on much live sand to use, and other valuable tips about LS.
Starter Reef Tank Package
Tampa Bay Saltwater offers a "package" for starting a reef tank natures way with with live sand, live rock and some live critters.