View Full Version : What to use to keep sand stirred/clean

01/26/2006, 01:58 PM
I have a 75g tank with 2 Tunze 6000's on the multicontroller. I have them programmed so that while one is on 100%, the other is at 40%. There is quite a bit of flow in the tank. I have a few small pieces of SPS that seem to be doing good. The tank has about 1.5 inches of sand and the only fish is a Flamehawk. At most I will feed him one 0.5 inch piece of flake food per day. There are many small shimp the get pumped up into the tank from the sump that he eats. I have 4 nassarius snails, 5 cerith and 5 astrea snails.

I have a G3 skimmer in my 20g sump with a ball of chaeto. I top off with kalkwasser and have a Tek-5 fixture(6x54, 12 hours a day).

The problem I am having is that the sand is almost forming a crust layer. You can see it against the rocks. If you move/crack this layer, the sand underneath is very soft. There are also some areas with a fine layer of light brown algae. I would like something to stir this sand a little. I had hoped the nassarius snails would do it, but since I rarely feed the tank, they don't come out much. I am also not sure about a sand sifting goby for the same reason.

Can anyone think of something that will keep the sand stirred in this tank??

Ray Nist

01/26/2006, 02:12 PM
I have a diamond goby and he is an amazing sandsifter. He never stops to be honest, almost to the point where i hate him because he stirs sand into the water column. But if you want something to keep the sandbed like new, I can't recomend anything better. Just be careful mine tends to be a "jumper" and almost came to an untimely death. :rolleyes:

01/26/2006, 02:21 PM
conchs, cerith snails, sand sifting star fish, i have had gobies to, but like coralfarmer84 said they can throw the sand into the water currant and get it everywhere.

01/26/2006, 02:25 PM
Yeah, I have a diamond goby (2 jumped!!) in my 180 and he turns the sand over wonderfully. I am worried because I don't feed the tank much, and with all the flow I have he would probably cause a sand storm.

Oh yeah, I do have a 1 inch queen conch in the tank as well.


01/26/2006, 09:51 PM
Jawfish do a nice job also, if you have room for one. LFS sell them for about $18. I have one in each tank, they do sprinkle sand everywhere. I have live sand and there is no cloudy water from the sand being sifted all day long.

01/27/2006, 09:43 AM
I love conches (although I haven't met any in person :D ), but they do need tanks on the obese side (The Grazing Snails, Part III - Conchs, Ceriths, Cowries, and Columbellids (http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-07/rs/index.htm)

Sand sifting starfishes eat animals in the sand bed which isn't very productive.

01/27/2006, 11:41 AM
I have a Sand Sifter as well that never stops and my sand is as white as can be...problem. My clm is on it's side because the goby puts sand on everythign on the sand bed. My open brain has a mouth full every day...I'm thinking of getting rid of him actually.

01/27/2006, 12:17 PM
Check your calcium, overly high levels of calcium ie 600 or higher can cause your sand bed to solidify.

01/27/2006, 12:34 PM
I've seen a post before with exactly the same problem. Like the previous poster said an excess of calcium in your tank is solidifying your substrate.

01/27/2006, 12:57 PM
Before breaking down our 55 due to house move our old Blue Cheek Goby done a fantastic job of keeping the sand bed clean. Didnt make much off a mess either.

The only fish ever when first introduced not to hide. Straight in and he was sifting through the bed straight away. Lovely fish and do a great job.

01/27/2006, 01:00 PM
An engineer goby will move the sand and they a cool fish.

01/27/2006, 01:00 PM
I actually haven't checked my calcium in 2 weeks.

It is not actually solid, it just sort of clumps. If you touch it, it comes apart.


01/27/2006, 01:15 PM
I ordered 100 Ilyanassa snails from Ebay and love them. THey are helping my sand beed out so much and they were only $35 shipped.

01/27/2006, 01:20 PM
My fear about those would be there would be so many and I hardly feed the tank. I would be worried they would not get enough to eat and would turn on my corals/clam.


01/27/2006, 03:06 PM
You can get a smaller amount of snails and get rid of some if you have to many. They are doing great in my tank.