Deep Sand Beds

I was looking at my reef aquarium the other day watching all the various animals (or critters as I call them!) scurrying around in and on top of the deep sand bed – fascinating it really is.

Now, I appreciate that a [tag-tec]deep sand bed[/tag-tec] is probably one of the best, if not the best reef aquarium filter system for the removal of nitrate etc but I was wondering at the time how long a deep sand bed can actively continue to process these items for when installed into a closed system.

Don’t misunderstand me I am not against a deep sand bed – if I was I would not have on in my aquarium. My personal belief is that the best [tag-tec]marine aquarium filter[/tag-tec] is live rock combined with a deep sand bed.

Keeping the bed turned over by various organisms is very important within a deep sand bed which is wy we all try so hard to build a large community of life within the bed, actively feeding it and introducing new life where possible, however at some point the bed must come to a point where it can’t process any more. There must be spots within the bed which become ‘bad’.

If a deep sand bed reaches this point what happens then? Does the whole bed crash and potentially wipe out the entire aquarium.

Is there anything as aquarists we should be doing, maybe we should all be changing some of the bed from time to time to revitalise it.

Any thoughts?