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Maintenace Question


balashark

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  • Regular Member

I just hold the vacuum slightly over the sand so it doesnt suck it up. Sometimes a little comes out but not too much. Generally, if you have plenty of good sand sifters you shouldnt have to do much in the way of gravel vacuuming. In a mature tank you will get worms and things that go through the sand and eat detritus for you. Thats an ideally balanced system. :)

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  • Regular Member

On a fish only "FO" tank... I wouldn't use sand...I would use CC = crushed coral...you can use a regular gravel cleaner that way and do fine...

If you have a fish only with live rock "FOWLR"....you could do the same thing or even use sand.... the Live rock will bring in critters with it..."bristle worms" "pods" and other sand dwelling critters that will take care of the sand bed for you....

If you have a full Reef Tank...you could go bare bottom... CC or Sand bed...

As the reef matures you will do very little to the substrate as the critters will keep it very clean.... I don't do anything to the substrate on my system...I just let the critters do what they do....and I don't over feed.... :)

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest RaceFaceR1

WOAW... Vaccum in SW? You have lots of critters that are good for your tank in the substrate... Not a good practice to suck them out... How old is your tank? Give it time and put in the right clean up crew and enough flow and your substate should stay clean...

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  • Regular Member

True you don't want to use a gravel cleaner on sand in a reef tank setting...but if you are doing a FO tank...fish only and you have no LR...and you are using mechanical and biological filtration other than LR...and more than likely CC crushed coral for a substrate then you will need to do the vacuuming or you will see the nitrates climb.... In a DSB or a reef tank with all the critters that take care of the detritus...etc.... of course you would not want to use a vacuum gravel cleaner as it will disturb the substrate and take out beneficial critters..... :)

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Well I have to do it from time to time with the top surface cause my Shrimps molt alot in there like once a month they do it and growing quite large now :D

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  • 4 weeks later...
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thanks for the replies. oh, i don't have a salt water setup right now, fish or live rock. i was just wondering for curiosity sake.

i mean some day i might try it, i asked at my old lfs how much it would cost to take my empty 36 and turn it into saltwater, and it was quite pricey; even without a protein skimmer (whatever that's for :) ) which the guy said i could do without if i was just doing fo in something as small as a 36.

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:) i'll make ya a deal. you tell me what they do, and i'll promise to get one when the time comes (what jen and i want to do is upgrade the tropical to 125, make the 72 marine fowlr or reef, the 36 goldie, and the 20 a permanent qt; but not til we get a house).

i figured what the lfs guy was telling me could be disputed. they had rows of great tropicals, but not such a big salt-water display. can i assume tho that he was right in saying that i'd need to let the new tank run empty for 4 weeks, then add maybe a crustacean or two, another 4 weeks later add 1 damsel, then if everything was still perfect i could think about adding more fish.

also, do you think a 72 gallon bowfront would be big enough to do a reef tank in? would there be enough water after the displacement to support a fish or three (maybe an angel, a clownfish, and a star or anenome, plus the damsel and crustaceans) or should i stick w/ fish only with pieces of live rock?

sorry for all the questions, esp when i'm not setting up anything right now :) but i figured i'd pick your brain while i can ;)

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Simply put....a protein skimmer takes out dissolved organics and keeps them from going through the nitrogen cycle and ending up as Nitrates in your system.....a skimmer will help maintain your water quality.....

A 72 gal tank would house several fish and inverts..... no problems there.... a yellow tang would be just under the recommended 75 gal minimum tank size...but may be fine....

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