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Old 02-20-2005, 05:58 PM   #1
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new to saltwater looking for advice

about 6 weeks ago i converted a 29 gal aquarium i had into saltwater tank. i went with live sand over crushed coral for the substrate, and i put about 25 lbs of live rock in. after 3 weeks and a partial water change i began adding life. my tank currently houses 2 clowns, a blue damsel, a coral beauty angel, a scooter blemmy, a banded coral shrimp a cleaner shrimp, a sand sifting sea star, some turbo snails and some blue legged hermit crabs. from what i can tell all are doing just fine.

it is time to do a partial water change and today i was looking at the sandy substrate. it has gathered some sort of orangish coating and has a little more debris than i would like. i come from fresh and brackish so i am used to vacuuming the gravel while changing water, but i am not sure if i am supposed to do that with sand, or even if i can without sucking it all up. so what do you use to clean out the sand substrate?

also i noticed that there are alot of unusual things that happen to my tank at night. the most noticable are little brown worms that move frantically across the tank and disappear almost asa the light goes on. anyone know what these could be? i also have a piece of live rock that opens and closes. when it is open it looks like an oval mouth with small widely spaced teeth, on the same live rock came 2 oysters, they have since moved on to other areas of the tank, but this thing seems to be part of the rock itself, anyone ever heard of anything like that?

any advice for cleaning the bottom of my tank, or any possibilities would be greatly appreciated
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Old 02-20-2005, 06:06 PM   #2
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First off to get it out of the way I will say that I think you a overstocked for that tank. Being as you had FW tanks before this you are probably aware of it, just wanted to say it in case.

As for the orange coating, it could be a type of cyno algae which is not wanted, or just diatoms, which can be cleaned up fairly easy by the snails and hermits. You may be able to solve it just by increasing water flow through that area of the tank.
You can use a gravel vac on the sand, and yes it will suck some up, but if you are careful just a little bit. I wouldn't worry about using a gravel vac though, your cleanup crew should turn over and clean the sand just fine.

The little brown worms are probably bristle worms, which are good. They will help keep the tank clean by eating the detrius and what not. As for the LR that opens and closes with a mouth, is there any chance of a picture? It could be a type of coral perhaps, or another creature that isn't bad. Have you looked at the hitchhiker faq that is stickied on the forum?

I am sure someone more knowledgeable will be along with more info for you shortly.

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Old 02-20-2005, 06:49 PM   #3
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i added a picture of the mouth thing in my origianl post, if you enlarge it , it is right in the middle of the picture it almost looks like the rock is broken in that spot, ever seen that before? about overstocking, nothing more but additional lice rock is going to be added. i went a little crazy, and i may be donating the damsel and blemmy in the near future
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Old 02-20-2005, 07:14 PM   #4
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Thats some nice looking rock you got there! Liverocks.com? Welcome to AA, unless someone beat me to it!
Alex n Mary

150 gallon, 30g fuge/sump, 4.5 watt/gal VHO Lighting, 4" sand bed, 290 lbs LR, CDX-3 Nitrate/Phosphate filter

Female Naso "Isabell" or "Izzy", Emperor Angelfish, Flame Angel, Red Sea Sailfin tang "Bambi", Maroon Clown "Nani", 5 Chromis, 1 Aglae Blenny "Bengi" , Yellow Watchman Goby, pr of Banggai Cardinals, Lyretail Anthia, Six Line Wrasse

1 cleaner shrimp, Coral Banded Shrimp, lettuce nudibranch, 1 sand sifter stars, 1 tiny red brittle star "red", 1 tiny red and white banded serpent star, 2 tiny banded serpent stars, small orange Linkia starfish, assorted hermits and snails. Corals: star polyps, A ton of different types of mushrooms, yellow zooanthids, brown-orangish and light blue paly's, orange ricordia.

90g RR, W/D, 120 lb's LR SF eel, pygmy angel, pr sebae clownfish, 4 chromis. Star Polyps & Mushrooms
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Old 02-20-2005, 08:55 PM   #5
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Yes, welcome to AA. You can vac the sand, just be careful not to actually touch the sandbed. I swish the syphon around to stir the debri on top of the sand. Sand stirrers are great but IMO, they aren't always enough. I agree, the worm you seen was probably a bristleworm and is a good thing to have. The thing on the live rock is likely a clam. They are pretty common hitchhikers. Nothing special needs to be done for them. You could add a phytoplankton type food to your tank but, it's really not necessary.
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