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Deep Sand Beds Explained

Discussion in 'Filtration / ULNS' started by Realist, Mar 21, 2010.

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  1. Realist

    Realist Registered

    Jun 18, 2009
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    Deep Sand Bed – Deep sand beds make excellent nitrate reactors. The way they work is that the deepest portions of the gravel do not receive replenished oxygenated water and become anoxic. This causes the bacteria to use a nitrogen molecule as an electron receptor instead of an oxygen molecule, and the result is the bacteria electrically transform the nitrate molecule (NO3) into nitrogen gas (N2).
    The gas is partially dissolved in seawater but then is quickly released into the atmosphere as it hits the water surface.

    DSB’s are extremely efficient nitrate reactors and can handle very large loads, perhaps 5-10 times greater than live rock alone. In-tank DSB’s have lost popularity due to misunderstood maintenance practices.
    Modern day DSB’s place the sand bed external to the display tank. These are typically sumps deep filled with sand and drilled with two bulkheads on opposite sides of the top of the container. Water passes over the top of the gravel bed just like an in-tank DSB. Nitrates permeate to the bottom of the gravel bed and are assimilated by anaerobes.

    Written by Killi (Pete)
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