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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is the things U need to know:

40g breeder.
40lbs of reefgrade sand.
Lots of rock, that one way or another covers 75% of the sand.

So, I have moved around my rock a bit tryin to get the perfect landscaping while keeping flow throughout the tank and in the process, the sand gets moved around a bit. It creates a monstrous mess and the last few times I had done this, I got some diatoms on the glass and strands of algae on rocks that are in direct flow of pumps.

Now I supose I have 2 reasonable ways to fix this and 1 not so reasonable.


1. Sand sifting snails?
2. Sand sifting fish?
3. move rocks every time I want to clean sand in hard to reach places?

I have thought about maybe a goby an shrimp combo, but I plan to get brain corals and more mushrooms an I fear that the goby will create a mess? Is there a certain combo of goby/pistol that will not turn the tank into a warzone?

So are snails a viable alternative? What kind? How many?
 

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I've got some sand sifting snails, they're called Nassarius snails. They do a pretty good job. I've only got 4 because I'm cheap, but they keep your sandbed churned and actually get on the rocks and glass much more than I thought they would. Not so sure how good they do at cleaning anything but the sand though haha.

They burrow a lot and you typically don't see them, but when you feed they always smell it and go out on the prowl looking for it.

These guys are my recommendation, and they've got them reasonably priced out our LFS here.

There's also a cerith snail which I've read about but have no personal experience. I can't recall why I went with the nassarius snails and not the cerith snail but seems like I recall having some sort of reason to prefer one over the other (knowing me, it may well have been availability/price, or aesthetics haha)
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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I don't think snails are going to give you the amount of sand sifting you would want, they will help but not solve the issues. Gobys can help too but they will cause a different problem (making a mess)... I think the Goby/shrimp will potentially case an issue but they are not really solving the lack of flow issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I do not have any flow issues. What i said was that in the process of moving rocks an cleaning sand, it kicked up a bunch of crap from the sandbed that started a new tank syndrome of diatoms an algae.

The issue I have is the way my rock is setup, its hard to get to the sand to clean it on a regualr basis. So I need to be able to clean my sand the easiest way possible regularly so i do not do that again..

So I am askin of the few ways to do such a thing, which one will be the most beneficial to the tank.

Snails that sift sand.. or fish that sift sand.. Taking into account that in the future I want to have brain corals an mushrooms (stuff on the sand)
 

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Stop moving the rocks and cleaning the sand. I do not disturb my sand at all. Sufficent flow in the tank will keep detritus suspended so it can get filtered out. Occasionally blowing off the rocks while doing a waterchange should be good for keeping everything clean.

Nassarius snails are a good addition to keep the sandbed from compacting. They are also scavengers and will help cleanup leftover food. I dislike sandsifting fish because of the mess and the fact that they eat any beneficial life (pods,worms,etc) that may be living in the sandbed. Contrary to popular belief, they are not sifting and eating poop or detritus from the sand.

Pistol shrimp are fanatical diggers. Your rocks must be placed securely on the glass or other supports. They will dig out enough sand to topple the rockwork if it isn't supported right.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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Sorry, I take any issue of detritus collecting in specific areas as a flow issue.
 
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