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Old 01-15-2004, 07:40 PM   #1
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Vacuuming Sand

When I first put my fish tank together I vacuumed the sand every time I did a water change (every week or two). After a while I got a bunch of sand sifting and detrius eating things for my tank. For example, I have two sand sifting stars and about 5 nassarius snails. I've also got a lot more rock, so a larger portion of my sand is covered and not vacuumable.

Lately (about 5 months after I stopped vacuuming) I've noticed that a lot of junk has been floating in the water. I don't know what's causing it all, but I'm noticing that if the sand gets stirred up at all by my finger or a fish or whatever, it kicks up an insane cloud of junk. I'm thinking this problem is due to crap building up on my sand. Should I be vacuuming my sand or is this normal? Any other comments or suggestions?
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92-gallon corner tank, 100lbs of LR, 140lbs of sand, 250watt 10,000K MH, 110watts of actinic PCs, Mag 7 return, custom refugium, AquaC EV180 w/ Mag 5

Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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Old 01-15-2004, 08:17 PM   #2
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Wll sand is gonna accumulate some junk, but if you have things living in and feeding from the sand and you vacuum it, your pretty much sentencing them to starvation. There are probably plenty of worms and pods etc...living in there to, they will be sucked up by the vacuuming. The biggest factor though, is...is it a DSB? If so you do not want to vacuum the sand bed, mabe disturb the very top layer regularly to remove any excess detritus into the water column for remval by the skimmer, but vacuuming is a no no.
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Old 01-15-2004, 08:21 PM   #3
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It's not a DSB. It's only 2" deep or so.
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92-gallon corner tank, 100lbs of LR, 140lbs of sand, 250watt 10,000K MH, 110watts of actinic PCs, Mag 7 return, custom refugium, AquaC EV180 w/ Mag 5

Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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Old 01-15-2004, 08:27 PM   #4
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I do not vacuum my SSB, but I do stir it up regularly to get the detritus into suspension to be removed by the skimmer.
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Old 01-15-2004, 08:30 PM   #5
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My skimmer is in my sump. I've got several prefilters, but nothing seems to snag all this stuff. It has accumulated on the bottom of my sump, on the surface of my sand, and it hangs in the water column. The only thing I can figure is that it's building up on the sand and there's just so much that there's an endless supply being kicked up off the sand by the fish that it's entering the water column as fast as it's being filtered out.
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92-gallon corner tank, 100lbs of LR, 140lbs of sand, 250watt 10,000K MH, 110watts of actinic PCs, Mag 7 return, custom refugium, AquaC EV180 w/ Mag 5

Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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Old 01-16-2004, 12:38 AM   #6
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You could try using a finer grade filter pad in your sump. My filter pad that came with it did not trap small particles so I bought some mirco figer pad at my LFS that traps a lot more junk.
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Old 01-16-2004, 12:41 AM   #7
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Do you have to replace it or clean it more often?

Do you have a specific recommendation on a type of filter pad?
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Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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Old 01-16-2004, 12:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauge
Do you have to replace it or clean it more often?
Do you mean the filterpad? I try to clean them every 3 days but sometimes it's up to 5 or so days. I just replace them when they start fraying or ripping bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauge

Do you have a specific recommendation on a type of filter pad?
I"m not sure what it was even called, the packages just say something like superfine filter pad, it was just white cloth looking about 1/3" thick.
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Old 01-16-2004, 12:53 AM   #9
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Cool... I'll probably try to make it a cylinder to put around the cylindrical sponge in my overflow... that way it's easy to get at and clean.
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92-gallon corner tank, 100lbs of LR, 140lbs of sand, 250watt 10,000K MH, 110watts of actinic PCs, Mag 7 return, custom refugium, AquaC EV180 w/ Mag 5

Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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