Originally Posted by lucy.b.
Hi, I'm new to fish keeping and learning so much, reading this post and finding interesting, I was told I needed to stir so filter can get the fish waste, and if I didn't then I would have problems, confused now :-/
First of all, for SW
, there are different options for substrate, but sand is the most choice.
However, it is still a good idea to siphon up any fish waste during water changes, however stirring isn't the best idea unless you plan to do it constantly (which there isn't much reason to do.) You can add sand sifting starfish and crabs, as mentioned above, to aerate and sift the upper layer of the sand, but this isn't necessary.
In a reef tank, fish usually aren't the focus of the tank (or else it wouldn't be a reef.) Naturally, from the fish that there are, some waste will become trapped in the sand, which really isn't a bad thing if you don't release it by not stirring the sand bed. The toxic gases and anaerobic bacteria that build up from the fish waste can't hurt anything where it is, so it's best to leave it be.
Hopes this helps!