To Clean / Sift Sand or Not To...THAT'S My Question :)

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Colorz

Colorz

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I vacuum my sandbed weekly for two reasons.

1. I have a dead spot in my tank that collects waste. Currently just watching my local forums for a nice used MP10 to become available.

2. I have a pistol shrimp that likes to take all the sand surrounding his rock and make one massive pile for him and his YWG buddy to perch on like kings.

So I vacuum the collected detritus and knock down their mountain and redistribute around the rock.
Ha! How long does it take for the 'kings' to rebuild their mountain? I look forward to sharing good stuff like that soon! Thanks for commenting
 
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Colorz

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nice call

we should add a fourth mechanism: animal assisted. be it those fine snails above or a diamond goby for sure some are able to arrange sandbeds that have animals doing the bulk of the work. in my estimates I put the intervention routes as slightly outpacing the others. we're starting to manually mess with sandbeds more now than we ever did in the past.
Thank you!!!
 
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I can't see or access 99% of my sand so "cleaning" it isn't an option even if I wanted to but I've never really "cleaned" the sand in my tanks. My fish specifically the triggers do mix up the sand looking for snacks or digging out sleeping quarters under rocks. On the right bottom front in the pic the sand is piled up high from my clown trigger digging out his large cave under the rocks (pic is a month old or so and sand is piled up higher than in pick). So "cleaning" sand imo from the experience of not really ever doing it in 35+ years is its really not necessary at all or my tanks throughout the years would have always had issues or crashes. I would not worry about it.
20210224_155511.jpg
Pretty sure I just looked at a glimpse of HEAVEN!!!!!! Tank is beyond gorgeous. Thank you for sharing it and your advice
 

BoxKing

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Nassarius Snails are great, and can be alluring to watch then rise up from the depths of the sand when they sense food in the water. I like blue legged hermits for keeping some algae at bay. Another beneficial addition are pods. I seeded my tank with the 5280 combo pack from Algaebarn- they will feed on anything they can get their hands on.. deep in the sand bed, rockwork....

From my experience, buying a cleanup crew from some of these vendors seemed like overkill on my previous setups. I bought the smallest package, and there were far too many than my tank could handle. Luckily I was able to give 80% away to a buddy, otherise my tank would have been littered with them... with not enough food source. Most would have perished, and in turn seeding my tank for unwanted spikes. Hit up Your LFS, and get 2-3 blue hermits, one turbo snail, a few Nassarius, and order pods... “Aim Smalll, Miss Small” - its the standard ideology to add in small increments.
 
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I view sand sifting fish as predators of all the cool creatures in the sand bed so I am negative on them. That is a bias not based on scientific fact though.

For all I know maybe they only remove detritus and are a positive but I really don’t think so ....

I perceive the better approaches for sand beds are either fairly specific sand bed cleaning regularly or not at all. I’m in the latter camp but that is because probably 1/2 to 2/3 of my sand bed is not accessible. Two trends seem to be happening with sand beds 1) either removing entirely or starting without one or 2) regularly cleaning a portion of the sand bed. I really am the odd man out.
 

ReefRusty

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I vacume my sand bed weekly, only have a 2ft x2ft tank so doesn't take me long. Have a dead spot where unwated food is stored but my sand looks nice and crisp.

If I had a bigger tank would take on board the 1/3 method. But for now its easy enough. Only 1 hour for testing, remove water, add water, testing.
 
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Nassarius Snails are great, and can be alluring to watch then rise up from the depths of the sand when they sense food in the water. I like blue legged hermits for keeping some algae at bay. Another beneficial addition are pods. I seeded my tank with the 5280 combo pack from Algaebarn- they will feed on anything they can get their hands on.. deep in the sand bed, rockwork....

From my experience, buying a cleanup crew from some of these vendors seemed like overkill on my previous setups. I bought the smallest package, and there were far too many than my tank could handle. Luckily I was able to give 80% away to a buddy, otherise my tank would have been littered with them... with not enough food source. Most would have perished, and in turn seeding my tank for unwanted spikes. Hit up Your LFS, and get 2-3 blue hermits, one turbo snail, a few Nassarius, and order pods... “Aim Smalll, Miss Small” - its the standard ideology to add in small increments.
Great advice! Thank you :)
 
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I view sand sifting fish as predators of all the cool creatures in the sand bed so I am negative on them. That is a bias not based on scientific fact though.

For all I know maybe they only remove detritus and are a positive but I really don’t think so ....

I perceive the better approaches for sand beds are either fairly specific sand bed cleaning regularly or not at all. I’m in the latter camp but that is because probably 1/2 to 2/3 of my sand bed is not accessible. Two trends seem to be happening with sand beds 1) either removing entirely or starting without one or 2) regularly cleaning a portion of the sand bed. I really am the odd man out.
Trends are definitely different than my last tank 25yrs ago. Thanks for input :)
 
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I vacume my sand bed weekly, only have a 2ft x2ft tank so doesn't take me long. Have a dead spot where unwated food is stored but my sand looks nice and crisp.

If I had a bigger tank would take on board the 1/3 method. But for now its easy enough. Only 1 hour for testing, remove water, add water, testing.
Mine is small too...next will be 75g bow front which I may do different approach depending on my success w this tank :) Thanks for commenting!!
 
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CanuckReefer

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Ha! How long does it take for the 'kings' to rebuild their mountain? I look forward to sharing good stuff like that soon! Thanks for commenting
Welcome back. I stir the sand a bit when I think about it which is not too often. Depth of sand bed may also matter in this case, not sure. Mine is only about an inch and half deepest. I also have a great CUC (including Conch, Sand Sift stars , Brittle Star, Sea Cucumber) they tend to overturn it quite well. Lots of flow too.
Plenty of different angles, all with merit here. In the end go what you feel comfortable with imo.
 
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How important is sand sifting or sand stirring livestock to your reef tank?

  • Very important

    Votes: 299 45.2%
  • Somewhat important

    Votes: 208 31.4%
  • Not important

    Votes: 92 13.9%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 55 8.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 8 1.2%
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