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 28.6%
  • A few weeks ago

    Votes: 148 19.2%
  • 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
    770

Shooter6

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What is poop if you leave the modern man's psychological fear of his own feces? It is bacteria, bacteria, bacteria, other microorganisms, organic matter not broken down during the hours in the digestive organs and inorganic matter. Nothing else. The organic matter will be broken down further in the sand bed (if you do not disturb it) and the rest will be bacteria, other microorganism and inorganic matter.

Good luck with your experiences with bare bottom and your new aquarium. I hope you will take a Aquabiomics test when the aquarium is one or two years old and compare with other more natural driven aquarium. interesting would be to compare the rate of known pathogen microorganisms in both type of systems

Why do you change to bare bottom? Was it not a good idea to vacuum your sandbed?


No I can´t - but I can deny that it is mostly organic solids

If my system is a septic tank - how can it looks like it does for the moment?

Sincerely Lasse
I definitely will be doing the test first will be on January. As far as how your tank looks now and the poop in your sand, i assume your keeping up on exporting nutrients from your water. Id like to see an equipment list as a picture of the display only shows the end results of the mechanical and biological processes of the equipment.

Im changing to bare bottom just to change the look. Planning to grow chalice such as the jellybean on the floor, along with a lot of sps. Im going to be adding low arches ect out from the current rockwork like spread fingers more towards the front.

I have 4 jeabo mcd10000 on a closed loop along the back wall. Each has its own port. 2 gyres , 2 sow-20m, and 2 slw30m providing flow along with 2 dcp20000 return pumps.

Plans are fir 4 more gyres once things start to grow in.

Ill still be vacuuming any detritus that collects, only now ill be able to see it, and either suck it out or blow it out with a powerhead.

Here is a side pic with 8ft of frags .
 

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Shooter6

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Lasse imagine what must be in my 50 year old gravel ;Vomit

I know my tank is a self regulating eco system where everything is re cycled in the tank itself.
(like those grass shrimp you can buy in a sealed glass globe)

Once or twice a year I stir the gravel in the few places where I can reach and suck out any detritus but I only do that so the gravel doesn't compact and clog my UG filter.

Detritus is mostly amphipod shells, copepod shells, dead bacteria, sea urchin spines, bristle worm bristles, indigestible shells from the numerous mysis I feed, tiny pieces of gravel that constantly get smaller and turn into dust, fish scales etc.

"Everything" else gets re cycled either into the pods, thousands of tube worms, sponges, and algae scrubber. Many of my fish are pod eaters and I have probably millions of pods over decades as I never bought a pod.

My tank depends on all that recycled poop to be self sufficient and I don't have to feed every day as my fish hunt on their own.
Yours is a very unique setup. With the reverse flow undergravel setup correct? I would expect your gravelbed to be very much different then anyone elses sandbed. Can you view the bottom of your tank? Is the void between the glass and plastic ugpanel full of brown detritus like regular flow ug filters were or is it fairly clear of detritus buildup? Ive never seen a stated gph flow your pushing through it so thats always been a question ive had about your system.
 

Paul B

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Shooter I run 150 gph down each of my 3 UG filter tubes in a 6' tank. If I lay under my tank with a flashlight (not very easy) I can see a fine film on the bottom glass. All through that are "paths" made from some creatures that live there. Maybe bristle worms I don't know. But remember I moved my tank here to my new house 3 years ago and when I did of course I had to remove everything from the tank and put it in vats for the move.

Here my Son N Law is lifting the plates for the move. I think that plate was undisturbed there for about 30 years. You can see all the mud which I removed most of for the move as it would have clouded my water. That mud was above the plates under my rock and corals so I couldn't get to it if I wanted. But it was full of life so I figure beneficial.

Even with all that mud, there was still space under the filter for water to flow and even then I could see trails under the filter through the mud from some creatures. There is oxygen always flowing through there so there will always be some life there.

The stuff under the plates is mostly tiny grains of sand that made it through the plates and eroded over the years from the dolomite gravel.
Whatever it was, it didn't hurt anything.

 

AmericanBrit

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What is the best way to vacuum the sand? When I try it takes my sand out and then clogs my cipher.
I use a long (24" long, 1" diameter) cylindrical tube connected to tubing that runs into a smaller sized micron filter (smaller sized than my "regular" filter socks) which is stuffed with poly fill and that sits on top of my regular filter sock. With the return pump still on, I syphon the sand using this tube and adjust the rate of the flow by pinching the tubing allowing the sand to tumble in the tube. I will see a "plume of dirty water" arise from the sand in the tube and gets suctioned up into the filter sock with the poly fiber and cleaned water returns. I can adjust how much gets suctioned out by maneuvering the tube to an angle so that whatever is in the tube tumbles in the tube rater than simply getting suctioned straight up the tube.
 

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nmqtrhrse

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When I vacuum the sandbed, cyano breaks out. Now I just gently stir sections throughout the month. The cuc does the rest.
 

