View Full Version : dirty sand

08/17/2009, 02:19 PM
i have only had my 55 gallon tank running for a couple months now. i do 20% water changes every two week. i have a modest clean up crew of about 12 blue hermit crabs, 2 scarlet hermit crabs, and some margarita snales but my nice pink sand still turns brown only a day or 2 after doing a water change. is it normal for the sand to get so dirty so fast.

08/17/2009, 02:21 PM
the top layer does discolor. Get a few nassarius snails. They'll keep the top layer moved around and eat any leftover food bits you have in the tank.

If it REALLY bugs you, you can also slide your hand across the top and it will move the sand around. I had a small wood rake I stole from my old desktop sand garden and would rake the top layer occasionally ... back in the day when it used to bug me. *laughs*

I usually just leave it like it is.

08/17/2009, 02:34 PM
My horse shoe crab keeps my sand white and clean. Digs down into the sand and stirs it all day and I don't even have to feed him! I highly recommend getting a small one. They don't grow very fast either. I've had him for over 3 months and have'nt seen any growth, still healthy though!

08/17/2009, 02:36 PM
Yeah but horseshow crabs eat the things that thrive in your sandbed and help keep it clean.

AFter a while horseshoe crabs starve and die in your sand.

Not a good suggestion to recommend by any means. If you value your sandbed you shouldnt get anything that has "sand sifting" in the phrase. They sift the sand alright ... to eat your spaghetti worms and other life that lives in the sand.

I wish they'd stop selling horseshoe crabs entirely. :|

08/17/2009, 02:43 PM
woah..... you say sand sifting things are bad? thats the first time ive ever heard someone say that...... but any way, do you consider Tongan Nassarius Snails sand sifting? would they help keep the sand clean? or do they just eat all the other life such as spaghetti worms?


i like these snails and ive always had atleast 1. but idk if they are good to have cause i never thought about them eating all the life in my sand bed.

08/17/2009, 02:44 PM
What do they eat? and How does it negetively effect your tank? I've had a really good experiance with mine. I did'nt have to pay for him either.

08/17/2009, 02:48 PM
spaghetti worms and other small inverts that live in the sand bed.

Usually it takes them a few months to properly starve, will burrow in the sand somewhere and die. I think I've seen them starve in 4 - 8 months depending on the size of the tank.

Either way, you can't give them enough food to sustain them and they are a really bad choice.
Nevermind that they are clumsy as heck too.

08/17/2009, 02:55 PM
i wouldnt suggest a horse shoe crab either for the simple reason ive seen tons at the GA aquarium that are the size of a dinner plate. seems too big for most aquariums we keep

08/17/2009, 03:08 PM
Every time I go to the beach I see babys so I thought I'd just take one home. I know it will probably die eventually but I don't see Any harm in keeping him right now. I will probably take him back and let my sand get dirty again and then get a new. I love them.

08/17/2009, 03:28 PM
so if everyone went to the beach and picked up a horse shoe crab and brought it home ...

08/17/2009, 03:44 PM
Horseshoe's outgrow all but the largest tanks. Leave them in the ocean.

Pink sand? Sound like tropical fish gravel to me. We are dealing with a reef tank and substrate choice is very[ important. It is a common mistake to use grave,l like you would in a gold fish bowl, as substrate for a marine tank. It is asking for heartache.

08/17/2009, 03:48 PM
There is a sand that is referred to as "Fiji Pink". While it's not PINK pink, it does have a distinct fleshy pink tone to it.

I'm assuming (hoping) that's the case LOL

08/17/2009, 04:10 PM
Thanks Adrienne, I stand corrected, By the way, are you Sugar Magnolia, Rocky's wife?

08/18/2009, 06:21 AM
My sandbed used to bug me too when it would get dirty. Guess I'm just anal. Narcarrius snails are my favorite snails, and do a good job mixing up the sandbed, but not good enough. I do have a sandsifting starfish. I know my tank size is iffy for one. I've had him for about 15 months though, and pretty much see him daily roaming the sandbed. He does a better job keeping the sandbed clean than the snails. But probably the thing that does the most in my tank to keep the sand clean, is my tiger pistol shrimp. I have a goby/ pistol shrimp pair. That shrimp is a bulldoser, and doesn't ever stop moving the sand around. He really bugged me for the first several weeks because he kept a sand storm going. It wasn't actually the sand getting stirred into the water column, but detritus in the sand. Once all the detritus got mixed into the water column and skimmed out, I no longer had a problem with sand storms from that shrimp. He's a work horse, and my sandbed is super white. Oh...one last thing I've done.....lights out for 3 days. That is great for killing some types of algae, and it worked to kill the diatoms that were making my sandbed dirty. If you click on the little house at the top, you can see pictures of my tank. I get a lot of comments about how white my sand is. :)

08/18/2009, 06:59 AM
whats with all the hoseshoe crab talk that is a bad suggestion anyways. An orange spotted goby does an awesome job of keeping the sand clean. They are easy to keep and live for a long time if they don't jump out of the tank. Just put a frozen mysis shrimp cube under the sand every once in a while to keep him fat and healthy.

08/18/2009, 11:45 AM
How much water flow do you have? I had the same problem in my 75 gallon because I did not have enough water flow. I put two koralia #3's in the tank and it helped out a lot.