Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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aunt kymmie 07-28-2008 01:38 PM

Stirring of sand....
How often should the sand be *stirred* in a 100 gal tank, which is receiving a partial water change of 20% weekly? Every time you do the water change, when the filtration is turned off? Is once a week enough for sand stirring?

Right now the only tank inhabitant is one pictus cat (driftwood-no plants yet) but that will all be changing very soon....

Tyyrlym 07-28-2008 01:53 PM

I've got a 55 gallon with sand. I do a weekly 20% water change and stir the sand once I'm done vacuuming. I do it with the filter on. My sand's rinsed enough that nothing gets stirred up too bad.

1077 07-28-2008 02:03 PM

I do the same only I turn the filter off while vaccuming. only takes a few minutes and that way no sand gets in the filter media or filter motor.

iamntbatman 07-28-2008 03:55 PM

It also depends on what else you've got stirring the sand for you. My 29gal with sand has tons of Malaysian trumpet snails. When the food goes in the tank and the lights go off, a half hour later there are snails crawling all over my sand. So, I don't really manually stir my sand. I'm not sure how much your pictus really stirs it up while rooting through it, but a lot of bottom feeders will help with the job so eventually, depending on what other fish you add, you might have to stir it up a lot less.

okiemavis 07-28-2008 04:24 PM

I do gravel vacs occasionally, but not as often as I probably should. I have tons of MTS and Tarebia granifera doing most of my work for me :D

aunt kymmie 07-28-2008 04:42 PM

Thanks for the info...exactly what I needed to know.
Any vacs better than others for hovering over the sand during clean up time?? I have sucks up way too fast, the other too slow. It's odd as they both have the same size length and diameter of tubing, they just have different shaped *heads*. One is a circular head, the other a large oval. The circular sucks like crazy and the oval not so much. Any thoughts?

aunt kymmie 07-28-2008 04:46 PM

My pictus does not too much in the way of anything as far as moving the sand around. He's constantly hovering above it but that's about it. I'm going to be adding two groups of loaches soon so I assume they will do a much better job than the pictus is doing as far as stirring up the sand. Would adding a few MTS benefit or will the loaches do the job for me?

iamntbatman 07-28-2008 08:37 PM

It might depend on the loach, but I think most loach varieties would do a pretty good job of keeping your sand stirred. They might also eat your MTS, but the snails might also reproduce faster than the loaches can eat them.

okiemavis 07-28-2008 09:16 PM

The MTS also do a pretty good job of staying buried. So either they would survive, or the loaches would be digging down pretty deep to get them, which would be just as effective :D

1077 07-29-2008 11:41 AM

In regards to gravel vaccum. I just hover a little higher from the bottom than I would with gravel. That's what I like about the sand, all the detrius ,fish poo, etc. Is on the surface rather than down in the gravel. It doesn't take much to suck it up! :D

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