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RedPhotog

Vacuuming LS Beds?

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I’ve read some controversial things about vacuuming LS, how does the community feel? 

 

With a 2-3 inch sand bed and live rock as natural filtration, how often and/or how much should I vacuum the LS? I’ve read that some people do it, some people dont because they think it removes bacteria and spikes ammonia. 

 

Should I stay away from vacuuming the sand bed if my ammonia levels are clean? I do a 10% water change every week, feed every other day. I just disturbing the environment with a vacuum. Can’t imagine what that’s like being a fish. Thanks everyone! 

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6 minutes ago, RedPhotog said:

I’ve read some controversial things about vacuuming LS, how does the community feel? 

 

With a 2-3 inch sand bed and live rock as natural filtration, how often and/or how much should I vacuum the LS? I’ve read that some people do it, some people dont because they think it removes bacteria and spikes ammonia. 

 

Should I stay away from vacuuming the sand bed if my ammonia levels are clean? I do a 10% water change every week, feed every other day. I just disturbing the environment with a vacuum. Can’t imagine what that’s like being a fish. Thanks everyone! 

 

You will get tons of different opinions on this one. lol

 

I “stir” different areas of my sand from time to time but I never actually vacuum..... instead, I syphon off any yuckies during my  water changes.  

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I suck up as much sand when I do WC and rinse the sand under hot tap water. 

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You rinse sand with hot water and then put it back in your tank? Or rinse the sand before you throw out the sand in the garbage? 

 

Why would anyone rinse sand with hot tap water? 

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1 minute ago, RedPhotog said:

You rinse sand with hot water and then put it back in your tank? Or rinse the sand before you throw out the sand in the garbage? 

 

Why would anyone rinse sand with hot tap water? 

Before putting it back. Why not? My sand bed contributed little to none towards biological filtration. 

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That’s probably because you are rinsing it with hot tap water, killing all its bacteria. Please don’t do that again. 

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10 minutes ago, dandelion said:

Before putting it back. Why not? My sand bed contributed little to none towards biological filtration. 

Using hot tap could introduce minerals and other stuff into your water system that you wouldn't want. 

 

Curious - why do you say your sand bed contributes little to your bio filtration? 

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11 minutes ago, dandelion said:

Before putting it back. Why not? My sand bed contributed little to none towards biological filtration. 

You are very incorrect on that point.  While it may be true that you don’t manage your sand bed to be a biological filter, the sand grains will be coated with bacteria.  While differrent bacteria do differrent things, bacteria are the most active member of the biological filter.  Pound for pound, sand has 100 times surface area of rock.  Bacteria colonize surface area.

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11 minutes ago, wh1skey6 said:

Using hot tap could introduce minerals and other stuff into your water system that you wouldn't want. 

 

Curious - why do you say your sand bed contributes little to your bio filtration? 

I think he uses the sand under his bridge. That’s why it’s not working. Tap water +hot temp equals troll to me. 

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They are not trolling. there are pico tanks in this thread that rinse out their entire sand every water change in tap water.  I rinse my sand once a year in tap water as well. I have a larger 12 gallon tank so i don't do it all the time. Sand beds in nano tanks become time bombs if not properly maintained. I siphon my sand every WC and stir it frequently between. I only have about 1.5 inch bed. 

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No trolls here.  

 

As “old school” as it gets,  after 45 years of reef keeping, I use natural reef keeping techniques which focus on recycling nutrients thru live food webs to feed fish and coral.  I can easily run a reef tank with no live rock.  I use diver collected Gulf of Mexico live rock for introducing diversity to tank.  Indirectly diversity performs  biofiltration.  

 

 

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My bad. I’m just having funzies folks. Awesome vid Subsea! 

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2 hours ago, RedPhotog said:

I’ve read some controversial things about vacuuming LS, how does the community feel? 

 

With a 2-3 inch sand bed and live rock as natural filtration, how often and/or how much should I vacuum the LS? I’ve read that some people do it, some people dont because they think it removes bacteria and spikes ammonia. 

 

Should I stay away from vacuuming the sand bed if my ammonia levels are clean? I do a 10% water change every week, feed every other day. I just disturbing the environment with a vacuum. Can’t imagine what that’s like being a fish. Thanks everyone! 

What does vacume sandbed mean to you?  During partial water change, lightly gravel vac your sandbed.  .  

Why would vacuuming spike ammonia?

 

Where is the science to these comments.  Repeating often, does not make it true.

 

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Why 2-3” sandbed.  You are approaching anaerobic chemistry?  H2S.

 

I looked for a tank thread, but you have no information available.  What is it that you are wanting to do?  

 

I am an expert on sandbeds, but I don’t get paid to give my opinion,  I just give it.

