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If you don't do this will it CRASH your tank?

If you don't keep your sand bed clean it will cause your tank to crash.

  • True

    Votes: 98 12.3%
  • False

    Votes: 492 61.9%
  • Other (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 32 4.0%
  • Not Sure

    Votes: 173 21.8%

  • Total voters
    795

revhtree

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Member @Shooter6 is our inspiration for the QOTD with his question about sand beds and keeping them vacuumed!

Many reefers have sand in their reef tank. Some would be considered "deep" sand beds while others just sand beds. But could what we do or don't do have a direct effect on the longevity or our reef tank when it comes to the sand bed and more specifically keeping it clean? How do you keep a sand bed clean? Vacuum it, replace it, add critters that will help keep it clean etc. So let me ask you this.

Do you think that NOT keeping your sand bed clean will eventually result in a complete tank crash at some point? Why or why not?


Beautiful reef photo via @JohnnyTabasco
IGP78.jpg
 
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Njbjr

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True story shortly after I took my picture for my profile one of those powerheads were dislodged and stirred up my deep sand-bed. Killed most of my fish that night couldn’t have know till I woke up to most my sand was blown to one side. My corals slowly started to die also but got most of them out in time. Deep sand bed is dangerous in my opinion cause the idea is to not mess with it.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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One of the simplest ways to view deep sandbeds or shallow sandbeds allowed to store waste is that they invite variance

What worked for most of the reef authors in the 90s has faded out due to invasion challenges and working opposite of claims over time

That's not to say people don't have fantastic systems with hands off beds, they do, but if you're dealing in any way with multiple aquariums at one time in any way you'll see the clean ones stand out in consistency vs the non cleaned ones

During power outages, you want the clean condition tank for sure
 
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Kellie in CA

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My sand bed is just a couple of inches. I stir it daily because I can't stand to see any nasties up against the glass, or on top. I probably should stop messing with it so much, but it stays pretty clean. I also have a decent clean-up crew.

I would be nervous to have a sand bed full of gunk... I do think that could cause a major issue sooner or later.
 

fermentedhiker

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I have a fairly deep sand bed in my current tank, not because I was trying to create a DSB for nutrient control. It was because I originally intended on having an LTA. It's not a fair comparison for the question though because my Barrier reef clownfish moves all of the sand in the tank practically daily :(
 

albano

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The ~1-2” sandbed in my 2 DTs is ~20yrs old, been thru a few upgrades when it was rinsed before adding to new tanks. But I’ve always had a few Caribbean Sea cucumbers in each tank and never worried about me having to clean the sand
 

ca1ore

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I haven’t vacuumed the sand bed in my tank in 7 years .... sounds incredibly tedious. When I setup the current incarnation of my reef tank, I put 3-4 inches of sand in the bottom (some from the prior tank, some new). Mostly the sand is not where I originally put it - in fact I suspect gnomes because much of it is missing. Sand sleeping wrasses are always turning it over, cukes, nassarius snails and a quartet of MP60s help a lot as well. When the wrasses dive in late evening there’s an initial cloud of sand particles but very little dust or observable detritus.

Will an undisturbed DSB eventually crash the tank. Maybe, though I tend to think it’ll take a while.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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I think it was hemmdog not sure/ but he was able to demonstrate on video how effective sand-turning fish are...his drop test (reach in grab sand/drop/cloud inspection) looked about as clean as one we'd take apart and clean. They go hand-in-hand with good current/turnover and filter sock catching but he really was able to keep the clean condition without having to be exactly hands on

using worms and pods to turnover the bed/not the same physical turnover as they contribute to whole waste loading...but a fish kicks up his own waste and the waste of others
 

flsalty

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It really depends. If you have a healthy sandbed with lots of critters and you don't massively overfeed, you are good to go. If you are one of those people who kill every beneficial critter in your tank, you are going to need to clean up the sandbed in place of them.

I believe deep sandbeds still work. It's the focus of the new wave of reefers that has changed. Ironically, it is changing back to the pre-reef days where we tried to keep our tanks pristine.
 
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Hemmdog

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I think it was hemmdog not sure/ but he was able to demonstrate on video how effective sand-turning fish are...his drop test (reach in grab sand/drop/cloud inspection) looked about as clean as one we'd take apart and clean. They go hand-in-hand with good current/turnover and filter sock catching but he really was able to keep the clean condition without having to be exactly hands on

using worms and pods to turnover the bed/not the same physical turnover as they contribute to whole waste loading...but a fish kicks up his own waste and the waste of others
Yea that was me. I sadly lost that fish during a long power outage. It also gave me issues with dropping sand on my acans and fungia which made them mad. I now vacuum the sand bed when I do water changes once or twice a quarter. Thanks for the compliments though! That gold head goby was a pro at keeping that sand clean!
 

stevieduk

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i have a deep sand bed of 1970 s coral sand which is much corser and has bits of coral and shells in it, which has been in my present tank for 12 ish years now , it has never been cleaned, hoovered, vacuumed or stirred and the tank is very healthy, what i do have though is lots of very small worms ,like hairs, that live in it, im suer thats what keeps things balanced.
If you run things the natural way the tank builds its own biosphere
 

zbryant91

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I originally put 2" of sand in my tank and it hasn't been even or stagnant since that day. Between the clowns flicking it up and the high flow rate it's always moving and I just end up with a few mountains of sand in various spots. I will probably go bare bottom on the next tank just so I can have high flow without worrying about it.
 
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