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Cyndrol

How much detritus is "good" on a sandbed?

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Cyndrol

Hello guys I got a question hoping some of you can answer me.

My 70g tank is running stable. Phosphates are around 0.02, Nitrates around 5. I dont have any problems with Cyanos or other pest that bothers my tank. Corals look good.

Whenever I clean my sandbed (I have a very shallow fine sandbed around 1,5 inches deep) I notice quite a lot of detritus. I dont see it building up on top, its inside the sand, so whenever I disturb the sandbed I see a thick brown cloud rising up. After a few hours my tank is crystal clear again.

Is this good or bad? Should the sandbed be completly clean, meaning if I disturb it I see nothing rising up? I clean my sandbed every week when doing a waterchange of 5g. How do you clean your sandbeds and how much time do you spend doing it?

 

 

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Clown79

There will be detritus in sand but a large amount isn't good. Generally means that its becoming trapped, not duspended and getting filtered out, not enough cuc.

 

Phos at 0.02 is getting too low which will lead to issues.

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Cyndrol

Thanks! Will disturbing the sand and letting mechanical filtration remove it help?

1 hour ago, Clown79 said:

Phos at 0.02 is getting too low which will lead to issues.

you got any idea how to increase Phos naturally?

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Clown79
2 hours ago, Cyndrol said:

Thanks! Will disturbing the sand and letting mechanical filtration remove it help?

you got any idea how to increase Phos naturally?

A lot of us with nano's vacuum the sand and stir it mid week because we can't purchase some of the cuc someone with a larger tank can.  

 

If its not a common maintenance routine, you need to start with smaller sections rather thsn all the sand at once.

 

For a large tank you may consider adding to your cuc for critters that clean sand.

 

What cuc do you have?

 

What is the flow like in the tank?

 

Any dead spots lower in the tank close to the sandbed?

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mcarroll
On 10/25/2020 at 1:09 PM, Cyndrol said:

Phosphates are around 0.02, Nitrates around 5.

On the low side of safe, just FYI.  Don't go lower.  Higher would be better/safer.

 

On 10/25/2020 at 1:09 PM, Cyndrol said:

Whenever I clean my sandbed (I have a very shallow fine sandbed around 1,5 inches deep) I notice quite a lot of detritus.

On a reef this detritus would be food for the substate.  

 

The problem is that most aquariums have virtually dead substrates...just bacteria for the most part.  Almost zero macro-life.  This is a huge reason that our sand beds are problematic and why they can be so much work.  👍

 

So generally most folks should prevent detritus as much as possible by having excellent flow.  

 

Flow is the only thing standing between food and the substrate....eventually gravity wins and anything that was potentially food for fish or coral becomes detritus.

 

But excellent (ie high velocity) flow keeps that particle afloat/adrift and gives your corals (or fish) the highest number chances to eat that particle before it's "lost to the deeps".

 

So I tend to read a detritus problem as too little flow.  

 

If detritus is just in a spot of two (e.g. under powerheads, around the bases of rocks) then it could be that you need more pumps or a different pump arrangement to eliminate dead zones.  

 

If detritus is everywhere, then flow in general is probably too weak....and/or you're over feeding.

 

What do you use for flow?

 

What do you feed this tank?

 

Is there a picture of this tank that shows how your flow is set up?

 

 

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Cyndrol

Little Update on my sandbed. I did the Turkey Baster Methode. It works really well. I cranked up my flow to 100% for half an hour so every bit of gunk and junk can get into my filter. Now my sandbed is much cleaner than before and the dirty water didnt bother my corals at all. I do this once a week during waterchange now.

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