Originally Posted by lovefishys
I still highly suggest you get some sort of filtration and clean the sand! Snails are not enough to clean and remove bacteria from the sand. I would recommend doing a water change at least once a week if you do not have filtration for your system.
Umm... Why? Snails, hermits, and worms do a very fine job of cleaning the sand, but why would you want to remove bacteria from it?
Live Rock is the filtration. With my refugium, this is supplemented by macro algae. That, as it turns out, is all the filtration I need. My levels are super stable, and I know many aquarists who are jealous of my steadily low Nitrate levels.
Cleaning the sand bed is overrated. I consider it to be a chore for freshwater tanks, and tanks with insufficient CUC inverts.
The purpose of water changes is to replenish trace elements and to dilute (through removal) dissolved nutrients. If nutrients are consistently low, and you are able to measure with trace elements need replenishment, water changes can be done much less frequently.
I'm not calling this "good" behavior, or billing it as the best way to run a SW
tank. I'm just saying that if you do everything *just* right, SW
tanks, even reef tanks, can be very low maintenance.