When is the last time you vacuumed your sand bed? Does it matter?

BRS

When is the last time you vacuumed your sand bed?

  • A week ago

    Votes: 220 28.5%
  • A few weeks ago

    Votes: 149 19.3%
  • A few months ago

    Votes: 67 8.7%
  • It's been 6 months or more

    Votes: 51 6.6%
  • It's been over a year

    Votes: 26 3.4%
  • It's been several years

    Votes: 24 3.1%
  • I've never vacuumed the sand

    Votes: 187 24.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 47 6.1%

  • Total voters
    771

LRT

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Last time I vacuumed my sand bed was about 6 months ago now. Went straight in garbage can. Decided to go bare bottom.
@brandon429 pods will go wherever they want lol. Rock, discs base of corals, plants, algae. I have pods the size large mysis/krill no shortage here. More of a nuisance on my fishless tables than anything.
 

tritonpower

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Folks, what are you using to vacuum your sandbed?
I vacuum 1/2 of the sand I can get to with each water change (which is every 2 weeks). I use a python attached to the bathroom sink. It is key since you can vary the python flow to allow for detritus to vacuum but not too much flow such that the sand is sucked into the tube. Works great. My sand sifting star fish and conches get the sand I cannot reach.
 

Shooter6

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Every water change. 25g on my 180 display.

Tearing it down and transferring everything to a 400g bare bottom.

Even with monthly vacuuming, the amount of crap that i pulled out from under rocks ect makes me doubt ill do sand again.
 

Lasse

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Even with monthly vacuuming, the amount of crap that i pulled out from under rocks ect makes me doubt ill do sand again.
In bare bottom - the organic waste will be there with low bacterial mineralization. it will be a problem. the same amount of organic waste in a sandbed - it will rather fast be mineralized by bacteria (that use the sand as substrate) and get inorganic - no problem. Going bare-bottom - ju must take away the organic waste - in a sandbed - bacteria fix that problem for you - IMO.

Sincerely Lasse
 

capted

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I never vacuum. These guys do it for me. Too much actually. My current tank is a 125 and about 18 years old. The sand is from an older tank I had which means (believe it or not) about 25 years old. Here's the catch. I battled cyano for years and would just skim the sand with a net to clean it. Won't start a whole page on the cause but I think it had alot to do with my carbon dosing. So I got the 2 gobies to "help". Oh they did!!! I had a sandstorm in the tank everyday for months. Still do but not as much fine cloudiness storms. They covered everything. Even my powerheads were "dusted". Some sand was 3 inches deep and they dug it out also. Now for the added bonus. My nitrates spiked like I have never seen!! So yeah, they did the job but destroyed my de-nitrifying sand bed... so that's my answer, nope I don't vacuum my sand bed. Ha!!
 

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Bfragale

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In new tanks i wait 6mo at least before I start vacuuming. When I do: I don’t do everything at once. Maybe 1/3 of accessible sand each water change for three in a row. Then wait 2-3 months and do it again. (Except my softie tank with deep sand- I don’t vacuum at all)
I have not found anything bad about vacuuming or not vacuuming. But this is just my experience.
 

LegendaryCG

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In bare bottom - the organic waste will be there with low bacterial mineralization. it will be a problem. the same amount of organic waste in a sandbed - it will rather fast be mineralized by bacteria (that use the sand as substrate) and get inorganic - no problem. Going bare-bottom - ju must take away the organic waste - in a sandbed - bacteria fix that problem for you - IMO.

Sincerely Lasse
Agree. Barebottom means *YOU* are the primary organism that must rid the tank of waste. If that works for you great!! But if you’re a bit lazier you may want to reconsider that approach.
 

capted

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I have 17 reef tanks and whatever I can vacuum is what I do twice a month. I’ve been doing it this way for almost 30 years. It’s what works for me so I wouldn’t change a thing.
Holy you know what!!! 17 tanks? The most I had was 7 tanks one 230 gal also. Had to cut back cause my electric bill was just too crazy. Wow!!!!
 

Jon F

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I stir it the day before a water change (15% a week on a 10g nano). I also have 3 nassarius (sp?) snail who stir it up. Looks pretty good.

oh yes, and a tiger pistol, that’s a proper earthmover.
 

Pete Witteried

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Folks, what are you using to vacuum your sandbed?
Just use a gravel cleaner when you siphon for a water change. If you do auto water changes or need to do a deeper cleaning, then just run the syphon tube to a filter sock in your sump and leave your return pump going as you clean the sand with gravel cleaner.
 

Treefer32

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A core part of my cleaning of my sand bed has been 4 accidental creatures. Since adding these, I've not had anything ugly in my sand bed.....

#1 and the most powerful by far- My 6-8 inch Dragon Wrasse. He shovels and moves more sand and rocks than I've ever seen from anything else in an aquarium. He digs and digs and digs all day with his mouth and tail... I've seen him bite pieces of the egg crate on the bottom trying to get what's under it... So, he keeps my sand bed, stirred, mixed, and I've probably removed 20 lbs of sand with filter socks and mechanical filters in the last 3 years...

#2 and #3. I have a goby and 2 pistol shrimp pair. I haven't seen them in 6 months, but based on new piles of sand that keep forming all over. I suspect the pistol shrimp are creating the piles. I'll level it off and 24 hours later I'll have a new hill of sand... Once in a while I say my giant blue tang laying on his side, and I look where he's looking and there my goby is under the rocks peaking out... My Caribbean blue tang hates it that he can't get to this creature that lives inside HIS tank!

#4 1 lonely Conch. . . but it's not just a lonely conch with an impossible task of vaccuming 6 foot by 3 foot bed of sand... It's the powerful Dragon Wrasse Conch combo!!! The Dragon Wrasse carries the Conch around the tank wherever he thinks the sand needs further cleaning... (Or just gets mad and drops him random places.. I like to think there's a method to his madness). By moving the conch further than it could move on its own in 1 minute throughout the day. . It covers a lot of area. I'm kinda surprised the conch is still alive, but every night after the lights are out I see it's little vaccum shaped head out suck up crap...


I have some nessarus snails, I'm not sure how much they do. I find them once in a while in the sand, but, not sure how much they clean the sand vs. just eat food...

#1-3 keep my sand bed relocated daily!
 

LPS Bum

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I stir the top inch (or so) of my sand bed every week, right before my water change, but not below that. Seems to work pretty well for me.
 

CK Amstutz

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IMO - the worst t hing to do with a sandbed is to vacuum it. Let it be - let animals doing the stirring.

And my tank is 5 years old - never, ever been vacuumed - not the sand bed, not behind the rocks, not the refugium and surly not the sump. If I stirr it - it will be foggy in the aquarium - but its mostly inorganic stuff that comes up.

Sincerely Lasse
So if I quit vacuuming every two weeks, the brown stuff will go ahead and cycle and quit? That is only reason I vacuum. I have had my tank up three years. 140 gallons.
 
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