I agree with the Trumpet Snails. I have them in several of my tanks and they are also a good way to know if you are over feeding. One thing about Trumpet Snails is they will quickly populate a tank if you are over feeding but will keep the population low if you are not.
As far as cleaning sand you can do it by hand. While doing a water change a lot of people just turn the sand to bring the junk up out of the sand and into the water so they can vacuum it out.
Yes, the trumpet snails are the best. I have them in every tank.
As for fish....just having active bottom dwellers and a good filtration system will keep the sand clean. The bottom dwellers swimming kicks up waste which gets carried closer and closer to the filter intake. I never have to vac the sand.
Wow, I can't say I never have to clean my sand Jaysee, that would be awesome. but I do agree that bottom dwellers ( like corries) do a good enough job with the sand that my 2 - 55 gl tanks take me about 5 minutes tops each to vacuum.
Jaysee, you must have some very well mannered fish.
I can't take all the credit... I do have massive filtration systems on my tanks. I mean, I don't even ever see waste.