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Old 12-28-2013, 04:29 PM   #1
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Cleaning for picotope (Gravel siphon? Mag-float? Bare hands?)

Hi all, I'm pretty much a newbie to saltwater, and I have a question that might seem silly.

I'm setting up a 3 gallon pico soon, and I don't know the right procedure for cleaning it. I read that you shouldn't put your hands or a gravel siphon in the tank, but I also read that it's good to clean on the inside with a algae pad. Should I just use a mag float or is it ok to stick your hands in there? Also, is it ok to use a gravel cleaner to clean the sand bed? I use a gravel siphon in my freshwater tank, but I wonder of the cleanup crew will take care of anything that needs cleaning in this pico.





Any help will be appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:48 PM   #2
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Don't disturb your sandbed. It isn't something you actively do in saltwater. It is ok to put your hands in the tank, you should just wash them to get the oil off your hands first and keep the soap or perfumes out of there as well.
I do my water change with a gravel siphon, just take the water out. The goal in saltwater is to have proper flow so the food and poop doesn't settle and can be filtered out.
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:21 PM   #3
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I agree with sniperhank. Don't worry about putting your hands in the tank, you've got to put some work into your tank in this hobby. I am always on the move with my corals and etc. I would recommend you stir up the sand bed every time you do a water change so that any waste that is stuck in your sand bed can escape to the top so that your cleaning crew can get to and or your siphon, when doing a water change. Also, invest in a good cleaning crew. Get a variety of critter. I would go with a couple nerites, a nassarius or two, maybe even some astraes. If you like maintaining your tank, and if you can handle the bioload, you can even get a cleaner shrimp which are definitely the best way to keep your tank clean.
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:25 PM   #4
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A clean up crew is just other critters that poop. It doesn't remove the problem. Proper filtration tied in with weekly water changes and you don't have to own a single crab...though they are neat to watch.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:38 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice! I'm planning on using a modded AC70 and a cleanup crew + water changes + LR for filtration.
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