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Spring Cleaning


brianep1968

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I plan on doing a yearly sprucing up of my 29 Biocube tank. My plan is to empty half of the water if not a little more and place my live rock into the bucket with the water I just drained. I have a few mushrooms and other hitchhikers on the rock so they will be carefully placed into the bucket where I will also use a power head to blow off some dietrus that might have build up in the nooks and crannies. This way I can direct the flow on exactly where I want and hit the spots that never got cleaners or any current. Then I will do a good scrape of the Acrylic to clean of the surface that is almost impossible to get to when it’s all set up. I’ll clean the pump and power heads and change any parts that need replacing, change the bulbs, etc. I will then rearrange my Live Rock and Corals to try and best simulate the best living arrangement for the each species. Any other suggestions?

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Any other suggestions?

 

Come to mine next? Honestly looks like you have your work cut out for you, would like to see snap shots of it all in sequence however :)

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I plan on doing a yearly sprucing up of my 29 Biocube tank. My plan is to empty half of the water if not a little more and place my live rock into the bucket with the water I just drained. I have a few mushrooms and other hitchhikers on the rock so they will be carefully placed into the bucket where I will also use a power head to blow off some dietrus that might have build up in the nooks and crannies. This way I can direct the flow on exactly where I want and hit the spots that never got cleaners or any current. Then I will do a good scrape of the Acrylic to clean of the surface that is almost impossible to get to when it’s all set up. I’ll clean the pump and power heads and change any parts that need replacing, change the bulbs, etc. I will then rearrange my Live Rock and Corals to try and best simulate the best living arrangement for the each species. Any other suggestions?

Sounds exactly like what I've been planning to do for the past year ;) Good luck!

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I would probably run some carbon/purigen (if you dont already) in the event you get a small mini-cycle. If you have sand, try not to disturb it too much.

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if your going to be in it up to your elbows, change out the whole sandbed. nano sandbeds are sinks and nothing else...either vacuum it hospital clean or change it, thats what Id do. leave a tiny bit thats been cleaned for seeding~

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I think stirring up deep seated waste is a worse risk...if you changed it all with caribsea arrive alive wet pack sand it would not hurt a thing.

 

even taking it out all the way, then rinsing it vigorously in salt water is a great idea the reusing the sand you have. that would remove the organics and still leave biofilms on the grain surfaces to keep the bacteria.

 

in my minds eye, spring cleaning your tank without touching sandbed is missing the highest calling...I can't think of a way to partially clean one considering all they do is store up waste in a nano reef.

 

for my spring cleaning, done in November '10, I did a blast change.

I took my vase and poured about 20 gallons of saltwater through it while sitting in the sink...hard enough to break off some of my sps shoots growing off the glass. I hit that sandbed so hard it blasted everything up and out, from the top 2/3rs of the bed. the 1/3 I couldn't get to will just have to wait till next year lol

 

I just poured bucket after bucket of water through it and let it all overflow out into the sink. If it carried out a crab or a shrimp no worry one needs to come out anyway...but they held on for dear life and are still in there fighting over cyclopeeze lol

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So how much sand do I need? When I bought the tank a year ago it was pretty much all together already so I’m not sure how many lbs of Live Sand to buy. Next question, I have a Clown and Royal Gamma, do I need to move them to a holding tank while changing out the sand? So let’s review some question I have. Lol. Any objections or suggestions are always appreciated, I’m into this Nano Reef hobby a year and I still have a lot to learn. I remember the days I used tap water…yikes.

 

1. I’ll keep half of the water so when I set it back up the water isn’t a shock to the fish, that ok?

2. The water I keep, I’ll hold the live rock and my corals in while I do the tank maintenance.

3. Best way to clean the live rock while I’ll have it in the bucket? I plan on using a power head to blow out the dietrus build up.

