replacing sand

Saltyreef

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@Saltyreef The sand I have is a size 0 so it gets blown all over. Plus I want to get another sand sifter, so it also blows all over the rocks, making them full of detritus. I ordered sand sized 1-2, still good for a sand sifter and won't blow around. Maybe the thing to do is take out some old and put new on top? Though I've read you should not do that.

My 2 goals here are: take at least half rock out to clean and blow out and scrub algae fuzz and have sand that doesn't blow around. That will also help my parameters of no3 and po4. Not many corals left (neglected tank) and fish all healthy. You can see yesterday's build entry for what corals I have left.
Not sure how much less sand drifting youll get. You can try other flow patterns or moving your powerheads to blow in a cryptic area of the tank.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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based on that 36 page thread this is my prediction for that system:

it looks very nice, those growths in live rock and coralline and coverage signifies a nice active food web and there isn't bad algae in the fine details, its a reef aquarium on its peak bell curve regarding health but also max waste stored, you can see the dark pigmentation in the sand. I would not partially work this tank, the first tank in our whole sand rinse thread is a 120 doing the job 5x over just to show what dedication looks like, you'd have the same job.


Your tank has stratifications, waste locked in zones in that bed that are isolated away due to lack of turnover and this is one reason your rocks aren't bearded with algae

break that stratification for 1/3 the tank, likely to send this reef into full on eutrophication which is plant takeover from upwelling of nutrients, the bed has lots of food and waste that are considered risky. if it didnt, the cross section would be pure white.

that being said, people want the sandbed you have, they don't want the laser clean ones. yours has life, is feeding your whole reef in balance, but you have a motivation now to change course and if you select to do that your options are to attempt a customized run, not part of a pattern, or do what two hundreds tanks have done to make it happens safely.

if that was my tank it would be all new sand if that's what you wanted originally, pre rinsed, or it would be your current sand re rinsed in tap water till clear, then ro, then re used with your reef so it is the white clean version with no pigmentation and associated waste.


the rocks would be cleaned off from the minor accumulations on them, to re open pores and exchanges with the water

sand would get the care focus


It will come back, all of it, over time if you deep clean anyway. When I mentioned above you were at the bell curve of a balanced reef that also implies a downside/nonlinear curve coming

the reef is nearing max storage
when an invasion hits due to X reason it will hit hard and if you try and move rocks to access/and accidentally stir up sand you risk a loss event.

your reef looks sharp, but its aging advanced due to the typical bioloading and feeding we all apply, which is making your reef look really great right now but makes partial removal work truly risky.

literally any animals you remove in the sand will come back in time, from holing up in the rocks.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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one other detail


you are going to want to pack that with coral, elkhorns locked all over those rocks.

its reached maturity such that you can begin doing that, your feeding is ideal, those benthic life forms start as juveniles flowing in the water that corals catch and eat


you want to start packing the corals over the clean setup, anticipating some invasion challenges common to reefs.

if you were to start packing more fish and corals in now over the bell curve condition, you risk locking them into place with growth, then the system having invasions due to accumulations that now have to factor big corals into the access method.

you have a chance to reset your tank's age, but keep literally all the good stuff. growing corals over a cleaned system with no accumulations, so you can access for scaping and grooming without consequence, is ideal in every way.

rip cleans are the secret to old age noninvaded reef tanks, its the sole way Paul got to 50 years on his reef, he just uses a big power filter diatom circulation pump to rid the sandbed of all the waste.
 
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Susan Edwards

Susan Edwards

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lots to think about. I'm just not sure I'm up for a total tear down but will consider it. The tank, a few months ago--six months, was covered in hair algae which has since mostly died off. Prob. from not dosing or water changes and dirty rocks. and high n o3 and po4. Literally from tank neglect. That was one reason no new corals. The other is the pandemic lockdowns. No going to fish stores. I plan to start purchasing new corals.
 
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Susan Edwards

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I removed all live rock from sump refugium and put it in the 45 gal until I clean it. As I'm switching out all sand, should the sand here also be changed?? Should I just remove it and put just live rock down there? It looks pretty nasty...
 
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