55 Gallon Tank Help with sand cleaning

Andrew
Member
I have a 55 gallon tank with half of th substrate being sand. Everytime I clean it I get lots of sand in my buckets. Is there a way to keep the sand in the tank?
 
Nutter
Member
I assume you are using a gravel vacuum for siphoning. If so then just run it over the surface of the sand instead of digging right down. You will have to give all of the substrate a stir with your fingers right down to the bottom glass to release the poisonous gasses that can accumulate in a sand substrate. Do the stirring up every week or 10 days.
 
SWilkins
Member
HI Andrew I am with you on the sand cleaning. It is very new to me too. I think it takes some practice to get the siphon at just the right distance from the sand so that you pick up the waste and leave the sand but I think that we are going to end up getting some sand no matter how hard we try. I do have MTS in with my sand so they can keep it stirred up for me so that is one less thing I have to worry about.
 
Slug
Member
You could also use your hand to kind of blow the debris off the sand then suck it up.
 
Aquarist
Member
Good point from Slug. You could also use a turkey baster to remove the poo and food from the top of the sand. I really like Slugs idea though. If you don't get the turkey baster in just the right position and keep the ball squeezed, you might blow it all over the tank instead of sucking it up. It does work though.
Ken
 
Jaysee
Member
Slug said:
You could also use your hand to kind of blow the debris off the sand then suck it up.
What I do is make little circles with the end of the syphon just above the sand. The little kick of water movement gets the debris up of the bottom and then into the syphon.

Sand is so much easier to keep clean than gravel.
 
TedsTank
Member
I used to do the circle method as Jaysee mentioned and it worked great!!...when I had sand.

How deep is your layer of sand....if it is less than an inch or so don't worry about gasses and stuff.

Another way of preventing too much sand is to syphon a "chunk", pinch or stop the syphon and let the sand drop out of the tube....if you are using the syphin with hose with the large tube end attched to it...approx 2" tube at the end near the sand.
 
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Andrew
Member
Nutter said:
I assume you are using a gravel vacuum for siphoning. If so then just run it over the surface of the sand instead of digging right down. You will have to give all of the substrate a stir with your fingers right down to the bottom glass to release the poisonous gasses that can accumulate in a sand substrate. Do the stirring up every week or 10 days.
Yes I am using a gravel vacuum. I've tried how you said to and it works..kinda.. it leaves some debris on the sand still but not to much.

Thank you for your help.

SWilkins said:
HI Andrew I am with you on the sand cleaning. It is very new to me too. I think it takes some practice to get the siphon at just the right distance from the sand so that you pick up the waste and leave the sand but I think that we are going to end up getting some sand no matter how hard we try. I do have MTS in with my sand so they can keep it stirred up for me so that is one less thing I have to worry about.
Yeah I found out that just barley off the surface of the sand works to get most of it so that's good. I have some Kuhlie loaches in mine so is that good too?

Slug said:
You could also use your hand to kind of blow the debris off the sand then suck it up.
This I found works pretty good.. lol... it is so simple too. thanks

aquarist48 said:
Good point from Slug. You could also use a turkey baster to remove the poo and food from the top of the sand. I really like Slugs idea though. If you don't get the turkey baster in just the right position and keep the ball squeezed, you might blow it all over the tank instead of sucking it up. It does work though.
Ken
I never thought about using a turkey baster in a fish tank, but that's seems like a good idea. I might try that to get in around objects. thank you.

Jaysee said:
What I do is make little circles with the end of the syphon just above the sand. The little kick of water movement gets the debris up of the bottom and then into the syphon.

Sand is so much easier to keep clean than gravel.
TedsTank said:
I used to do the circle method as Jaysee mentioned and it worked great!!...when I had sand.

How deep is your layer of sand....if it is less than an inch or so don't worry about gasses and stuff.

Another way of preventing too much sand is to syphon a "chunk", pinch or stop the syphon and let the sand drop out of the tube....if you are using the syphin with hose with the large tube end attched to it...approx 2" tube at the end near the sand.
This was my first guess, try thinging... when I did it tho I went side to side and it worked ok... but I didn't like it to much... but maybe with some practice I'll get better.

Thank you.
 
Jaysee
Member
Andrew said:
This was my first guess, try thinging... when I did it tho I went side to side and it worked ok... but I didn't like it to much... but maybe with some practice I'll get better.

Thank you.
Every new skill requires practice
 
ApolloX54
Member
Sand is easy to clean and gets easier. I actually clean mine like once a month if that. I dunno if its the fact I have a Wisteria forest and put the focus on bacterial filtration but my sand stays clean without my help.

But in the beginning I had to put the siphon close to the surface and the debris would get snapped up just fine...
 
Butterfly
Member
All good advice
Kuhlis really enjoy sifting through sand and will help keep it stirred up. If you have malaysian trumpet snails they will help keep the sand stirred up AND eat left over food.
Carol
 
Jaysee
Member
Butterfly said:
All good advice
Kuhlis really enjoy sifting through sand and will help keep it stirred up. If you have malaysian trumpet snails they will help keep the sand stirred up AND eat left over food.
Carol
Agreed - MTS are great for sand tanks and clean up, especially in tanks too small to have bottom feeders or for tanks that are too aggressive for scavengers.

Kuhlis do sift through the sand, but only the top layer, so they would be perfect for tanks with some kind of plant substrate underneath and sand on top.
 
gunner13
Member
I have sand and ironicaly was speaking to a friend who runs my LFS (fishy business) today saying exactly the same thing. When I hoover the bottom I lose a lot of sand in the bucket. He told me to pinch the flexI tube to reduce the strengh of the suction therefor just removing the waste and not the sand, but he said it takes a while to master. I will try this method on the next water change. Good luck.
Nick
 

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