Cleaning the sand bed during water changes?

BRS

RalphM007

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Sometimes I must wonder if we all are being fooled in regards to the water change issue.

When I see tanks like above that have never seen a water change in 4.5 years....I think....OMG.....am I working to hard.....Am I just throwing money out on salt......this issue mystifies me...

What a beautiful tank......you sure got that dialed in...WOW.
In addition to this topic of one not to disturbing the sand bed; I've continuously read that two triggers in this tank are not reef friendly and even more so that a clown trigger cannot be kept with other triggers.

@ HB AL, How you're doing this?
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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the large thread about preventative stick stirring is just like that. they start clean and maintain it.

this is totally opposite of someone showing up with a darkened aged sandbed requesting a home move or a sandbed swap, we would not start by blowing the locked in waste all around...context matters so much in designing safe jobs in my opinion. but as soon as that aged tank is converted into cleaned and moved, at the new home they can begin powerhead stirring/stick stirring etc

Ive noticed sandbed threads always devolve into detritus haters vs detritus-neutral harm team lol and its not that way, its about presentation of the waste. where it existed before we keeled it all around the tank.
 

HB AL

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Hello, beautiful tank first of all, but my question is about the trigger fish, which ones do you have that is reef safe? I kept only aggressive fish tank for 10 years and now trying my luck at coral, loved my trigger fish before, I thought about niger trigger but don't want them to eat coral? How are you keeping them with coral?
I have a Clown, Assasi, Blueline, Pinktail and Niger trigger. The triggers dont eat any types of corals in my tank. My hermits have become nocturnal so they won't get eaten by the triggers.
 

robert teseo

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if i try to change from the display tank, i only would get a fraction of the dirt in suspension, once it goes into the sump, and thru the filter mat, i get a lot more of the dirt out.
 

David Gaskins

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I try and vaccuum sand regularly during water changes, but only small locations at a time. I also turn off any power heads so that any lifted detritus that escapes from siphon doesn’t get dispersed into water column. I have in past documented some issues with STN/RTN on various SPS including Acros and montis in path of detritus. Not large events, but tissue slothing off of plating Monti only in area wheee detritus had settled. Ruled out new water and Alk burn as I keep a constant Alk at 8.5 n both for new and existing tank water.

sincerely,

david
 
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Barnabie Mejia

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I vacuum my sand into a filter sock in the sump every week, its like as you would do it but without changing the water, and I have been doing this since start up. keeps the sand clean. if you were to start doing this now and keep the schedule, it will get to the point of clean sand, it just takes time. if you have let you sand go, its going to take twice as long to correct it.
I have also done the power head to the rocks and sand before, but I also employ an air stone to my return pump to scrub the tank. I will start the bubbles for about 10 min before I blow the rocks and sand off and then let the bubbles carry it to the overflow and into the filter sock. you would be surprised how much ends up there!
clean sand looks better and you don't ever have to worry about crashing your tank if the sand is disrupted.
 

Lost in the Sauce

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Thanks for asking! I have a theory that sand only builds up so much detritus, so I will do my normal sand vacuum procedure at low pressure after six months without vacuuming, and I will take a clear video of the sand, detritus, etc.. and compare it to a video I took a couple months ago. It is to my belief that the videos will be identical, showing that at a naked eye level the amount of crap in the sand bed will be the same when you vacuum the sand once every other week vs when you vacuum the sand every six months. I know this goes against common knowledge but I’ve never seen anyone actually “bust” or prove this.
I know it’s not a good experiment cause I have sand dwelling creatures, but I’m doing it anyway.
Would a tds meter not give you better data than observing fast moving particulate through a clear hose?
 

Magnus042

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Thanks for asking! I have a theory that sand only builds up so much detritus, so I will do my normal sand vacuum procedure at low pressure after six months without vacuuming, and I will take a clear video of the sand, detritus, etc.. and compare it to a video I took a couple months ago. It is to my belief that the videos will be identical, showing that at a naked eye level the amount of crap in the sand bed will be the same when you vacuum the sand once every other week vs when you vacuum the sand every six months. I know this goes against common knowledge but I’ve never seen anyone actually “bust” or prove this.
I know it’s not a good experiment cause I have sand dwelling creatures, but I’m doing it anyway.
There's a difference, trust me. I've been reefing for 20+ years. I got my start working LFS retail and went into aquarium maintenance almost full time from there for a decade.

I would get calls for new customers that hadnt had a waterchange in months or years, and the gunk i would siphon out was thick, coffee colored sludge. The smell isnt something you easily forget either.
Also, tanks with an undisturbed bed that was more than an inch thick would accumulate pockets of gas that smelled exactly like sulfur.

Long story short, siphon your sand bed at every water change. It's better for the tank and less chance of unleashing whatever the hell is hiding in there.
 

EvanDeVita

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There's a difference, trust me. I've been reefing for 20+ years. I got my start working LFS retail and went into aquarium maintenance almost full time from there for a decade.

I would get calls for new customers that hadnt had a waterchange in months or years, and the gunk i would siphon out was thick, coffee colored sludge. The smell isnt something you easily forget either.
Also, tanks with an undisturbed bed that was more than an inch thick would accumulate pockets of gas that smelled exactly like sulfur.

Long story short, siphon your sand bed at every water change. It's better for the tank and less chance of unleashing whatever the hell is hiding in there.
Roger that!
 

khushtram

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I haven't done a water change in over 4.5 years and have not cleaned my sand bed. My triggers do stir it up some looking for worms to snack on. I dont have much sand that is accessible, just in the very front of the tank as you can see in the pic so "cleaning" it isn't really an option for my reef tank and it doesn't seem to matter at all.
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my first question coming into the hobby 8 years ago was how do I clean the sand? a Lfs worker told me " who cleans the sand in the ocean?" . so I second hb al on this one, I only let my fish and invert sift the sand
It's not meant to be cleaned and stirred by us at all just let it be. knock on wood but I've never had a tank crash till this day. plus after a few years of settling in and maturing my tank doesnt need much water change at all. I go months without a wc. ... just my 2 €
 

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Zoanthids

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Nice matured tank there, the sand area looks nice and clean and the system is algae free with strong corals too
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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No honestly not

a huge c jardenai coral, hard to keep

spots of coralline and calcification on the walls, miss those days this looks pre led

so many corals we can’t see live rock

no black or brown patches of aging or waste accumulation
None are frags, they’re grown
it’s a legit clean good reef.
 

Harold999

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my first question coming into the hobby 8 years ago was how do I clean the sand? a Lfs worker told me " who cleans the sand in the ocean?" . so I second hb al on this one, I only let my fish and invert sift the sand
It's different though. Detritus in the ocean washes away from the shallower reefs to the much deeper parts where it's been taken care of. There are no glass boundaries like in our tanks.
 
Maxout

Barnabie Mejia

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It's different though. Detritus in the ocean washes away from the shallower reefs to the much deeper parts where it's been taken care of. There are no glass boundaries like in our tanks.

I agree.

Just cleaned my sand again last night as part of my weekend wind-down maintenance, and its still very clean. I do have some spots under my zoa garden rock that gets really nasty over the week, but I honestly think its from the Tangs thinking its a community toilet down there. Luckily I can just pick the rock up and move it, then vacuum.
having the clean sand to me is peace of mind and a great view. and regular sand cleaning helps me know where I might have low flow spots in the tank.
 
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