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Old 10-22-2010, 09:40 PM   #1
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Best way to clean sand

The bed of my tank is white "sand". The kind you get that's supposed to be pre-loaded with bacteria. Regardless of the type, it's very fine like sand is

What's the best way to clean down into the sand to remove access dutritus...etc. Without losing sand each time. I can't think of a time where I'd ever want to add sand to build the bed back up.

I have a cleaner pack from liveaquaria.com supposedly sufficient for a 125 gallon, but there's no way they'd ever do that good of a job.

Thanks!
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:03 PM   #2
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Nassarius snails will help a lot. They keep the sandbed healthy without wiping everything out they way some othe sand sifters can. If the tank is big enough it may be able to handle a small species of sand sifting goby without the goby also eating all the good things that you want in there. In general flow can help keep debris moving until the filters or filter feeders grab it.

Is this a reef or fish only?
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:27 AM   #3
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A clean up crew is best. I personally think also that a good sand sifting goby helps also.
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:48 AM   #4
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Lots of snails, especially nassarius will keep the sand bed clean.

Astrea Snail-most common of all saltwater tank snails. They are excellent algae eaters and will forage all over the rock, sand, and glass. They fall very easily and can not right themselves up and then die unless you right them.

Banded Trochus Snail - Large snails that are excellent algae eaters although are very slow about it. They guys have a hard time picking themselves up if stranded in the middle of the sand.

Bumblebee snails- Not very hardy. Marginal algae eaters, but more of a detritus grazer. They can prey on other snails and sand bed critters.

Cerith Snails (Cortez) - Good algae and detritus eaters that forage rock, glass, and sand. Some can pick themselves up and some cant.
Cerith Snails (White)- Good algae and detritus eaters that seem to stay in the sand more than the cortez, but can be found on the rock and glass. Once again, some can pick themselves up and others cant. They are good sand bed snails to shift the substrate around.

Conch Snails - These are all about the sand bed and are very cool to watch. They usually dont get flipped over, but if they do, they can kick around and turn themselves back upright.They very hardy too.

Mexican Turbo Snails - super fast grazer that will knock out some algae in no time. They mostly stay on rocks and glass, but will work the top of the sandbed too. These may be cold water snails that dont do so well in a reef. But, once they are adjusted... they seem to be very hardy and active. Mine are going on two years and are huge now. I originally got them for a hair algae problem. They do tend to knock over anything that is not glued in place (corals, clams, rocks, etc.)

Nassarius Snails - They mostly stay in the sand, but will sometimes make short trips up the glass. They are mainly detritus eaters and do an excellent job cleaning and shifting the sand. I think these are also some of the most hardy snails out there. These guys can flip themselves upright very easily and quickly. They are fun to watch as they come bursting out of the sand bed at feeding time.

Nerite Snails - Nerites feed on filamentous and film-forming cyanobacteria, and filamentous green algae, but the main diet of most nerites is diatoms. These guys like to crawl out of the water some. I recently found one that "jumped ship" and was on the outside rim of the tank. These are great snails, but also have trouble turning themselves back over. Mine usually end up in the sump where they can get above the water line and come back down when they want to.

Stomatella Snails - They are supposed to reproduce very well. No personal experience w/ them.

Strombus Snails (Strombus maculatus )these are excellent snails that reproduce very well. They seem to be mostly sandbed snails and will occasionally make there way up to about the 1-3 inch line of rock work.
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Old 10-23-2010, 03:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d View Post
Lots of snails, especially nassarius will keep the sand bed clean.

Astrea Snail-most common of all saltwater tank snails. They are excellent algae eaters and will forage all over the rock, sand, and glass. They fall very easily and can not right themselves up and then die unless you right them.

Banded Trochus Snail - Large snails that are excellent algae eaters although are very slow about it. They guys have a hard time picking themselves up if stranded in the middle of the sand.

Bumblebee snails- Not very hardy. Marginal algae eaters, but more of a detritus grazer. They can prey on other snails and sand bed critters.

