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Help with sandbed!


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So My tank is still cycling (It is almost done) And I took the live rock out to aquascape and my sand bed is disgusting. Detritus everywhere. How do I clean without moving all the sand? I took a few pounds out

And dont have a vaccum for it what Do i Do? Will it ruin the cycle?

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It's a mistake to add a crew too early. Truly the "cycle" can last months depending on your equipment and choices. How you deal with the detrius depends on how you're cycling your aquarium and what kind of rocks you started with. If you're going for a DSB, the vacuuming can be damaging to the sandbed population. If you're going for a low nutrient system and have a small amount of sand for asthetics then vacuuming won't hurt and will be faster and cheaper than waiting for a CUC to reduce the detrius.

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If you have 10ppm of nitrates, then you're about midway through a new tank cycle. The first water change shouldn't come until your ammonia reaches zero. After the first water change you'll wait another week or two and monitor the ammonia to ensure it stays at zero. You shouldn't have any lights on the tank right now, so you can start turning them on. After that you can add more liverock or a few inches of livesand if you're going that route. . Adding a clean up crew at this point will probably cause them to starve.

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These are the steps to cycling a new tank. Whether you use dead rock, live rock or uncured rock is irrelevant. Whether you have a bare bottom, 1 inch of sand or a deep sand bed is also irrelevant, just cut out those steps. Some people skip steps or combine steps. That is your decision but I listed them all for you.

  1. Place eggcrate, pvp or other supporting matierial on the glass bottom of the aquarium.
  2. Add base live rock or dry rock with bacteria or live rock piece for seeding
  3. Add base sand
  4. Add saltwater
  5. Turn on circulation pumps, return pumps and skimmer. No reactors or lights.
  6. Ensure specific gravity is good, then add bacteria or seeding LR
  7. Wait

Once your ammonia reaches zero

  1. Do your first water change
  2. Wait
  3. Check ammonia every other day or third day.
  4. If ammonia is still zero, then add live rock and/or live sand
  5. Turn on lights. No reactors
  6. Wait
  7. Algae will bloom and die in cycles
  8. Continue to check nitrates and ammonia
  9. Wait
  10. Remove undesirable things like pests, bubble algae and hair algae
  11. Wait
  12. Once the tank is nice and green and all of the crazy blooms are out of the way you can add some snails, a sea cucumber and starfish if you want any of those. I would avoid crabs.
  13. Turn on reactors if you have or want them.
  14. After they crew starts to do it's job the glass will start to get clear, the rocks should start growing purple and pink corraline and the water should be pretty perfect with zero nitrates and zero ammonia. Now you can add your first fish or easy corals.
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What type of rock did you start with?

The initial cycle that eliminates ammonia usually only takes 20 - 30 days. If there was substantial die off or organic matter, you might be dealing with high nitrates for a few months after the initial cycle. Also, if it was previously used rock, and some dry rock, it might be leaving PO4 back into the water. Both of these will significantly contribute to diatoms and cyano, although I consider both to be natural progression in establishing a tank.

Post an ammonia and or nitrite readings if you have them, just to get a better idea of exactly where you're at in the whole thing.

Personally I wouldn't do anything with the sand yet, but definitely keep light out of the tank, and increase flow if possible.

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How much LR you want to use is up to you. Diatoms are a part of the cycle. If you don't want more rock then there are no concrete rules that say you must buy some. I used all dry rock on my tank and seeded it with one rock from the fish store and a $5 bottle of drs. foster and smith bacteria. I would never buy rock from a fish store again though because the rock I got was full of sorts of problems. Almost two years later and I'm still picking bubble algae out of the one rock I got from the fish store. Except now it's everywhere!

Seeding a tank full of base rock with a piece of cured LR is cheaper but takes a long time for the bacteria to populate the new rock. Have you added any ammonia to the tank to feed the bacteria?

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Dr.Tim’s Aquatics One & Only Live Bacteria I put this in my tank to help with the cycle. I dont think I am going to buy liverock again it had all kinds of deadstuff that I guess fed the ammonia. Also my nitrates are dropping a little but diatoms are growing.

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