Lasse

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I definitely will be doing the test first will be on January. As far as how your tank looks now and the poop in your sand, i assume your keeping up on exporting nutrients from your water. Id like to see an equipment list as a picture of the display only shows the end results of the mechanical and biological processes of the equipment.

Im changing to bare bottom just to change the look. Planning to grow chalice such as the jellybean on the floor, along with a lot of sps. Im going to be adding low arches ect out from the current rockwork like spread fingers more towards the front.

I have 4 jeabo mcd10000 on a closed loop along the back wall. Each has its own port. 2 gyres , 2 sow-20m, and 2 slw30m providing flow along with 2 dcp20000 return pumps.

Plans are fir 4 more gyres once things start to grow in.

Ill still be vacuuming any detritus that collects, only now ill be able to see it, and either suck it out or blow it out with a powerhead.

Here is a side pic with 8ft of frags .



My system is rather similar with Paul B but at the time I construct it - I haven´t even heard about Paul and his aquarium. I have a reversed DSB but remotely placed (from the DT) - This is the layout dsb is placed in the red ring and on its top - it is my refugium

1620918890583.png

We was discussing the poop in this thread and the resulting inorganic nutrients it can produce. What´s the content of the poo - more than organic waste - some loosely bound inorganic PO4 but very low in organic bound N. Most of the surplus N from the food will be released as NH4 from the gills of your fish 0 - 3 hour after feeding. If I should do a guess - you will - with time going very low in PO4 (need dosing) but rather high in NO3. Your refugium will take care of much of the NO3 but - you are probably needed to dose PO4 in a year or two

Sincerely Lasse
 

Shooter6

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My system is rather similar with Paul B but at the time I construct it - I haven´t even heard about Paul and his aquarium. I have a reversed DSB but remotely placed (from the DT) - This is the layout dsb is placed in the red ring and on its top - it is my refugium

1620918890583.png

We was discussing the poop in this thread and the resulting inorganic nutrients it can produce. What´s the content of the poo - more than organic waste - some loosely bound inorganic PO4 but very low in organic bound N. Most of the surplus N from the food will be released as NH4 from the gills of your fish 0 - 3 hour after feeding. If I should do a guess - you will - with time going very low in PO4 (need dosing) but rather high in NO3. Your refugium will take care of much of the NO3 but - you are probably needed to dose PO4 in a year or two

Sincerely Lasse
Its possible ill need to dose, as corals grow in. I do have 12 medium to large tangs and will have a large fish load as my orders come in.

Like i stated earlier ive done deep sandbeds, ive even done the coiled tube anaerobic filter in the past. This system im going back to no sandbed, lots of rock in both the 400g and a cryptic zone. The 320g will be minimal branch rock. The frag tanks little to no rock. High flow in all, as its 99% sticks.
Heavy in feeding and heavy out,

Being filter pads, refugium and modified asm g6 skimmer.
 

Paul B

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My system is rather similar with Paul B but at the time I construct it - I haven´t even heard about Paul and his aquarium
WHAT!!!. I thought I was a house hold name in Sweden like Swiss Cheese. :rolleyes:
 

drblank1

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1. When is the last time you vacuumed your sand bed?
Never. I have 2 sets of paired yellow gobies and pistol shrimps that have built elaborate tunnel systems under the sand. I would not want to interfere with their mining operations. :D

2. Do you think vacuuming your sand bed will help mitigate issues in the long term progress of your reef?
I think there are benefits both ways. I believe not vacuuming sand provides an excellent/stable biological filtering system. Regular vacuuming is an excellent way of exporting nutrients.
 

Laith

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In my previous smaller tank I would vacuum the sand bed with each water change.

In my current tank it's much more difficult to do that (90cm deep) so I haven't done that since I set up the tank a year and a half ago. And I've got an AWC system that changes 1% of the water every day so there are no hoses involved that I can use to vacuum the sand bed.

For the first several months I would stir the sand bed once or twice a month but I haven't done that either for about a year.

Sand bed looks clean and no issue observed so far...
 

Deyan

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Every week I do my 10% wc and clean my sand.. only thing is I don’t do it all over tank I do - one week the front. The next week the sides and the back I don’t clean... some critters do need something to eat. Plus, too aggressive cleaning sand bed can cause a mini cycle (happen to me once) never again!
 

Saltfishonly

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I've vacuumed my sand bed ZERO times in all my different tanks for 35+ years. Never new it was "a thing" till I started reading on forums about people saying its a must and do it every water change. In my experience, not only do I do zero water changes I've never vacuumed my sand and from my experience in all those decades of not vacuuming my sand beds I can say it really serves no legitimate purpose. But if some people think it does something to keep the tank and its inhabitants alive, then keep on vacuuming.
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I have to agree on this sorry for late reply…I been in the hobby for 3 years now and for the first year we was doing weekly water changes and siphon sand..our levels was constantly off! Not only including our fish was dying always something new with our tank crashing….

once we stopped water changes and left the tank alone every thing was perfectly fine and fish and corals was thriving with the help of cuc only thing I do is top off with water and I only check my salinity levels to judge if I need RODI or saltwater to top off and my tank has been successful
 
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