Cerith Snails (Cortez) - Good algae and detritus eaters that forage rock, glass, and sand. Some can pick themselves up and some cant.
Cerith Snails (White)- Good algae and detritus eaters that seem to stay in the sand more than the cortez, but can be found on the rock and glass. Once again, some can pick themselves up and others cant. They are good sand bed snails to shift the substrate around.

Conch Snails - These are all about the sand bed and are very cool to watch. They usually dont get flipped over, but if they do, they can kick around and turn themselves back upright.They very hardy too.

Mexican Turbo Snails - super fast grazer that will knock out some algae in no time. They mostly stay on rocks and glass, but will work the top of the sandbed too. These may be cold water snails that dont do so well in a reef. But, once they are adjusted... they seem to be very hardy and active. Mine are going on two years and are huge now. I originally got them for a hair algae problem. They do tend to knock over anything that is not glued in place (corals, clams, rocks, etc.)

Nassarius Snails - They mostly stay in the sand, but will sometimes make short trips up the glass. They are mainly detritus eaters and do an excellent job cleaning and shifting the sand. I think these are also some of the most hardy snails out there. These guys can flip themselves upright very easily and quickly. They are fun to watch as they come bursting out of the sand bed at feeding time.

Nerite Snails - Nerites feed on filamentous and film-forming cyanobacteria, and filamentous green algae, but the main diet of most nerites is diatoms. These guys like to crawl out of the water some. I recently found one that "jumped ship" and was on the outside rim of the tank. These are great snails, but also have trouble turning themselves back over. Mine usually end up in the sump where they can get above the water line and come back down when they want to.

Stomatella Snails - They are supposed to reproduce very well. No personal experience w/ them.

Strombus Snails (Strombus maculatus )these are excellent snails that reproduce very well. They seem to be mostly sandbed snails and will occasionally make there way up to about the 1-3 inch line of rock work.

Yeah I have one nessarius snail for my 10 gallon only have had him for about a week now and there is already a difference.

And hey is there somewhere I can go to find pics of all these snails? I got a random one with my nessarius and since putting in new LR I've found several of 2 or 3 other different kinds and all the "new" ones I've found are very small... like, super small lol.

One other question.... how do snails reproduce? can 1 do it alone? or are they B sexual

--thanks in advance!!!
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Old 10-23-2010, 03:29 PM   #6
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Here's a good guide:
Live Rock Hitch Hikers
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Old 10-23-2010, 04:10 PM   #7
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THanks TC I thin I got it now lol
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Old 10-30-2010, 03:56 AM   #8
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Yeah, Like I say, I have a cleaner pack... Tons of snails, crabs, sand sifters. But they really don't keep up. I need a way to clean the sand well from time to time.

And the snails that fall and can't right themselves are eaten by the crabs if they fall in the back where I can't see them.

Fish only, live rock. Been up for about 6 months.
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:54 AM   #9
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i don't use anything to clean the sand. if it's very fine, you are not going to get much junk in it anyway. "cleanup crews" are just a way for vendors to sell livestock. they are not necessary.
after your tank settles in (a year or so is what i've been seeing) your sand bed will stay white.
IMO/IME you need to up the flow so that this stuff is suspended in the water column long enough for your filtration to remove it. cutting back a bit on the feeding wouldn't hurt either.
crabs will eat snails even if they are right side up. they are predators.
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Old 10-30-2010, 03:51 PM   #10
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I have a two inch sand bed. Every morning i clean the front and left glass and lightly stir the top layer of the sand bed with a three foot stick the size of a pencil. total time is two minutes. after the soft stir (not enough to kick up sand) my goby comes out as if i just fed him and goes crazy on the sand. he probably does more than I do. In my experience buy BIG. After two gobies jumped out of my tank I bought the biggest diamond goby i could find and he attacks the sand. All of my previous clean up crew died off, probably killed each other. I had a big algae problem. increased the flow in my tank, borrowed and returned a sea hare from a friend, and bought 4 large turbo snails. the snails and goby are all i need.
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