Is a consistently clean sand bed an attainable goal?

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by revhtree, Jun 11, 2018.

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  1. Yes and it's not that hard

    190 vote(s)
    36.2%
  2. Yes but it takes a lot of work

    164 vote(s)
    31.2%
  3. No it's not possible

    48 vote(s)
    9.1%
  4. No it's too much work

    43 vote(s)
    8.2%
  5. Yes, but it may not be healthy for your tank

    80 vote(s)
    15.2%
  1. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Cyber Monday Sponsor

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    fulltankshotlarge.jpg

    We've all seen those magnificent reef tanks with the beautiful bright white sand that just makes the aquascape and coral pop! But attaining and keeping that beautiful look seems like an almost unattainable goal. Something to remember is that before these full tank photo shoots the owners are probably cleaning the sand to make for a better photo. One of our members even has his own "white sand method."

    I don't know about you but I want it! I want white sand! But to what end?

    It's a lot of work right?
    You can get your tank chemistry out of whack messing around with the sand too much right?
    You need a good "live crew" to help right?
    You need the proper tools right?

    Is a consistently clean sand bed an attainable goal?

    2016-05-30 16.44.48.jpg
     
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  2. Mikedawg

    Mikedawg Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Yep, keep your turkey baster handy!
     
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  3. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor North Alabama Reef Club

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    I'm going with option 5.

    5) Yes, but it may not be healthy for your tank.

    I want my sand to look nice but I don't want it too "clean". Lots of stuff lives in that sand that can't survive if the sand is too clean. I constantly see amphipods digging down into the sand which I consider part of my CuC and a healthy treat for my fish. When I do clean my sand bed it takes a few days for the amphipod population to recover. I'll take biodiversity over shiny white.

    Edit: This is what my latest FTS looked like. Had been around 3 weeks since the sand was cleaned.
     
  4. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Cyber Monday Sponsor

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    Added that option to the poll!
     
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  5. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Cyber Monday Sponsor

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    Please explain.
     
  6. Vivid Creative Aquatics

    Vivid Creative Aquatics Upgrade Your Flow! R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Partner Member 2019 Toys For Kids Sponsor

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    Good flow combined with low but balanced No3/PO4 and proper Cal/Alk/Mag levels has always worked for me. Once you get it dialed in, the sand bed almost seems take care of itself :)
     
  7. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Cyber Monday Sponsor

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    So no manual cleaning? Photos of your past tanks? :D
     
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  8. Potatohead

    Potatohead Well-Known Member

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    I added a diamond goby about six weeks ago. Had maybe 1/5 of the sand in total with some cyano on it. Tank was a snowglobe for about four or five days, but my sand is pristine now. The tank looks completely different, and it's free coral food from the fish at the same time.
     
  9. Jimbo662

    Jimbo662 Valuable Member Partner Member 2019

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    I think this is what's working for me too. Got my MP40s going on reef crest most of the day and running chaeto in the fuge and dosing two part. Never had any issues with the sand.
     
  10. Waters

    Waters "...in perfect isolation, here behind my wall." R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I am able to keep it clean if I keep it shallow, and stir it daily....which I do for the most part.
     
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  11. wowkingjames

    wowkingjames Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info....:rolleyes:
     
  12. ca1ore

    ca1ore Valuable Member R2R Supporter CTARS Member R2R Excellence Award R2R TV Featured Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    I guess it depends on what you mean. If that brand spanking new sand look, then you're going to be disappointed. If free of surface detritus and pest algae, then quite easy to accomplish. I don't frankly worry about detritus buildup in the sand bed, preferring an array of natural organisms to keep it under control. High flow prevents accumulation on the surface. Oh, and my chevron is constantly scraping the sand and rocks. So I voted yes/easy .....
     
  13. Swoody

    Swoody Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    I'm trying...and a few weeks ago added a couple Conchs to the mix. Man are they cool to watch and they mow through it, so I am hoping that having them around and good water flow helps me to attain at the very least, something that I am not ashamed to show pics of!! Some of the pics I see on here of others tanks, and the pristine bottoms make me think...what the heck am I doing wrong!!!
     
  14. LobsterOfJustice

    LobsterOfJustice Well-Known Member

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    Diamond goby.

    /thread
     
  15. Mikedawg

    Mikedawg Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I use a turkey baster to stir up my sand periodically and suspend diatoms, detritus, cyano, etc. in the water column; free coral food and filters remove the rest of it keeping tank and sand cleaner. Not sterile; just clean.
     
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  16. Vivid Creative Aquatics

    Vivid Creative Aquatics Upgrade Your Flow! R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Partner Member 2019 Toys For Kids Sponsor

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    I had a 50 gallon and my current 125 that i follow this regiment with. I rarely if ever "clean" the sand bed. I do however usually keep a few conchs and the usual hermits and snails. I also do very little water change - maybe 8 gallons a month on the 125.

    This is the 50 gallon from about 6 yeas ago. I even used water from the local water shop (non DI) for top off, ran this tank for about 2-3 years. Sand bed always stayed clean and bright as long as i had everything in balance.
    WP_20130319_001-540x450.jpg

    This is an older photo & Video of the 125 from about a year ago - this tank has been up an running around 6 yeas. however it took almost 2 years to get the tank dialed in and near autopilot
    18238204_10212426426559761_5131089817283214433_o.jpg



    and a closeup of the sand bed from just a few days ago. Please excuse the dirty glass, LOL. It's hard to find enough time in the day to keep it clean enough for closeup shot :p

    20180610_082123.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
  17. madweazl

    madweazl Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Like a couple other members posted, a diamond goby is all you need provided you don't have other issues in the tank like diatoms or cyano.
     
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  18. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor North Alabama Reef Club

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    +1 on the conchs. I feel they do a fantastic job on the sand bed and are an almost must have for larger systems!
     
  19. kswan

    kswan Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    My diamond goby takes care of about 2/3 of my Reefer 425 (90 gallon) and keeps it really clean. He doesn't venture to the far side so I still need to stir/siphon that part periodically.
     
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  20. ca1ore

    ca1ore Valuable Member R2R Supporter CTARS Member R2R Excellence Award R2R TV Featured Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    My diamond goby is ....... completely useless!
     
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