The Live Sand Bed method

In the natural marine environment in the sea, there are no protein skimmers or wet-dry filters to improve the quality of the situation. The ability to maintain such a healthy and powerful environment comes from the very animals and plants that are living there. In a marine tank, this environment can be duplicated too, for example, detrivores ( animals that feed on the debris of others) clean up and maintain the filtration system in the tank. Craps, shrimps, starfishes, sea cucumbers and bottom-dwelling fishes are all under this category. At the same time they are feeding themselves, they help to break up the debris into smaller particles, allowing the next level of the echo system to break it down more easily, physically and chemically.

Other species that help maintain the eco-system are the microscopic bugs and worms. These animals too help to break the debris even more, but their presence is most felt in what they do in the sand bed. These creatures move and maneuver around in the sand to keep it loose, a very important process to keep oxygenated water to penetrate into the sand. If this doesn’t happen, hydrogen sulphate will imerge, giving the tank a very pungent rotten smell. In the presence of oxygen, this harmful event can be avoided and yet maintaining a good biological system to further convert the debri into harmless nitrogen chemically.

So in general, coral sand should be at least five to six inches deep. Live rocks are placed on top of the sand bed to give the tank a complete ecological balanced systems. In addition to that, the micro-organisms that live there will keep the sand loose, thus releasing some of the natural trace elements and calcium naturally back into the water.