Good or bad experience using sand vacuum cleaners between water changes?

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mistergray

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I have a good siphon which is great for cleaning the sand during water changes but I need something for in-between water changes that won’t take the water out of the tank. Has anyone had a good experience using one of those gravel vacuum cleaners on sand or do they all suck? Is there something else better that can only clean the sand and not remove water that you would recommend for cleaning the top of the sand?
 

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I have a good siphon which is great for cleaning the sand during water changes but I need something for in-between water changes that won’t take the water out of the tank. Has anyone had a good experience using one of those gravel vacuum cleaners on sand or do they all suck? Is there something else better that can only clean the sand and not remove water that you would recommend for cleaning the top of the sand?

I would just stir the sand in between changes, putting the water back would also be putting a lot of the detritus back too.
 
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Jekyl

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I have a good siphon which is great for cleaning the sand during water changes but I need something for in-between water changes that won’t take the water out of the tank. Has anyone had a good experience using one of those gravel vacuum cleaners on sand or do they all suck? Is there something else better that can only clean the sand and not remove water that you would recommend for cleaning the top of the sand?
Siphon into a filter sock
 
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Reef.

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Will stirring it kick up the “stuff” in the sand and then it will resettle?

keep the powerheads on, once in the water column your Floss will get the bigger bits and your skimmer if you have one the smaller bits, if you vacuum regularly, there shouldn't be that much in the sand.

Rocks can hold a lot, so worth giving those a good turkey basing.
 
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Reef.

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I haven’t used a filter sock before. Not sure if one is made to fit in the back chamber of my biocube but I’ll look into it.

the idea was to put a sock in your sump (you don't have one) and put the hose in the sock so the water goes straight back into the tank after you use your siphon, the sock will filter out the detritus as you siphon the water, this doesn't really work with an all in one tank...if you don't use floss add that, I wouldn't bother with a sock, especially in an aio tank.
 
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the idea was to put a sock in your sump (you don't have one) and put the hose in the sock so the water goes straight back into the tank after you use your siphon, the sock will filter out the detritus as you siphon the water, this doesn't really work with an all in one tank...if you don't use floss add that, I wouldn't bother with a sock, especially in an aio tank.
Got it! That sounds like a more ideal solution for my AIO setup. I do have a filter floss at the top of my InTank media basket.
 
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Reef.

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Got it! That sounds like a more ideal solution for my AIO setup. I do have a filter floss at the top of my InTank media basket.
Mine is the same, floss on top, change every 2 days, I also vacuum and in between vacuuming I squirt the sand bed with a turkey baster, gets the stuff in the water column.
 
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Mine is the same, floss on top, change every 2 days, I also vacuum and in between vacuuming I squirt the sand bed with a turkey baster, gets the stuff in the water column.
This may be due to my lack of knowledge, but I started wondering if it’s actually possible you vacuum my sand into the filter floss in the back without the back chamber actually being low enough for the water to run down the siphon hose. Thoughts?

Glad to know I’m not crazy, I thought replacing my filter floss every 2-3 days was showing I had a problem in my tank. Guess it’s normal.

I’ll start turkey basting tomorrow. Lol! I recently took out my coralife skimmer and I swear the sand is getting browner faster now. I may put it back in tomorrow. I just didn’t feel like it was that great and I’m glad to know longer here the noise it makes. Boy oh boy I’m trying to figure this thing out over here. Lol! I’m learning, slowly but surely.
 
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Reef.

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This may be due to my lack of knowledge, but I started wondering if it’s actually possible you vacuum my sand into the filter floss in the back without the back chamber actually being low enough for the water to run down the siphon hose. Thoughts?

Glad to know I’m not crazy, I thought replacing my filter floss every 2-3 days was showing I had a problem in my tank. Guess it’s normal.

I’ll start turkey basting tomorrow. Lol! I recently took out my coralife skimmer and I swear the sand is getting browner faster now. I may put it back in tomorrow. I just didn’t feel like it was that great and I’m glad to know longer here the noise it makes. Boy oh boy I’m trying to figure this thing out over here. Lol! I’m learning, slowly but surely.

no need to vacuum into the chambers, just vacuum when you do a water change, we have small tanks, we don't need to do a lot of things big tanks do get get clean water we just change the water, big tanks have a lot of equipment so they don't need to do expensive water changes, we can, it's easy and cheap for us.

No need for the skimmer, the brown is not because you are not cleaning your sand it's probably because it's a young tank, it will clear up, just do you normal clearing routine.

It's good to change the floss frequently as then the food/waste doesn't have time to break down into nitrates etc, and dirty floss slows the flow so if you have an ato it will add more rodi than needed so will lower your salinity.

Doing these things should get you clean sand.
 
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