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Old 07-15-2012, 04:17 AM   #1
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Siphon Your Sand Bed!!

Dont think siphoning your sand bed is important?

This is 2 weeks without being siphoned, that is all detritus (fish poo). At the bottom of the bucket was a nice handful of brown sludge.

I know many people do not siphon their sand bed so i thought i would show you where those nitrates and phosphates actually come from and where it comes to rest.

Happy Reefing
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:54 AM   #2
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No problem with doing it. That`s some good pics but a good CUC will accomplish the same thing. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:23 AM   #3
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I do the same with my tank and have similar results...constantly. mine has been pretty extreme part with the algae die off from my original hair algae problem and then brown algae issue. Was pretty constant siphoning to make sure the die off didn't fuel another outbreak.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melosu58
No problem with doing it. That`s some good pics but a good CUC will accomplish the same thing. Thanks for sharing.
CUC poo too lol.

Btw this tanks CUC involves:

Sand sifting star
Cleaner shrimp
Nassarius snails
Hermit crabs
Few random snails
Brittle stars

But anyways i thought someone who doesnt siphon their sand bed would be interest to see whats laying down there. Usually i do it weekly so its never been this bad. Went 2.5 weeks this time because of the power outage and me being busy. I was quite surprised what came up.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:50 PM   #5
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Siphoning is a good idea for a shallow sandbed or a non functioning deep sandbed. It is not a good idea for a functioning deep sandbed. FYI, that sandsifting star should be being kept in a functioning deep sandbed. By siphoning out the debris, you are eliminating the microfauna that it utilizes as a food source. If keeping a clean sandbed by siphoning is your goal, you should rehome the seastar for its sake.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:52 PM   #6
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I thought It was bad to siphon or disturb the sand bed
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:57 PM   #7
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I'd like to know more about your sand sifting star. I always wanted to get one in my tank to help me keep the sandbed clean. How long has yours been in there? I was always scared of the statements about them dying and never finding them. Since I have a cleaner clam in my sandbed I'm thinking I should be ok...
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:10 PM   #8
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Sandsifting stars sift their way through the sandbed consuming microfauna (which in turn is feed by debris) out of the sandbed. It is generally accepted that they require a deep sandbed and a large footprint (typically a minimum of 6' by 2') in order to have enough microfauna to survive long term (over three years). Small tanks or shallow sandbed or inordinately clean deep sandbed often result in them starving to death. They are typically not recommended for keeping in the hobby by most long term hobbiests, but seem to be a favorite of those new or fairly new to the hobby and LFS (as they make money selling them). It is generally agreed that the most common form of death for these stars is starvation. They do not show any outward signs of starvation prior to death, so there is no way to look at one and say, "oh its getting plenty of food" or "gosh that poor thing is starving". They do not and will not eat prepared food or even freshfood of any type. The best recommendation IMO is to not keep them.
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Old 07-15-2012, 02:26 PM   #9
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I have a 2" sandbed in my refugium, which has a useable space of 19x12". It has been set-up for 1 1/2 years. I've often thought about siphoning the sand, but didn't want to disturb my Macro ( sm. grape Caulerpa, Prolifera, and Chaeto) or the pods. Is this something I should do? I don't have a nitrate or phosphate issue, but have wondered if this is something I should be doing.
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Old 07-15-2012, 03:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wy Renegade
Siphoning is a good idea for a shallow sandbed or a non functioning deep sandbed. It is not a good idea for a functioning deep sandbed. FYI, that sandsifting star should be being kept in a functioning deep sandbed. By siphoning out the debris, you are eliminating the microfauna that it utilizes as a food source. If keeping a clean sandbed by siphoning is your goal, you should rehome the seastar for its sake.
Misconceptions.

The sand sifting star is almost 4 years old and he has survived even getting caught in a powerhead. DSB's are not required. Do they do well in aquariums? Not all the time. Also they are detrivores, omnivores, carnivores. The reason DSB's are recommended and why they dont usually do well is because they are put in a low bioload system that does not get fed enough. DSB's laughably better ensure more detritus/waste to feed on since essentially DSB's are nutrient 'sinks'. With proper feeding they do just fine.

But back on sand bed subject, DSB's need maintained like any other sand bed, that includes siphoning. Would like to know why you think its not a good idea?

DSB's do not export phosphate. So why wouldn't you siphon it? By not atleast occasionally siphoning a deep sand bed, you are asking for problems. This is a common reason many DSB's fail.
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