The Reef Tank banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, here goes. I've only been in this hobby for about 8 months, and i've learned a lot in that time. Most of it from people here at TRT. Im addicted, and now have 3 tanks. The only problem is, my first tank, a 46 gal bowfront. I started the tank before i discovered TRT, and made a lot of mistakes that arent easily corrected. The one that is turning out to be a problem is my sandbed. It always looks like crap. I have a sandsifting star, and about 75 nassaurius snails to keep the top stirred up, but it doesnt help. I think it may be because i used walmart play sand. The bag didnt say what it was made of, but it was white and looked good at first. I did the vinegar test and it did fizz a little, but not much. I keep getting cyano in one corner no matter how i adjust the flow. I have never had a problem with any other kind of algae. The rest of the sand usually looks kinda brownish with green and red speckles. I hate this because the rockwork is so pretty and clean looking. The other problem is that my rock is sitting directly on the bottom of the tank and the sand was added around the rock, which i have learned is not a good thing. All corals and other inhabitants are very healthy and seem to be thriving.

The tank is almost 8 months old, and i have coraline starting to cover everything, which I like. So, my question is, is there anything I can do remedy my problems with out a complete teardown? I dont have anywhere to put all the tank inhabitants, and I dont want to do anything that is going to cause a crash. Should I change out the sandbed slowly? Or should I just add the right kind of sand on top of whats there? If I have to tear it all down, what can i do to make the change as stress free for everthing living in the tank? I could put it all in tubs, but if I do that, will I have to go through the long process of cylcling the tank again?

For equipment, I have two 240 gph powerheads facing the front of the tank from the back corners about half way down. One facing slightly up, and one facing slightly down. I have a large HOB power filter that is kept very clean. For a skimmer i have a Sealcone 100. I know its junk, but for now thats all I have until I can afford a better one. I also have a 110gph powerhead near the surface in the rear of the tank facing straight up to keep the surface agitated. I have been doing weekly 15 gal waterchanges using distilled water (which adds up to a lot of $ after a while) for the last 3 weeks, and I did 10 gal bi weekly before that.

Sooo, if anyone has any ideas lets hear em. I want my tank to look like the ones i see in pictures with a nice white clean sandbed.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,758 Posts
it doesent look or sound to me like you have any real problems, I have my rock on the glass bottom with sand around it, IMO, its safer. Do some water changes and keep the sand clean and vacumed and you should have no problems
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,758 Posts
Ah i see, you do change water, find a way to clean the sand. If it is too fine to be vacumed, stir it up violently with ur hands and suck up the detridus with ur water change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I always heard it was bad to stir up the sand if its very deep because it will release toxic stuff into the water. Or do you mean just stir the top layer?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, ive never basted under the rock, or even in between layers of rock, so im bettin theres a lot of nasties under there. How big of a water change should i do when i get all the muck stirred up?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I vacuum my sand bed weekly with no detrimental affects. It always stays pristine. Get a gravel vac and clean it with your water change. With fine sand you just have to meter your flow a little bit to keep it from getting sucked out. As far as the amount of water changes, you should base it on your load and perameters but always do atleast 25% monthly or 10% bi monthly. This will help replenish minerals, stabilize your ph, and export any unwanted build ups. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, sounds like starting tomorrow i have some basting and some vaccuming to do...

Thanks for the replies!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,317 Posts
how deep is the sand? if you want to replace with something else, as you vaccum, pull out some sand, not much just a little across the whole tank, in time, you will get it down, then you can put something else in slowly. also, look into a ro/di unit, or find a store that sells the water, distilled is good but cleaner water would do wonders. you can find them pretty cheap on ebay, and just replace the filters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
leveldrummer said:
how deep is the sand? if you want to replace with something else, as you vaccum, pull out some sand, not much just a little across the whole tank, in time, you will get it down, then you can put something else in slowly. also, look into a ro/di unit, or find a store that sells the water, distilled is good but cleaner water would do wonders. you can find them pretty cheap on ebay, and just replace the filters.
The sand is about 3 inches, maybe 4 at the deapest. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look into the ro\di unit.
 

·
BRW member
Joined
·
2,610 Posts
might not be a bad idea to get a cheap HOB mechanical filter with carbon and run that after you stir things up and do a water change, to help remove the particles/cloudiness/organics that you stir up, you know, to help clear your water. then remove the filter after 24 hours. I find this really helps clear up the water from particles and also discoloration. that's what I always did when I 'made storms' in my 20g tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
salt creepette said:
might not be a bad idea to get a cheap HOB mechanical filter with carbon and run that after you stir things up and do a water change, to help remove the particles/cloudiness/organics that you stir up, you know, to help clear your water. then remove the filter after 24 hours. I find this really helps clear up the water from particles and also discoloration. that's what I always did when I 'made storms' in my 20g tank.
I actually have one on there now, and i have a few extras in the basement that I bring out to clean up the water when it gets cloudy from me moving stuff around.
 

·
uber-stupid
Joined
·
4,781 Posts
If it were my tank I would by a black cucumber. I have one in my tank (becuase it is my tank) and my sand looks fantastic. Second off I would get a better skimmer. After that you may not need to do anything to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
three90s&125sump said:
If it were my tank I would by a black cucumber. I have one in my tank (becuase it is my tank) and my sand looks fantastic. Second off I would get a better skimmer. After that you may not need to do anything to it.
My girlfriend manages a LFS so I'll see if I can get her to put in an order for the cucumber. As for the skimmer, I'd like to have a remora, but I gotta wait for the funds to build up a little first.
 

·
BRW member
Joined
·
2,610 Posts
i use the cpr bak paks and theyve always done a good job IMO (I usually get mine used from fellow aquarists or on ebay)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
There was a prizm skimmer laying in the back room of the LFS that she works at the other day when i was there. They said i could take it home because it didnt work. I ended up taking it apart and cleaning everything and got it to work. I put it on their predator tank at the store. I didnt bring it home because ive read that they arent worth messing with.
 

·
uber-stupid
Joined
·
4,781 Posts
If you have a sump I wouldn't do anything less than an ASM G-1 or a G-2 preferably.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top