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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 125 that has been up for about 7 years and have only done minimal water changes. I don't have current test kits and have only changed about 20 gallons of water every six months. Please don't be too harsh, I am ready to change my ways.

The tank inhabitations are a foxface, bangaii cardinal, pygami cardinal, blenny, two clown fish, bubble tip anemone, and various leathers and mushrooms. I have had all of the fish and coral for 2-7 years and everything is very healthy.

The tank is lit with t5 HO and the bulbs are about 3 years old. I just installed new ATI bulbs last night and will adjust the lighting schedule until everyone is acclimated to the new lights. I want to rearrange the rock, clean the sand, and add a bunch of new zoas.

I plan to take the rock and fish out and place in containers with current tank water. I will clean the sand bed while removing the rest of the tank water. Clean the hair algae off of the rocks. Rearrange the rock work add new water and return the fish to the tank. Will this work? Should I replace the sand bed? Do you need more info to help me? I have ro system and salt making system set up now. So I really need help I want to make these changes with the least amount of stress to the livestock as possible. Thanks in advance for all of your advice. Kim
 

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Welcome to TRT!

If the sand has been in the tank the whole 7 years. I would replace it since you are going to have all the rock out. If it hasn't been cleaned regularly, it is probably full of detrimus and phosphates.

How deep is the sandbed?
 

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I agree I would replace the sandbed or forget the sand altogether. Sounds like your on the right track to helping your fish and coral live a happier life. after you replace the sandbed and change the water keep a good eye on all of your parameters for a while incase you have a minicycle. Change water as needed to keep everything in check.
 

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Welcome to TRT

Getting rid of the sand would probably be a great start.
Srcubbing the algae off the rocks is going to help you out also.

But don't replace all of the water, start doing water changes everyday to every other day in the area of 20% or so. The whole goal is not to create a bunch of change all at once.

Pick up some test kits so that you can see where your water is at parameters wise.

Also, pics or information about all of your current equipment would be very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So, would removing 75% of my water with the livestock, removing old sand, adding new sand, then replacing 75% of my old water and livestock, then topping the tank off with 25% new water be the best way to go. I like the look of a sandbed( it is about and 1 1/2" deep). I think I would feel bad for the snails and hermits if they didn't have anything to crawl around in. I also have several brittle stars and urchins that we caught while diving at Key Largo several years ago. How would all of these guys react if I went bare bottom?
 

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bump, bump...suck out that nasty sand...pull your rocks out and clean them good...do it over a period of a few weeks so that you do not upset your current inhabitants...Bare bottom is a lot easier to maintain than a sand or gravel bottom, at least the dirt is easier to find and clean...I suck out all the dirt once a week and then dump in fresh salt water. Your really just vacuuming the floor and adding new trace elements. Before I vacuum I just blow all my rocks and dead corners to stir everythng up, in an hour or two it all settles. Once you get your routine down it goes very quickly.
 

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The goal here is to
replace the sand
replace the water
clean the rocks

The catch is, we don't want to do this all at once. Doing it over the course of a couple weeks will benefit your tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello everyone, thanks for the suggestions. My husband and I spent about 6 hours on Sunday cleaning the tank. We used 4 rubbermate totes and removed about half of the water. We removed all of the urchins, brittlestars, fish, shrimp, and live rock. We removed all of the algae we could off of the rocks. I am not sure what type it is, but it looks kinda brown and fuzzy and then there was some stringy green that was really easy to pull off.

When we siphoned out the remaining tank water I cleaned the 2 inch strip of the sand bed along the front of the tank and a small section where part of the rock work will set. It was really dirty brown water. I will continue to clean a section of the sand with each water change over the next couple of months.

We rearranged the rock into two islands with an open sand bed in the middle. We added back in the livestock and the 1/2 old tank water that they were in. The bubbletip anemone and all of the fish seem to be very happy. All of my zooanthid and mushrooms are open and have great color. New bulbs and a new aquascape, now I don't want to move from in front of the tank.
 

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Sounds like you got a good plan in action. Some pics would be neat. before and after would rock. But if your like me you forget the before pics all the time lol
 
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