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Old 07-15-2003, 01:37 PM   #1
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Keeping Clean Sand

Again, I am a newbie, so don't assume I know anything, because I likely don't...

I have been told that when I do water changes, I should "vacuum" the sand by using a syphon(sp) hose. I've been doing that for a few months, and while I don't really mind the effort, what I do mind is having to move all the stupid rocks around every time. That's the real pain for me.

Is there any way that I can add enough sand sifters to prevent having to do this every week? I only have one tiger tail sea cucumber so far (he's a monster, though), but I was planning on getting a sand sifting sea star to help out. How much would it take to keep a 42 gallon hex tank 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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Old 07-15-2003, 02:11 PM   #2
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How deep is your sand bed and what grain size do you have?
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Old 07-15-2003, 03:08 PM   #3
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I'm not sure about the grain size. It's pretty fine. The bed has to be 4-6 inches deep. I have approximately 50 pounds of sand in a 42 gal hex tank.
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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 07-15-2003, 03:21 PM   #4
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With a DSB (which with 4-6", that's what you got) you should not be vacuuming at all. You are removing the necessary infauna that make the DSB function. I recommend you get several cups of sand from a fellow reefer and innoculate the sand you have. You want sand that is full of pods and worms to slowly turn the sand. You should also consider cerrith snails, horse conchs and nassarius snails for keeping the top of the sandbed clean. If good live sand is not available, you can detriore kits on line. I think the place I see recommended the most is www.inlandaquatics.com but beware these are pricey, best if you can get the sand from a fellow reefer
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Old 07-15-2003, 03:44 PM   #5
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So, you're saying that I shouldn't get any sand sifting sea stars or tiger tail cucumbers at all, then? My deep sand is just happenstance. I just happened to have access to a ton of free sand. I also only have one friend with a fish tank and he's got some black kind of sand that I'm not very fond of, and wouldn't look too good sitting on top of my white sand.

Besides, what would get rid of the detrius in this scenario?
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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 07-15-2003, 03:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
So, you're saying that I shouldn't get any sand sifting sea stars
Nope sand sifting stars are prdators on the infauna of your DSB, withone of those stars or two, your DSB will shortly turn against you.

Quote:
tiger tail cucumbers at all, then?
Depending on how old the system is, maybe or maybe not, I wouldn't recommend a cuke unless it was a very stable and mature tank, simply to avoid stressing the critter out and suffering from cuke nuke.

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I also only have one friend with a fish tank and he's got some black kind of sand that I'm not very fond of, and wouldn't look too good sitting on top of my white sand.
You can leave the sand in a cup or bowl and set it on the sand bed, leave it for a week and any of the critters will migrate to your sand bed.

It is the infauna, snails and clean up crew that handle the detritus in a DSB.

http://www.rshimek.com/reef/sediment.htm
http://www.seabay.org/art_plenums_part1.htm
http://www.seabay.org/art_plenums_part2.htm
These will help you to understand your DSB a little more
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Old 07-15-2003, 04:00 PM   #7
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Okay, now explain Kudos, cuz you're gettin' some. :p
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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 07-15-2003, 04:04 PM   #8
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LOL, Kudos
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