4. Live Sand , how much for a Biocube 29, any particular brand better than others?

5. My two fish, hold them in a holding tank for the hour or so it takes to do all of this?

6. Best way to remove the Live sand from the tank?

7. Best way to add the new sand that will cut down on the cloudiness.

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on a 90 gallon i had back 8 or 9 years ago i would get sick of the rock work and take all the corals and rock out every two months.. it was quite a chore since i had about 70 different types of coral, 5 clams and a boat load of rock .. the tank thrived though despite my constant moving around.

 

this is what the tank looked like a few months before i took it down

 

Copyofwholetank.jpg

whole1.jpg

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Only suggestion is be careful with the bulb replacement.. take caution not to shock them with too big of a change in intensity.

This. Change out one bulb at a time every week to reduce shock.

 

1. I’ll keep half of the water so when I set it back up the water isn’t a shock to the fish, that ok?

2. The water I keep, I’ll hold the live rock and my corals in while I do the tank maintenance.

3. Best way to clean the live rock while I’ll have it in the bucket? I plan on using a power head to blow out the dietrus build up.

4. Live Sand , how much for a Biocube 29, any particular brand better than others?

5. My two fish, hold them in a holding tank for the hour or so it takes to do all of this?

6. Best way to remove the Live sand from the tank?

7. Best way to add the new sand that will cut down on the cloudiness.

1-2. Good

3. Turkey baster or pump, dealer's choice.

4. Buy a 20lb bag and see how far that carries you. Should be a nice shallow bed which is what you want.

5. Acclimate them to the new tank, don't just chuck em in.

6. Scoop as much as you can and then siphon with a tube the rest.

7. Rinse, rerinse, rerinse, rerinse, rerinse, then add before water and pour water onto a dish inside the tank so sand is mixed.

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i used to put power heads behind the rock work so that they push the detritus right out to the sump intake :)

 

a koralia would work great since it shouldn't be able to get plugged with anything.

 

 

When you add the sand there is a trick i use to make sure it doesn't get too cloudy.

 

i would grab a 20lb bag of the wet live sand. rinse the outside of the bag off and put the whole thing in the tank. then with a razor cut both ends of the bag. slowly lift the bag up and the sand will slide out onto the bottom of the tank. this will make it so its not super disturbed and will reduce the cloudiness.

 

live sand because its wet and rinsed makes for a better sand selection when adding sand to an established system.

 

That being said.. I never change out the sand/crushed coral. dependng on how deep your sandbed is you are going to release a TON of gasses and nitrates into the water column.

 

i would just get a python and siphon the sand to clean it up. Typically i do this monthly to ensure i dont get build up in the sand bed.

 

 

moving the rock around isnt a bad idea.. i think replacing sand is. unless its riddled with hair algae or something

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So it seems there is a split on replacing the sand completely vs. Just siphon some it up.

How about siphone some and add new live sand?

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if you are going to replace it i would say over the course of a couple weeks do small syphonings to clean the substrate out.. that way if you do end up taking it out you wont be releasing things into the water column.. because all of the stuff in the sand bed (good and bad) will get sucked right out of the tank.

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all the time I spend online arguing against partial lame 30% water changes and finally a thread comes up where people take down their tanks quarterly or annually and handscrub it clean like some ocd handwashers. even though I hadn't taken it apart dumping 20 gallons of water through a 1 gallon tank from a height of two feet is rough enough to let me in this club of chum scrubbers>

 

nano tanks that don't die of equipment failure or poisonings etc still algae crash due to eutrophication before a decade runs through em I think this type of cleaning in one of its stated permutations above is exactly what can beat that accumulation constant and break some lifespan rules for our hobby/science

 

nothing about these tanks is natural, thats why I like to treat them unnaturally and watch em thrive.

 

removing in partial amounts is a nice way to reduce shock just make sure each working doesn't kick up alot of detritus partially reduced from the bed...although as clean as your tank sounds it has some room in solution for even that little insult Id bet

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Ok, so this Saturday it's a go. I'm going with a complete sand removal then a 20 lb bag of live sand replacement. I just dont like the sand in there at this time, it has a lot of live rock particles and other debris built up from lack of cleaning from the previous owner. Like i mentioned before, when I took over this tank a year ago, it was loaded with green, brown and some other types of algae, not to mention the 458 Aiptasia I have personally executed. It was hard to even see the live rock, but over the year i have made it look a million times better but there is Alagae still in the sand and I think with a fresh start and from what I have learned from this board I can keep it in much better condition. I wont lie, ive done some bone head things already and killed my fish here and there but each time I have learned and become a better nano reefer.

