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Old 04-19-2003, 12:41 PM   #1
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Water Changes

I have recently converted to SW and was wondering how you do your water changes. When I had FW I would siphon the gravel for my 20% change, & on previous SW changes I just took the sump and just dumped the water. Last night I put my 2 heaters & protein skimmer in the 20 gal sump and have it all adjusted & set up nicely. I don't want to mess around with this sump anymore.
Do you siphon the sand or just pull out water towards the top? Will the siphon actually pull out sand if you put it all the way down? Do you need to siphon the sand for detritus? or is it okay to stay there.
I have 2 clowns and a large cleanup crew now.
Thanks again for your help.
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Old 04-19-2003, 06:36 PM   #2
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Do you siphon the sand or just pull out water towards the top?
I blast the rocks off with a turkey baster and then place one end of a 3/4" nylon hose into the upperthird of the tank, I start the syphon and drain to a bucket. I do not syphon the sand. Many critters live in the sand, and if you were to "vacuum" the sand, you would pull out those critters. If you are using crushed coral...I highly recommend you "vacuum" the crushed coral.

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Will the siphon actually pull out sand if you put it all the way down?
If it is sand, yes it will pull it out, just as easily (well...almost as easily) as any detritus that is in it.

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Do you need to siphon the sand for detritus? or is it okay to stay there.
With a proper clean up crew, it is not necessary to vacuum it out. As noted above, I try to get as much detritus in suspension as possible before I start syphoning water. Along with the rocks, I will usually try to blow up the detritus from the top of the sand with the turkey baster.
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Old 04-19-2003, 11:22 PM   #3
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I blast the rocks off with a turkey baster
I have blenny(not 100% sure what type) that is a sand sifter and puts sand all over the bottom 1/4 of my rock. Should I bother cleaning that sand off ? and if I don't, will the rock come alive with a layer of sand on it? I am already seeing growthon some of the other rock in the tank.
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Old 04-19-2003, 11:40 PM   #4
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If you have a "sand sifting" goby, you will not have a sandbed full of critters t eat detritus and waste. The goby will keep the detritus and waste in suspension and off the sandbed (if he's active), but he will eat the critters out of the live sand. If you have a deep sand bed, this could be a real problem, it the sand bed is shallow, it won't be as big a concern. The biggest concern I would have would be keeping the goby fat, they are notorius for starving to death in the aquarium, eve though they ea food from the water column. I would clean the sand off the rock, if it is covered with sand it will not come alive. The sand will prevent light from getting to the rock.
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Old 04-20-2003, 01:25 AM   #5
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My sump, when at the proper water level, holds about 15 gallons. I simply turn off the return pump and skimmer and use a ph to drain the sump. Then I refill the sump partially, turn the return pump and skimmer back on, and then fill sump to the proper level. All the while not disturbing the main tank at all.
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Old 04-20-2003, 02:54 AM   #6
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Hey reefrunner, I have about a 4-5" DSB. That and my LR are my main filtration so are you saying that I should not have a sand sifter?
The LFS said that it would help in my cycling. I was also misled by them before in my damsels purchase and not told about their aggressive and territorial nature. Your help is always appreciated.[/quote]
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Old 04-20-2003, 07:26 AM   #7
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I have about a 4-5" DSB. That and my LR are my main filtration so are you saying that I should not have a sand sifter?
That is exactly what I'm saying. Sandsifters (of any type) are predators of the fauna that make a dsb functional. Without the worms and pods the dsb will be dead and it will cause serious problems.
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Old 04-20-2003, 12:10 PM   #8
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Okay if I remove the Goby do I need to do anything to the sand to have it come back to life? It was 1/2 & 1/2 of the regular bags of sand and the more expensive bags of live sand. PLEASE PLEASE don't tell me I wasted alot of money on that live sand for nothing.
I think I am done with that LFS after this.
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Old 04-20-2003, 12:29 PM   #9
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If the goby did not completely wipe out the population then there is a big chance the pods will make a resurgance on their own. One way to boost their comeback would be to purchase a detravore kit. There are online stores that sell these. THey are intended to give your sand bed a boost as well as to add some diversity to your sand bed population.

If you know a fellow reeefer in your area asking to swap a lb of live sand is a good way to increase your diversity aswell.

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PLEASE PLEASE don't tell me I wasted alot of money on that live sand for nothing.
I dont think you wasted your money on the live sand. It did give you a head start with your bactera population. Personally my bet is that your pods and worms came from your LR vs the bagged live sand. Unless they bagged it there it probably was just bactera laden sand.

On your goby. Whats it look like? Whats its coloration?

How big is your tank? If you have a large tank and a single goby then IMO you would be ok as the goby would have a hard time eating ALL the fauna in your sand bed. Now if you have a small tank then the goby if it is a sand sifter really could put a big dent on your sand bed population. Maybe you could convert that 20 gal sump you dont want to bother with any more into a 20 gal refugium. This would aid in keeping your fauna population as it would provide them a safe haven to live and reproduce. Some would naturally get back into the main tank thru the return lines.
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Old 04-20-2003, 01:54 PM   #10
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How big is your tank?
The tank is a 75 gal with about 110lbs of LR and 100 lbs of sand. With the skimmer in sump.


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On your goby. Whats it look like? Whats it coloration?
The goby is white, almost clear, about 2" long with a yellow chin and a little blue stripe above that.
Boy do I need a digital camera.
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