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Old 06-17-2011, 02:56 PM   #1
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Help with cleaning substrate and filter

Hi I noticed in my 40 gallon that there is a lot of gunk that stays on the floor. I've been reading that these should simply be moved by the water current to be sucked into the filter but I think my filter is inadequate.

I wanted to ask can I just vacuum these up? I have live sand as substrate and I thought I read somewhere saying I should not be vacuuming my sand. Also, will it be okay to upgrade/add a canister filter? (currently have in hood filter) Will the canister filter pretty much get all the debris and stuff that I am talking about?

I would like my tank to be in good shape and these debris are not much help, also when I vacuum alot of sand gets sucked up as well. thanks!
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:01 PM   #2
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Do you have any powerheads? That can pick up the flow and move those particles up and into your filter.

I use a canister on my 55g but it's alot of work, not something I'd recommend.
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:01 PM   #3
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You can vacuum it up if you want. What kind of CUC do you have? Do you have any nassirus snails. They live in the sand and come up out of it to eat trash.
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:28 PM   #4
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What is a CUC? And yes I have in total 3 powerheads but one is simply the eject of the hood filter shooting straight. I cannot/have not figured out how to angle the other 2 powerheads in order to circulate the tank. It always seems like there will be somewhere that does not get flow (hence where I noticed debris sitting there)

Also for my inhood filter, I do not think it is very good :/ it came with the tank (mistake for buying it) but yeah, I even actually cut the suction pipe so I could place it in the right spot but I think it was a mistake. I could just purchase another HOB filter but I was wondering about canister filters, is it similar to HOB in terms of it sucks the water from a single location or is it just a hose I shove in the water

LAST THING - Melosu58, it's okay to be vacumming live sand? no harm to bacteria/nitrate levels or anything else like that? Thanks!
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:32 PM   #5
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I canister will have an input hose that goes into the tank and an outflow that comes back up to a nozzle in your tank. Two separate hoses.

CUC= clean up crew snails, hermits stuff like that
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:35 PM   #6
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ahhhh thanks carey. I will pick some more guys up. Can you recommend something that will actually get the debris off my sand? I have 2 hermit crabs that came with the rocks but yeah they hang out on the rocks.

The canister doesnt sound too bad :0 so its basically I beefed up vacuum hose? Do you just stick the hose to the side of the tank somewhere and leave it alone?
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:49 PM   #7
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Here's some pictures of my fluval canister I have running on my 55g SW.


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Old 06-17-2011, 03:50 PM   #8
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Oh and you wouldnt keep the input and output so close together, I was just cleaning the back glass and left it like that LOL
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:01 PM   #9
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hmmm icic canister filter definitely sounds interesting. It seems like it has the power to actually suck something into it unlike my current one, I see debris float right by it. Thanks Carey I think I might be interested in it. As for the CUC can I just get some hermit crabs and slugs and be good? I want something that will physically eat the little specks of food off the floor
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:04 PM   #10
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Hermits and some snails will eat the leftover food. Its best not to have too much though

canister filters in saltwater need to be religiously maintained though. I mean every week if necessary. They can harbor nitrates really bad. I spend a good portion of my day every day maintaining all my tanks and the canister one was extra work at the time.

What type and brand of filter do you have?
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Old 06-17-2011, 04:58 PM   #11
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its a crummy jebo one that came with the 40 gallon tank I bought ): , besides that though I have a used reef octopus skimmer and 2 powerheads inside. The filter that is my main tool against physical debris is not pulling its weight though.
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Old 06-17-2011, 05:01 PM   #12
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I am also trying to get my nitrates down in my main tank because I really want to get some fire shrimp and cleaner shrimp but they stubbornly hang around 20 ppm. I have done multiple water changes along with swished my filter media in old tank water to hopefully bring it down but I am all out of ideas. Are there any suggestions you could offer that is causing my nitrates? (or something that can get rid of them ^^)
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:45 PM   #13
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How large are your water changes? How often do you do them? Are you an overfeeder? lol
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:57 PM   #14
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noo ): and I've been doing about 15 gallon water changes, just because I do not have enough jugs but I guess I should do like a 30 gallon change? (40 gallon tank) :T I did one before and it took me down to 40 ppm and from there I am at my current situation. I have been doing water changes so far nearly every 2-3 days to a certain extent but my tank is still fairly new so I have not established a routine yet, all of my water changes have been sporadic. and nu ): i don't overfeed I think. The lfs guy said to feed him once a day of frozen brine shrimp (1/4th of each little cube because he said 1 feeds four fish) and thats what I've been doing.

Sorry for long post but I guess overall just do a 75% water change and I should be okay?
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:28 PM   #15
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I would do a large pwc, say 20g one day and do another one about the same the next day.

have you tested your water that you use for nitrates? It's odd to do so many changes and not see a significant drop.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:52 PM   #16
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I know I have tested for ammonia and ph and such for sure. Im pretttyyy sure I tested for nitrates but am amused I cannot remember exactly. Will definitely do when I get home, and raise **** ACCORDINGLY DEPENDING ON RESULTS
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Old 06-18-2011, 03:58 AM   #17
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its at 0 nitrates :P , I will test the alkaline water filter at home to see if I can use it and hopefully do the two 50% water changes over the weekend
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