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Retirement and forum shutdown (17 Jan 2022)

Hi,

John Howell who has managed the forum for years is getting on and wishes to retire from the role of managing it.
Over the years, he has managed the forum through good days and bad days and he has always been fair.
He has managed to bring his passion for fish keeping to the forum and keep it going for so long.

I wish to thank John for his hard work in keeping the forum going.

With John wishing to "retire" from the role of managing the forum and the forum receiving very little traffic, I think we must agree that forum has come to a natural conclusion and it's time to put it to rest.

I am proposing that the forum be made read-only from March 2022 onwards and that no new users or content be created. The website is still registered for several more years, so the content will still be accessible but no new topics or replies will be allowed.

If there is interest from the ITFS or other fish keeping clubs, we may redirect traffic to them or to a Facebook group but will not actively manage it.

I'd like to thank everyone over the years who helped with forum, posted a reply, started a new topic, ask a question and helped a newbie in fish keeping. And thank you to the sponsors who helped us along the away. Hopefully it made the hobby stronger.

I'd especially like to thank John Howell and Valerie Rousseau for all of their contributions, without them the forum would have never been has successful.

Thank you
Darragh Sherwin

How often do you need to change the sand bed

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08 Nov 2016 19:52 #1 by barr
Hi All

I am just wondering how often should a sand substrate need to be changed in a tropical tank.

Is there a time period , after which it would be beneficial for removing the whole substrate and putting in fresh sand.

I have a near empty tank at the moment so now could be my opportunity before I stock up again.

Thanks

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08 Nov 2016 20:21 #2 by gunnered72
You can actually reuse your sand over and over (unless its one of those fancy planted tank peat substrates like Amazonia etc)

Take it out and rinse it in buckets with clean water to get all the nasty stuff out of it....It will be as good as new...

Ive done this many times with sand substrates over the years...Never had any problems....

Just keep rinsing it until the water you empty from the bucket runs reasonably clear...

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08 Nov 2016 21:10 #3 by barr
Great to know the sand can be re-used , looks like a have a bit of work ahead of me though :)

The sand has been in there 6 years and is looking rather tired at this stage.

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08 Nov 2016 22:03 #4 by gunnered72
It is a bit time consuming but your sand will turn out like new...Its well worth it to give it a good rinse...It will save you money amongst other benefits...

When you fill your tank back up the water will be crystal clear immediately...Alot of people dont wash their sand before use and end up with a grey cloud for days....And when it does clear up the slightest disturbance of the sand bed creates another cloud...Which is very annoying...

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09 Nov 2016 00:44 #5 by Sukahn
The general rule of thumb with sand beds is that every inch will last a year before needing cleaning/changing. So if you have a 3 inch sand bed it will last 3 years before the nitrate and ammonnia levels become saturated and then you need the filter to work harder to deal with it.

I dont really know if this is for reef only of for all sandbeds but this is what ive read up about reef tanks as thats what i have.

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09 Nov 2016 04:19 - 09 Nov 2016 04:22 #6 by gunnered72

The general rule of thumb with sand beds is that every inch will last a year before needing cleaning/changing. So if you have a 3 inch sand bed it will last 3 years before the nitrate and ammonnia levels become saturated and then you need the filter to work harder to deal with it.

I dont really know if this is for reef only of for all sandbeds but this is what ive read up about reef tanks as thats what i have.


Yup I think thats a Marine tank thing cos the sand is live and acts as part of the filtration system (Somebody stop me if im wrong)

For fresh water tanks over time to avoid nasty gas and dirt build up the thing to do is gently poke through the sand and turn it over every once in a while...People sometimes use Malaysian Trumpet Snails to do this job for them....I also believe that roots from live plants will also do a similar job as they continually grow and spread out through the substrate...Again specialist planted tank substrates are a different story and do have a lifespan as regards being resuable...They need replacing completely over time as they exhaust their nutrient supplies...
Last edit: 09 Nov 2016 04:22 by gunnered72.

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11 Nov 2016 15:25 #7 by cichlidheaven
hi

i changed sand out for the first time in 10 years recently. other than topping up with coral sand to give me a PH correction same sand was in tank.
i carried out a elephant snorkel every 2-3 weeks on sand while doing a water change in different spots every time. cichlids were good at stirring it up also.
it is a fine line between taking out bad bugs in sand and leaving some bugs in to allow nitrate/nitrite breakdown on solids waste.

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