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Old 10-21-2006, 01:17 PM   #1
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Dirty, silty sand - solution?

I added a couple more inches of oolite (sp?) sized live sand, very fine stuff, which I got off eBay. The seller suggested that it wouldn't need to be washed, and probably shouldn't be. I took his word.

Took overnight for the water to clear up (even though I was extreeeeeemly careful adding it).

Now every time a fish bumps the sand, which they do from time to time, I get a milky cloud (not sand) of what looks like silt, mushrooming up into the water column. Clearly, the sand isn't the cleanest sand in the world. From the front glass it does look good, very fine sand, but obviously there's a lot of silt in it too.

I added a berlin sock to my overflow to catch what's getting stirred up.

I don't want to be dealing with this ad infinitum, so are there any suggestions to clean some of the silt out of this sand?

Or do I even want to clean it - is the silt (I'm guessing that's what it is) a problem, or is it good for a DSB?
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Old 10-21-2006, 01:28 PM   #2
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If it very fine sand then I don't think you have silt. Fine grade sand will stir up quite easily which is why most folks use a medium or coarse grade sand in their tanks. Silt would show up as a fine covering on top of the sand IME. When I had the fine sand in my 55g it looked like a yellowish white color almost slime coating which is why when I upgraded tanks I went with coarser sand. I HTH?
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Old 10-21-2006, 01:33 PM   #3
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I have 3 layers of sand now - the original LS from the LFS, which was a bit coarse, but not at all gravelly. Fairly smooth. Then a layer of LS which is a mix of fine (1mm or so) to a courser 3mm maybe? Then this on top, which is pretty darn fine particles.

About 4" total now, 5" in some places.

For the best DSB productivity, I'm wondering if I should mix the layers up a bit, maybe starting in one corner, and working out slowly, over a period of a few weeks.

I do know the sand-stirring fauna will have problems with the more course layer, and can get through fine stuff easier.
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Old 10-22-2006, 01:22 AM   #4
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First question is how long did you have the first two layers in there? If you stir the sand and it has been in there for a while it will release crap into the water that you don't want and it may hurt your tank.
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Old 10-22-2006, 01:47 AM   #5
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I would get some good sand sifting animals to do the job naturally if this is a problem for you.

Nassarius snails and sand sifting Goby's are excellent.

Make sure you are not overfeeding and you have a good cleaning crew. I read a thread where a guy actually replaced his sand little by little all the time. IMO this is not needed.

Sometimes you can get detrius off the top without stirring it up as well. One example is using a turkey baster to suck top junk off.
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Old 10-22-2006, 03:35 PM   #6
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I have in fact added a 6-spot sleeper goby, which is slowly munching his way across the sand bed, and I'm searching for anorange-spotted variety.
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AquaC EV-180 skimmer
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2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
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Old 10-22-2006, 04:28 PM   #7
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My Nassarius snails are great. It is funny when I feed Mysis because they all come flying out of the sand.
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