How important is sand sifting or sand stirring livestock to your reef tank?

BRS

How important is sand sifting or sand stirring livestock to your reef tank?

  • Very important

    Votes: 339 45.6%
  • Somewhat important

    Votes: 225 30.3%
  • Not important

    Votes: 103 13.9%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 66 8.9%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 10 1.3%

  • Total voters
    743

Jon F

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Earlier this week we talked about vacuuming the sand bed to keep it nice and clean. We want to keep it clean for many reasons which include the overall health of your reef as well as for it's visual appearance. Another way to accomplish this is by housing sand sifting or sand stirring inverts and fish. Let's talk about it today!

1. How important is housing sand sifting/stirring livestock to the overall health of your reef tank?

2. What are you favorite sand sifting or stirring fish?

3. What are your favorite sand sifting or stirring inverts?

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1. How important is housing sand sifting/stirring livestock to the overall health of your reef tank?

Nassarius snials and pistol shrimp do my work for me mostly

2. What are you favorite sand sifting or stirring fish?

Don't have any, but would love a tank big enough for a few wrasse

3. What are your favorite sand sifting or stirring inverts?

Mine. Nassarius snails and pistol shrimp
 

vlangel

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I have a sand sifter and several sand moves. The sand sifter is in my refugium and it is a fighting conch. The fuge has a DSB in it and the conch sifts the surface of the sand in just the right amount. There are also some nassarius snails in the fuge who move surface sand around.

Nassarius snails reside in the display as well. There is a pistol shrimp who is quite the industrious digger and he keeps the sand churning in certain places.
 

Mikeyr

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I have embraced the the fact that if I want a nice clean sand bed then I have to come to terms with having it uneven. How ever since getting the goby I have had no algae on the sand at all
 

clockman

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My diamond goby used to do a great job sifting all day, but now he seems disinterested and only do it on occasion. Maybe it's too full from the feeding, although I only feed sparingly, once a day... Used to have pristine white sand, but ugly now ;Yuck
 

mattdg

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The gravel is too course in my display tank for sand sifters, but the Urchins and wrasses that bury themselves do a lot to keep coralline algae and detritus from settling on the immobile substrate. I sort of view them as sand sifters so checked off somewhat important. Agree with schuby, similar in scope to the topic the other day.
 

Gort

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If I plan to have any sand sifters, is it a good idea to have the rocks sitting on the bare bottom to prevent rockfalls?
 

Azedenkae

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1. How important is housing sand sifting/stirring livestock to the overall health of your reef tank?

2. What are you favorite sand sifting or stirring fish?

3. What are your favorite sand sifting or stirring inverts?


1. Very. I think constant disturbances ensure resilience and robustness of the reef.
2. None.
3. Snails, specifically nassarius. They do a super good job and looks cool poking their antennae or whatever it is out.
 

Chrille26

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I have a Diamond goby and I would not keep a sandbed without him! Keeps the sand pristine no watter what. I dont mind the ocasional slopes and particles in the water column, the white, clean sand makes up for it. Also a fun fish with lots of character.
 

Arcite

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Dragonsreef

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I would say very important if you dont manually clean your sandbed. Not important at all if you do. So i voted in the middle with somewhat important lol

That being said my favorite sand cleaning fish is actually a flounder. he doesnt filter detritus like a goby but does an excellent job of stirring it up when he buries himself. For cuc i like nassirius snails and conches
IMG_20210508_170335_784.jpg
 

AlgaeBarn

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I love when you are able to find a fish that will clean the entire sand an not just sift in one place making a HUGE mound lol
 

Habibi Brizzy

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A nitrate bomb can destroy a tank. There are aerobic bacteria at the surface and anaerobic bacteria deep in the sand. The deep sand can store nitrates within the substrate and if it is released suddenly then the nitrate level in the tank can spike. Therefore, it has been said that you either constantly disturb it or never disturb it. If you have not stirred your sand for years and then suddenly read about the importance of sifting the sand then you could release a nitrate bomb. Sand mobilizing animals like gobies and snails prevent the build up of nitrates and should be added once they have sufficient food supply for bottom feeders. If you add a bunch of snails and they don't have food then they starve to death. Gobies can feed off of excess food but are sometimes frightened by their larger tank mates. Therefore, it's no simple matter to find the balance.
Well said
 

Jibarra

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I never siphon my sand. I have many inverts that move and clean the sand. Turbo snails, blue leg hermit crabs, horseshoe crab, conches, clams and some gobies. I recently found out about clams, they are cheap and filter the water and move the sand bed. They are not the display clams like maximus or derasa clams which do filter the water somewhat, but they are regular white clams that burrow in the sand.
 

Pistol Peet

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Not sure as these fish kill my corals by spitting sand all over them. Nothing but trouble in my experience. I moved it to my fish only tank and my lion fish ate it only lasted a few days there. THIS WAS NOT DONE INTENTIONALLY I GENUINELY THOUGHT IT WAS TO BIG..... BOY WAS I WRONG!
 

SteveRepp

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I had Nassarius before.... but when they started to reproduce, I ended up with hundreds and HUNDREDS of these little white spots on the glass ... and then ; HUNDREDS of tiny zombie snails emerging from the sand ....
 

Mike from TN

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Diamond Goby here! I love that little guy. Tons of personality and my sand bed looks like fresh snow. Every once in a while I have to go in there with the turkey baster and “move some mountains” but he is worth it. I keep all vulnerable corals up high enough to not get buried.
 
BRS

Have you ever had aquarium equipment damaged by livestock?

  • YES (tell us in the thread)

    Votes: 12 17.9%
  • NO

    Votes: 50 74.6%
  • Maybe now that you mention it

    Votes: 4 6.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 1 1.5%
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