best way to clean sand bed?
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best way to clean sand bed?

This is a discussion on best way to clean sand bed? within the Saltwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums category; --> We have a 300gal FOWLR with 17 fish right now. We'll be getting rid of probably 5 in the next week or two and ...

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best way to clean sand bed?
Old 12-27-2008, 01:13 PM   #1
 
best way to clean sand bed?

We have a 300gal FOWLR with 17 fish right now. We'll be getting rid of probably 5 in the next week or two and eventually turn it into a reef tank but until then is there some type of gravel cleaner we can use to clean all the sand? We bought the tank used 2 weeks ago and was told by the previous owner that she has tried to keep snails crabs and other invertebrates in there but the fish eat them so we're hesitate to put any in ourselves. Any suggestions? My main concern is to keep the nitrates down. We've already done three 50% water changes since we've had the tank to bring it the nitrates down to about 60 but would like to get them lower without a water change every week.
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Old 12-27-2008, 05:00 PM   #2
 
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You should do water changes every week, but only 10%. 50% is huge and it could stress your fish out quite a bit and when you do get corals, it'll stress them out even more-so.

Get a product then to clean it and "cured" live rock into there. Do you have a skimmer?(what kind) how deep is the bed? (4-5in, deep sand bed is best) how much live rock do you have now? how heavy are you feeding?
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:17 PM   #3
 
Thanks for the reply... we were only doing the 50% water changes because the nitrates were 160+ and we needed to get them down fast. I did know that is too drastic for a reef but good to know its better to do the smaller water changes with how we have it now.

We actually have two protein skimmers one is each sump. One is a berlin rated for 250gal and I forget what brand the other is but it looks about the same size.

Sand bed is a mixture of sand and crushed coral about 4 inches deep. I'm bad at estimating how much live rock but I'd guess we have close to 200lbs from the person we bought it from with about 150 more that we're curing right now and plan to add some of that in when its ready. I don't think we're over-feeding. We feed 2-3 times per day and they always eat it all in less than 2 minutes.

Are you recommending a 10% water change every week to get the nitrates lower or is that for maintenance? The person we got the tank from said she did a 20% change every 3-4 weeks but admitted her nitrates ran high.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellsindell View Post
You should do water changes every week, but only 10%. 50% is huge and it could stress your fish out quite a bit and when you do get corals, it'll stress them out even more-so.

Get a product then to clean it and "cured" live rock into there. Do you have a skimmer?(what kind) how deep is the bed? (4-5in, deep sand bed is best) how much live rock do you have now? how heavy are you feeding?
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:57 PM   #4
 
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That's for regular maintanence. The other LR will help out a lot.

When you do a large water change, you should mix that water with some of your tank water and pump that back into the tank and do that again. It does the job and gets rid of the issues of high nitrates. Also if you have a refugium, add another macro algea to it to aid in removal and try carbon or something bade by 2 little fishies. i can't remember what it's called (sorry), but it's made for nitrate removal.
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