Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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clint3240 02-09-2009 12:30 AM

sand cleaning
my sand gets coated brown and i have to stir it up all of the time, is there a invert that will clean it? i have a bunch of snails, assorted kinds. pepermint shrimp. banded coral shrimp. brittle star.

Kellsindell 02-09-2009 12:47 AM

Welcome to the forum!

How deep is the sand bed and you should stop stirring it up. Also, how old is the tank, and what are the paramaters?

clint3240 02-09-2009 01:09 AM

the sand bed is about 1.5 inches, i plan on getting more. its live sand. im having problems with my ph not changing, its a little low at about 7.6-8...not sure if its the tester or what, iv been doing water changes and adding buffer....but no changes for a while now....also says my nitrite is .05-.1. no algae growth on anything else, nothing is dieing, i have a red sea kit where you add the chemicals and compare it to a collor chart.

why shouldnt i stir it up? the bed will almost look like some1 painted it brown, i didnt have this problem when i had crushed coral.

i tried to fix this by buying snals and such but they stick to the glass and the live rock in the tank. a lot of them do cross the bed but it does not help

onefish2fish 02-09-2009 01:44 AM

how long has the tank been set up? its possible to be diatoms which will come and go

1.5 is a danger when it comes to sand beds. its right around the mark were it traps nasties. your either going to want shallow sand, deep sand or no sand at all. its actually great you got rid of the crushed coral because that is worse with trapping things.

what buffer are you using to dose? what are your ca, mag and alk levels? what kind of fish are in the tank? what color is the brittle star? what kind of protein skimmer? how big is the tank? what temp.? whats your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, salinity? anything else you can add?

and welcome to the forum.

clint3240 02-09-2009 02:02 AM

its a 40 gallon, iv got a backpack skimmer, about 1000gph totall of jets, penguine bio filter, i actually have 40 more pounds of sand coming in the mail. temp is at 75, like i said above my ph wont change from 7.8 and the nitrite wont change from .05-.1, everything else is 0, i think it may be the tester its red sea marine kit...iv been doing water changes sometimes every other day and test 24 hours later and the readigns do not change, nothing i put in my tank dies except for a few snails and hermit crabs from shipping and what not. the brittle star is grey with black stripes. salinity is 1.022...i am using kent maine tech CB bottle a and is a calcium and buffer controll...tank has been set up for about a year now...2 months of sand

oh yes and my fish, i have 2 clown fish and of course the snails that i got becuase i thought it would clean the sand and the shrip becuase i had a glass anemonie problem

onefish2fish 02-09-2009 02:14 AM

do you know your alk, mag, and ca levels? how much do you dose, how often? what time of day is your pH test performed? if you test your pH before your lights come on that will be your "lowest, low" and if you test before your lights go out, that will be your "highest, high"
what kind of water are you using? there are no fish in the tank? corals? the reason i ask so many questions is because the more info you provide usually the more info can be provided in return.
your going to want to remove the HOB filter as they are nitrate factories and do more harm then good, this is prob. where your nitrate reading is coming from. your also going to want to slowly (over the next couple days) raise that temp to about 78-79 degrees.

skimmer, flow, quality live rock, sand and water changes is plenty to keep your nitrates down.

clint3240 02-09-2009 02:20 AM

what do you recomend i get for a filter then? iv been looking at the cannister filters...i do not have a tester for mag and ca. my alka shows a normal 1.7-2.8 per the chart....i dose 1 time a week after a water change as it says to

onefish2fish 02-09-2009 02:40 AM

no filter. no canister either.

average 1-2lbs quality live rock per gallon ( thats a general statement ) with good flow, a quality protein skimmer ( read reviews, some are golden and some garbage ) and even a DIY sump with cheato algae ( DIY because pre-builts are to expensive ) and even carbon/phosban reactors. really all you need is quality live rock, flow and protein skimmer with weekly water changes and a good feeding pattern and there shouldnt be an issue to have 0ppm nitrates. it is possible your test kit is bunk but i feel the nitrates are coming from the filter you have.
alk, mag and ca all work together and effect pH. you need to test before dosing ANYTHING.
do you have corals? and again, what fish?

Pasfur 02-09-2009 05:53 AM


Originally Posted by onefish2fish (Post 169996)
alk, mag and ca all work together and effect pH. you need to test before dosing ANYTHING.

100% accurate. You can't make adjustments to pH properly if you don't know what you are trying to adjust.

clint3240 02-09-2009 09:19 PM

so you are saying i do not need a filter in my tank? not even a sump? all i need is the water changes, skimmer, liverock and water flow?

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