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1 minute ago, Subsea said:

Why 2-3” sandbed.  You are approaching anaerobic chemistry?  H2S.

 

I looked for a tank thread, but you have no information available.  What is it that you are wanting to do.  I am an expert on sandbeds.  

I’ve seen people take the vacuum and go deep into the sandbed to the bottom of the tank all around their system, and I’ve seen people lightly base rocks and surfaces then vacuum out the debris in the water change in fear of losing bacteria or stirring ammonia levels. 

 

Just curious how intense I should be with the vacuuming. 

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Vacume what you see.  Leave deep crud for detrivores.  Breeding snails will mutiply to  food supply.  Their larvae are food for filter feeders, including coral.  Good sandbed detrivores would be Cerith Snails, micro starfish, bristle worms and the two pod brothers (amphipod & copepod).  

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2 minutes ago, Subsea said:

Vacume what you see.  Leave deep crud for detrivores.  Breeding snails will mutiply to  food supply.  Their larvae are food for filter feeders, including coral.  Good sandbed detrivores would be Cerith Snails, micro starfish, bristle worms and the two pod brothers (amphipod & copepod).  

Is it safe to add snails at any time to a tank? Reason I asked is because I recently added my first fish on Sunday after it sat with sand and rocks for 6 weeks. I have 3 hermit crabs, bristle worms live within my rocks I can see them. Would love to pick up some nassarius snails but was curious if I should wait. Do snails give off the same bioload as fish? 

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21 minutes ago, Subsea said:

What does vacume sandbed mean to you?  During partial water change, lightly gravel vac your sandbed.  .  

Why would vacuuming spike ammonia?

 

Where is the science to these comments.  Repeating often, does not make it true.

 

I’m not a scientist. I’m a casual aquariest who started up the hobby again. My IP clearly said it’s just something I’ve read. I don’t have experiments and data to submit with this post. I appreciate the responses. Thanks. 

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Snails would add zero bioload.  

 

However  if tank is too new wth no algae for herbivores to eat, then you should wait until snails have something to eat.

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1 hour ago, RedPhotog said:

That’s probably because you are rinsing it with hot tap water, killing all its bacteria. Please don’t do that again. 

Wrong. Enough info out there to know that the beneficial bacteria can withstand a lot more than a hot tap rinse. 

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4 minutes ago, RedPhotog said:

I’m not a scientist. I’m a casual aquariest who started up the hobby again. My IP clearly said it’s just something I’ve read. I don’t have experiments and data to submit with this post. I appreciate the responses. Thanks. 

My comments about amonnia spike was not directed at you.  I am an engineer and a scientist.  I have been in the hobby before the internet was invented.  Too many hobbiest  repeat bad information that prevents objective thinking.

 

keep the dialogue going, if you are interested in it.

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13 minutes ago, Subsea said:

Snails would add zero bioload.  

 

However  if tank is too new wth no algae for herbivores to eat, then you should wait until snails have something to eat.

Green algae is starting to form and I feel the 3 crabs aren’t keeping up with the brown algae. Is the one per gallon rule consistent? Or is that usually for more mature tanks? 

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6 minutes ago, Subsea said:

My comments about amonnia spike was not directed at you.  I am an engineer and a scientist.  I have been in the hobby before the internet was invented.  Too many hobbiest  repeat bad information that prevents objective thinking.

 

keep the dialogue going, if you are interested in it.

I guess I’m wondering if I can rely on the weekly water changes with the good circulation to not have to worry about vacuuming my sandbed violently like in some videos I’ve seen. Where the whole siphone turns from clear water into chocolate milk. And the tank sits with cloudy water for a day. 

 

That would suck for a fish. 

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If you read my 25 year old tank journal, you will see that I maintained  a 6” deep Jaubert Plenum sandbed.

 

What kind of a reef tank do you want to maintain?

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I vacuum my sand every waterchange.

 

Sand gets disgusting even with vacuuming let alone without. 

 

It's a major contributor of high nutrients in tanks.

 

 4"+ sandbeds should not be disturbed at all but a low sandbed, clean it.

 

Many wash their sand without an issue. Common weekly practice on Pico's, some implement it yearly, some do sections.

 

I've done it.

I've washed it under tap then a last rinse with Prime and Rodi. 

Not a problem.

 

 

If we relied only on  the bacteria in a sand bed- how do we explain bare bottom tanks?

 

There is still a lot of old school methods and beliefs that are still followed as a rule. But there are other methods.

 

We advance by doing things in different ways and learning from them.

 

If we didn't, we wouldn't have LED lights (go back and read old lighting threads and the belief that only MH would do and LED would never work)

 

Or the 0 nitrates 0 phos is the healthiest tank belief

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