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syphon with live sand?

9995 Views 15 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  caferacermike
I have only done water change since changing my substrate over to live sand last week. I did it by just scooping water out. I have a syphon hose like this left over from my freshwater setup.

Is it recommended to use this with live sand? I'm concerned that I would suck the good microbacteria out of the sand. Of course I would never use it to fill the tank with tap water.

Sorry if this is a dumb question. Thanks.
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I never touch my sand when I do water changes or clean my tank.
I have 4 starfish and over 1500gals/hr being pumped though the rock work, so what happens is that all the waste is either eatin or gets sucked into the over flow box's and into the sump to be skimmed out. Most reef keepers have a 3" or more sand bed and that is also another way of filtering the water. A deep sand bed breaks down nitrates into a gas form which escapes the sand bed and escapes out the top of the tank. it is not good to desturb a sand bed deep as it will release toxins and make a tank crash. Now if its less then 3"'s then you wont do any harm siphoning out the sand, but I believe you might remove alot of benificial bacteria doing so.
Andre said:
absolutely do not stir live sand in reef. what happens if you do not have a very dense sand bed is you will get nitrate pockets buildups and if you aggitate the sand before the live sand can decompose it on its own it will all release into your system and that will mean the end of the system. Also make sure you have a lb of sand per gal. at least
No its alright to stir up the sand when you only have about 1-3" of sand . This is because the oxygen kills off the bacteria that breaks down the nitrate. Now what you said is true for 3" or more of sand. :D
Andre said:
well i have a six and i know from past experience BAD IDEA.
Yeah Im totally with you on that. It is a bad idea but with only 3" or more as the oxygen cant reach into the sand that deep.
I would say about 2-40lb bags.
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