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Old 01-28-2010, 03:28 PM   #1
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keeping sand clean

What is the best way to keep my sand in mt 75G FOWLR looking always clean?

Here are some photos when I first added my sand.
75G tank

In the last 6 months or so, I have had some spectacular Coraline purple and pink algae growth on the rocks which is great. My issue is that it spreads lightly over to the sand by the time I do my water change every 2 weeks or so, kind of pinkish. I stir up my sand to make it clean and bury the top layer, or add a new bag here and there. I try to suck up the algae growing over the sand when I do water changes too, but really its not as clean as it used to.

By the way its not cyano, I checked with lots of people, its just the algae has grown so well in my tank a little bit makes it over the sand as well i guess, if I dont do water changes as frequent as I should. Used to do them every week, now more like every 2 weeks.

I used to have some snails but most of them have been eaten by the crabs

I assume I should buy a ton of snails to help clean up? or some kind of sand sifting sea star, I have heard of those. Any advice? Any particular snails I should use? Thanks.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:32 PM   #2
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i want it like this everytime
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:40 PM   #3
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Nassarius snails are great for keeping your sand be clean. I think there are a few other types that will burrow in the sand, but I use Nassarius.
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:31 PM   #4
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i want it like this everytime
Well... the short answer is: Not possible.

We'd all like it as an option, but the "brand new sand" look is just not possible, unless of course you replace your sand every week.

Nassarius snails will help eat up the leftovers and debris on and in the sand, and keep it turned over nicely. They're an absolute must, in my book. But they won't take care of the light dusting of coralline algae you end up with on the top layer of sand. I know what you're talking about - my tank does the same thing. You can vacuum the bed all you want, or brush it around to bury the top layer, but eventually that "old" colored sand makes its way to the surface.

You can try to win the battle obviously, but sometimes it's just easier to admit defeat when confronted with an unwinnable battle!
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:33 PM   #5
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I gravel siphon mine but it isn't that fine. I think yours would just get sucked up along with all the junk.
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:35 PM   #6
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Like Kurt said "not possible". You could try using that picture of your clean sand as you DesK Top.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:11 PM   #7
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Well... the short answer is: Not possible.

We'd all like it as an option, but the "brand new sand" look is just not possible, unless of course you replace your sand every week.

Nassarius snails will help eat up the leftovers and debris on and in the sand, and keep it turned over nicely. They're an absolute must, in my book. But they won't take care of the light dusting of coralline algae you end up with on the top layer of sand. I know what you're talking about - my tank does the same thing. You can vacuum the bed all you want, or brush it around to bury the top layer, but eventually that "old" colored sand makes its way to the surface.

You can try to win the battle obviously, but sometimes it's just easier to admit defeat when confronted with an unwinnable battle!
Thanks. great response Kurt. Thank you! I'll get a ton of those snails. Suck up some of the old sand on the very very top like I did before, and add some new sand every once in a while. I hope mixing it around isn't a bad idea....
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:50 PM   #8
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If by mixing it around you mean your sand, I would say it's Okay as long as you do it often and don't have a DSB(deep sand bed) you should be fine.
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