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Old 01-26-2010, 03:09 PM   #1
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Live Sand Issues

I have 55 US Gallon saltwater tank, and about 2 " of live sand. I have read that a deeper sand bed will help me with the issue of sand looking filthy and brown from the food however I already have fish in the tank and dont want to cloud it up with sand again to fill it more. I am wondering if a few clean up crew, hermits, shrimp, etc. and power heads would be enough to clean up the sand? Thoughts?
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:14 PM   #2
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Deeper sand will not alleviate the dirt problems. Are you skimming? What critters are in the tank. How old is the tank. Lot's of info we'll need to help with your problem, but a good old fashioned water change that stirs the sand bed up (like vacuuming) bi-weekly might help you.

Also, with leftover food on the sand bed, I'd wonder what your nitrate levels are and whether your tank is healthy. You've got NO clean up crew at all??
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:43 PM   #3
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Live Sand Issues

Thank you for the welcome!
I have checked my levels and all is fine with nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, etc. The tank is about 5 months old and all i have in it is live rock, aggrogated sand, and 3 blue chromis fish. I do not have a skimmer, and clean the tank with a vaccume however dont like vaccuming the sand as my gravel vac sucks up all of the sand i purchased. I have no clean up crew at all and was wondering is there an alternative to sucking up all of my sand?
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:54 PM   #4
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Nassarius snails would be your best bet. The actual numbers from your tests are what they are asking for when they ask you what your parameters are. If you have test strips, go grab a liquid test kit. Might want to watch how much you are feeding, you shouldn't have a lot of extra food on the sand, moreover just a few pellets or flakes, or whatever you feed that your fish didn't get to. Nassarius snails would stir up the sand and would eat a goot majority of the uneaten food on the surface of the sand. Might want to grab some astrea/trochus snails for the rock too. I do recommend that you get a skimmer.
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:57 PM   #5
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The Nassarius snails are great for keeping your sandbed clean. They are tons of fun to watch crawl up out of the sand when you're feeding as well.
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:02 PM   #6
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Live Sand Issues

Great,
Thanks guys! What benefit will the skimmer give me in the tank? I know it removes waste in the form of protein however i notice i do not have the white film at the top of my tank. Parameters are all fine.
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:08 PM   #7
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Your DOC's are suspended in the water column. Air bubbles trap the DOC's ansd upon bursting in your skimmer throat/cup are removed from the water column. A film at the top of your tank would indicate that you need to agitate the water at the surface to suspend them in the column to be removed.
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:11 PM   #8
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Check out the video. The key is the large plastic gravel siphon attachment to the end of the hose.

How to Clean Sand in a Fish Tank: Fish Tank Maintenance | eHow.com
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:14 PM   #9
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And this'll help too...

Python Pro-Clean
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:27 PM   #10
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This thing here...

Gravel Cleaner

... really makes gravel/sand cleaning nice. It has a built in flow control valve on the top to adjust how fast you want the flow going, thus changing how much sand is being "picked up". It also has a unique little feature to start the siphon so that you just jiggle it up and down in the tank and it starts the siphon using a little check valve.

Agree with the others... deeper sand isn't going to help one bit with what it looks like on top. Nassarius snails are great little janitors for the sandbed.
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