Live Sand Cleaning Question

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by TRAILRIDER, May 22, 2018.


    TRAILRIDERValued MemberMember

    Hello, I have read some of the posts about using live sand and I think that's a great way to start a saltwater aquarium. I am starting up a 75 gallon that will be very basic with live rock, a few fish, some peppermint shrimp etc. No corals, no major lighting requirements. I would like to use live sand...but won't it all get sucked up and away if I use a gravel vac during water changes? I would probably also use some crushed coral to help buffer the water. What do you think?
  2. BReefer97

    BReefer97Well Known MemberMember

    It will get sucked up if you put the gravel vacuum too close. A good way to clean the sand is to stir up the water at the bottom of the tank with the end of the vacuum to kick up any crud on the sand and then suck it up that way.
  3. Culprit

    CulpritFishlore VIPMember

    Awesome! Welcome to the dark side.

    So there's different grades of live sand. There's Oolite, which is very fine, and will get blwon around/sucked up easily. What you do, is you take your gravel vac tube in one had, and make the beginning of a kink in it. You suck up some sand, but before it makes it to the top of the gravel vac and into the hose, kink the hose enough that the sand falls down but detritus gets sucked up. Then there's the next grade, fiji pink. This is heavy enough that you can just gravel vac it, just plunge the vac straight down, then tilt it at an angle. The sand will slide down the tilted side, and detritus will be sucked up. You may or may not have to kink for the fiji pink, it depends on how long your siphon hose is, ect. All other grades will vac like gravel. My Bimini pink is a mix, it has stuff smaller then fiji pink, but bigger chunks too. I can vac it regularaly without kinking.
  4. OP

    TRAILRIDERValued MemberMember

    Thank you! That is good news! Yes, the dark side indeed : )
    I have ordered 120# of CaribSea Original Grade sand and 80# of CaribSea Crushed Coral to start with....might need to add more later after I see how it looks. I'm planning on setting it up with just the substrate and running the filter now. When it has cycled enough I will slowly add some live rock, then later some damsels. I'm a firm believer in the slower you go, the faster you succeed when it comes to aquarium set up. I appreciate all the help.

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