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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My sand in the 30 gal is starting to look a little dirty. Added more flow but still not getting all the detritus back into the water column. What's the best sand sifter or cleaner to add to a small tank? A goby? A crab? Help me out here.
 

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My new Diamond Watchman Goby is doing great in the big tank. I have a Yellow watchman in my 24g and he barely sifts the sand
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Will he dig under the rocks and make a mess? I guess I'm looking for something that will sift the very upper crust of the sand only - the perfect sand sifter?
 

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Saltwater Mom
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Conches are pretty good. I have two and they keep things pretty clean. My damsel even helps out now. He follows them around and starts thrashing his fins and gets it all stirred up. He's the only damsel I have ever seen do that I dont know if its in their nature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I read in another thread that cucumbers are bad in a small tank cause they will eat all of the critters in the sand in a short time. How big do nassarius snails or conchs get?
 

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Saltwater Mom
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Not sure on the nassarius but the conches I have are about 2 inches long. Stay mostly on the sand but I have one who climbs the rock as well.
 

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Stinky Slimey FEESH
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Nassarius snails are my pick for small tanks......I have 2 in my 12-gallon nano and they do great, they stay only about one inch long and stay under the sand most of the time. They keep it spotless on the top. In my large tank (135 gallon) I had several sand sifting starfish but they don't do nearly as good a job.

HHC
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Alright, sounds like I need to get me a nassarius snail. Where can I find one?
 

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Sumpless Girl
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i have a nassururis snail in my 10g, hes not very good. they arent active sifters, neither are conch's or other snails. i never tried a sand sifting starfish, but how good can they be? its a starfish duh...not exactly speedy gonzales lol
sand sifting youself just isnt the same...been there done that
the top of the list all time sand sifters are gobies, but sandsifting gobies, mainly they are in the sleeper family.
i just ordered a banded sleeper goby
for a smaller tank the four wheel drive goby is a good sifter as well
the problem with sand sifting gobies is they usually get very thin and slowly starve, so they need frequent feedings of mysis, vitamin enriched frozen brine, and prepared foods
jumping is also an issue
but even with all those faults im goin with a sandsifting goby! ill show you my sandstorm when he arrives :funny:

oh just want to add i have several Jumbo cerith snails that do a good job. but ya gotta find the huge ones the small ones are just too little to make a difference. the jumbo ones are better than any snail ive had so far, but you will have spots they wont get too, so its not a total active stirrer either
(edit..the goby will not be going into the 10g, hes going in the 55g...dont wanna scare anyone hehe)
this of course is just my opinion :banana:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I thought about getting a goby too, but had the same concerns about feeding and him making a mess. I guess I'm really looking for an invertebrate that is small and I won't have to worry about feeding. I may try the nassarius snail cause they are inexpensive and I figure it couldn't hurt.

BTW, I didn't recognize you at first - scary looking new avatar pic. Like an apocolyptic hedgehog
 

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Sumpless Girl
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lol i got bored of the old avatar :rotflmao: its a porcipine with a gas mask :p

i think any sand sifting snail is good to have. nassuris snails are pretty funny, you dont even know they are there until you feed the fish, they come out as if from the grave and search for flakes
i really need a goby for my 10g, i read the four wheel drive aka two spot goby stays pretty small and is ok for a 10g, but then what about the corals?? wont they smother them with sand? its like a catch 22 ya cant win lol
i had an idea of covering my sand with corals :idea: since its only the front sand in the light that is effected
 

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Sponge-tastic!!
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I agree with tims; you are the best sand sifter. It's cool to have something in the tank that helps the problem, but nothing in this hobby is automatic. I'm headed for my first DSB (have CC now) and I can't wait, but believe me, I will be looking for that 'perfect sifter' as well.
 

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Remember there are critters that hide in the sand and just stir the sand as they move through it (nassarius snails as an example) .. and there are critters that move through the sand eating the various critters/infauna within the sand (some starfish, some gobies etc). The infauna (pods etc.) are the critters that actually break down and eliminate the sand debris and many would say purchasing infauna eating "cleanup crew" is a catch 22 and does more harm than good.

There is no simple solution ... reduced feeding combined with a small but diverse cleanup crew is probably the best solution. Both cucumbers and conch's are good choices but both need alot of sand space and won't do well on a sustained basis in a small tank. Nassarius snails will help keep the sand stirred and are meat eaters which may provide some additional benefit if your overfeeding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Tim224DT said:
I use a gravel vac on my sand weekly to clean it out.


Tim
I tried siphoning off the detritus on my sand the othr day and sucked out a lot of sand too. How do you vacuum without getting a lot of sand out?

Pastina - why would anyone put a gas mask on a porcupine? You must live in a rough part of the country.
 

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Sumpless Girl
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Tim224DT said:
I agree with Tims on this one.

You!!

I use a gravel vac on my sand weekly to clean it out.


Tim
MY sifter must be broken :nuts:


hng, yes theres always a threat of nuclear warfare in my neck of the woods :blob:
 
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