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Old 05-29-2014, 08:59 PM   #1
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Stirring sand

Do or dont? I realize that if you havent ever that it could release alot of nitrates
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:06 PM   #2
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heard it could cause massive die off and ammonia spike if its deep enough
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Old 05-29-2014, 10:12 PM   #3
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Never stir your sand. It will release ammonia or nitrites which could destroy your livestock.
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:21 AM   #4
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In general, if the sand bed is not regularly stirred (either by you or sand sifting creatures), it would not be a good idea to stir it.

The reason is, there are anaerobic bacteria deep in your sandbed, that will die if exposed to oxygenated water. Basically, if you stir the sand, you expose them to oxygen (in the tank water), they will die and produce a ton of ammonia.
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:33 AM   #5
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In general, if the sand bed is not regularly stirred (either by you or sand sifting creatures), it would not be a good idea to stir it.

The reason is, there are anaerobic bacteria deep in your sandbed, that will die if exposed to oxygenated water. Basically, if you stir the sand, you expose them to oxygen (in the tank water), they will die and produce a ton of ammonia.
Yeah but before that it can release hydrogen sulfide gas and kill everything within about 30 minutes, seen it happen.

so yes, if your substrate has sat undisturbed for a length of time, I wouldn't risk it.
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:47 PM   #6
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Don't do it...for the reasons stated above.

If you want the top layer of sand to be stirred up just get some sand sifting stars. Let them do the work for you. They only sift the top layer with no danger if releasing toxic gases.
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Old 05-30-2014, 12:58 PM   #7
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I keep 10 of these sand sifting crabs
they do the best job of keeping sand bed clean in my 90g
they are very entertaining too if you look from the bottom of your tank
Sand Sifting Crab - Group of 5
there a little over priced but still worth it IMO
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:48 PM   #8
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And not disturbing your sand bed LOWERS nitrates. The anaerobic bacteria eat nitrates
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:02 PM   #9
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I keep 10 of these sand sifting crabs
they do the best job of keeping sand bed clean in my 90g
they are very entertaining too if you look from the bottom of your tank
Sand Sifting Crab - Group of 5
there a little over priced but still worth it IMO
those things look awesome..
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Old 05-30-2014, 02:42 PM   #10
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Stirring sand

Your clean up crew will take care of the fish waste. Crabs, snails, starfish, etc are what you need. Stirring the sand is a big giant no-no.

Snails are arguably or maybe not so arguably the most important part of your CUC (clean up crew). Make sure sure you have enough of them. Crabs are nice but can be a pain at times. There are some crabs, snails, starfish, etc that will take care of stirring the top layer of sand which is all you need. You don't necessarily need ones that stir up the sand, it just fun to watch.

If you stir up the sand, you may end up stirring the DSB (deep sea bed). If you do that, you risk releasing toxic gases into your tank.

You can go to liveaquaria.com and look at their recommended CUC for your tank size to give you an idea of what to do.

What size tank and CUC do you have now?
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