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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there anyone that doesn't sift their sand when doing a water change? I've heard both ends of the spectrum here and wonna hear some opinions
 

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Leaf on the Wind
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I couldn't imagine the filth and phosphates and pooh that would be in my tank if I didn't sift... not to mention the cyano! I don't have a deep sand bed though, I know some people have issues (to put it lightly ;) with stirring a deep sand bed. I like Geoff's advice on stirring the sand, puts it out there very clearly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok my sand is 2" deep, what do you use to stir it up? Anything special?
 

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Leaf on the Wind
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How big is your tank? We only have a 38g so I just get in there with a turkey baster blowing it all around and my awesome wife sucks it up with the siphon. Some times I stick my siphon in there (before starting siphon) and stir up the bed real well. Then I siphon out my water, let it all resettle (while saving a little more water to siphon some more) then go back and take a little off the top of my sand bed sucking out all the settled crap.
 

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Leaf on the Wind
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Oh yeah, and make sure you have some good tunes going. I prefer some Death Cab or Portishead to rock out to while siphoning. It improves my form...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What issues have you heard of with people stirring up the sand bed?
 

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stirring can be tricky. if the sand bed is well established than it is a bad idea to just stir it. there can be a huge amount of organics that can be released. far more than the resident bacteria could handle and cause all kinds of problems. this is why all of the DSB people say not to stir the sand bed. if the sand bed is well established and you want to start cleaning it the best thing to do is siphon it without disturbing it to much. it is better to suck out sand than to stir it up in order to keep most of the sand in place.

i would call any sand bed that has not been disturbed in over a year as established and should be treated as such.

blowing off LR to remove detritus is less risky, though if it has not been done is a few years there can be some risk here and best to go at it with a siphon if possible.

G~
 

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I haven't touched my sand more than 1/4" deep in almost 8 years. There is 5-6" or 330 lbs of it in a 100G reef and the phosphates and nitrates are undetectable.
You will get differing opinions on DSB care.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's what I heard is to not touch the DSB and maybe get a sand sift star if I fly was concerned but not to touch it, mine is about 3" deep at the deepest....how do you suggest to do water changes and cleaning it?


Also sidenote- I've got a Kole Tang that won't seem to eat any lettuce or veggies I put in the tank....any suggustions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
He's only been in the rank going on 3 days now
 

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kole tangs like to eat diatomic algae. that is why they have rasping teeth and not chomping teeth like the other tangs. you should be seeing it pick at the rocks and glass. it may be taking a bit to get used to the new tank.

the problem with sand sifting critters is that they are doing harm to the sand bed you are trying to keep. the larger the sand sifting critter, mainly the stars, eat the inverts that are in the sand bed. they are depleting the sand bed of the smaller fauna that are also keeping the sand bed viable. Nassarius snails are another mislabeled sifter. they are not sifting the sand for algae, they are just hiding in the sand. they are actually meat eaters and are only interested in the food you put in the tank. sand sifting fish are also sifting the sand for inverts to eat, not sifting the sand looking for detritus to eat.

as for keeping the sand clean, it all about picking your poison. the finer the sand the harder it is to siphon clean without removing it. you can either just leave it be till it completely fills with detritus at which point you an just replace it. you can siphon small amounts of sand out every water change (from the bottom) then whenever you feel the sand is getting low put some more in. you can raise up all of the LR on stands so that you are able to clean out under all of the aquascaping. you can just switch out the fine sand for an easier to siphon crushed corals sand.

G~
 

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Is This Thing On?
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What classifies a sand bed as a DSB and not just a sand bed? How deep would it have to be?
 

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I would not recommend stirring your sand. Like Geoff said, it can release a lot of phosphates and other unwanted materials. Just blow off your rocks and siphon your sand bed during your water changes.

If you have a DSB, then good luck!

I would consider a DSB to be around 5-8 inches and a normal SB to be around 2 inchs. If you really want a SB I would go with 2 inches of CC. Just my opinion.
 

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Lost At Sea
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I would not recommend stirring your sand. Like Geoff said, it can release a lot of phosphates and other unwanted materials. Just blow off your rocks and siphon your sand bed during your water changes.

If you have a DSB, then good luck!

I would consider a DSB to be around 5-8 inches and a normal SB to be around 2 inchs. If you really want a SB I would go with 2 inches of CC. Just my opinion.

+1 to the last part.

I started my tank with really fine sand (mainly because it looks pretty to me). However, over time I began to see the difficulty with maintaining the sand without sucking it out when trying to siphon.

After reading many informative posts by Geoff, I gained a better understanding of the Pros and Cons of sandbeds and how the whole nitrate/phosphate cycles work. As I have decided I want to clean the detritus from my bed often, fine sand wouldn't work. So I switch to Crushed coral which makes vaccuming much easier as the heavier pieces dont get sucked up.

It does require a little more work than a bare bottom tank, but as I personally enjoy the look of having a substrate, I don't mind the extra chore of siphoning the bed with my weekly maint. routine.
 
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