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you are describing some pretty heavy organic loads in that bed even after a couple days thought I like the idea of starting clean and not risking a partial removal or ejection of waste up into suspension which will bring it into the crevices of the rock and keep it in cycle somewhat...since you are describing taking out the rock and rinsing separately, and total removal of the bed, whats left when you put it all back together will be clean and available to store a few years of organics you throw at it. its a start over that you are running before the tank crashes, its preventative... more should consider it especially when buying tanks from others I keep thinking

 

 

 

if you sold me a late model seventies trans am with the gold hood eagle and white lettering tires and a kenwood pull out cd player with fosgates and a '92 punch 45, I wouldn't cruise it around with your fluids in it. Think I want your transmission burn out fragments in my pan> nope, we start clean, I add mine.

 

 

 

your oil change regimen won't be as aggressive as mine for such a prize beauty such is reef tank transfer.

what I plan on doing to your reef/car is actually harsher than how you treated it so I need a clean start~

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I'm thinking of a corner scape, with everything angled to one corner. Would it be ok to put the live rock in front of the intake holes? Not right up against them but as to where you cant see them? I was thinking maybe the other side and having the out take tube hiding in the live rock with the end fully open and shooting into the tank

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I plan on doing a yearly sprucing up of my 29 Biocube tank. My plan is to empty half of the water if not a little more and place my live rock into the bucket with the water I just drained. I have a few mushrooms and other hitchhikers on the rock so they will be carefully placed into the bucket where I will also use a power head to blow off some dietrus that might have build up in the nooks and crannies. This way I can direct the flow on exactly where I want and hit the spots that never got cleaners or any current. Then I will do a good scrape of the Acrylic to clean of the surface that is almost impossible to get to when it’s all set up. I’ll clean the pump and power heads and change any parts that need replacing, change the bulbs, etc. I will then rearrange my Live Rock and Corals to try and best simulate the best living arrangement for the each species. Any other suggestions?[/
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Cleaning went great, tank is sparkling clean!!!. I love the white sand and my Hermit crab loves trucking through it. I luckily had my nephew here who is Marine and had no trouble carrying the tank outside for Uncle Brian and giving it a good hose down. I wasnt going to do that good of cleaning being stuck in my wheel chair, but him showing up changed it up a bit. Below is a Snyopsis of my day.

 

1. I filled a 5 gallon jug with tank water, placed all the live rock in the bucket with the tank water. Filled bucket 2 with tank water as well but this is where the cleaned live rock went once i blasted the crevaces of all Dietrus.

2. Fish and corals went to a 5 gallon holding tank wity curent water.

3. Nephew now lifted tank up and carried outside. I almost forgot to tell him to grab a net full of sand for seeding.

4. While tank was being hosed out, I cleaned the pump, skimmer, cleaned hoode bottom and changed one light.

5. My only uh oooo of the day, I lost the shaft to the pump. Could not find it, what the heck. I was only in a 2 foot area and im in a wheel chair, where could it go??? So sent the nephew up to the LFS and pickep me up a new pump, I wanted to upgrade anyway.

6. Put tank back together, laid sand on bottom of tank, poured water in with my hand breaking the stream. I used about 30 percent old water and a coffee cup size of old sand for seeding.

7. Hooked up my new Korelia power head. Never had one and wanted better current in the tank, I love it.

8. I use a cannister filter, but noooo pads, not used for filtration, just use it to shoot my Purigen through the tank. And gives me good water circulation in the dead spots behind the live rock.

9. About 3 hours after tank tank set up and slowly adding tank water to holding tank I was able to add corals and fish back to tank. Sucess. 24 hours later, tank is clear, fish are eating like it never happened and corals are fully bloomed.

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