How to clean sand?
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:56 AM   #1
MarimoLobster
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How to clean sand?


I know how to vacuum those basic, neon colored fish tank rocks, but how do I clean sand? My fish tank vacuum would just suck the sand and lobsters right up. Specifically, we have a small (about 1 gallon) bowl for our blue lobster babies. There is large-grained sand in the bottom and I want to clean it. It doesn't look dirty, but I have a feeling it might be. There are marimo in there and I know in my Marimo-only bowl, I need to wash the sand. I change half the water every other day, and top it off daily as it evaporates. I also wash the Marimo.

I feel like I should take the lobsters out, take out the shells, rinse them, then rinse the sand in clear water, then put it all back together. They are good about crawling into my soup ladle so I can move them, but I hate to disturb these guys too much.

This is a temporary home for them and I move them to different, bigger bowls as they grow. Each lobster has 2 shells to hide in (though 2 of them like to share a shell!) they were all born the same day, but 4 of them are huge, double the size of the others. The big guys are in a separate bowl from the little ones.

Thanks for any help you can offer!
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:42 AM   #2
Knotyoureality
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Sand is fine grained enough that any debris will tend to stay on the surface. Some folks get good at just skimming the surface with an airline siphoning out water and pulling the debris up that way, others just accept they get some sand along with the debris, some do the vacuming with hose over the end etc.

In my nano tanks, I typically use an airline hose to get any obvious debris, then use a disposable pipette to suck up some water and then "puff" along the bottom to herd the rest/small stuff out into an open area so it can be sucked up. If the tank is too deep/narrow for this (as with some of my planted vases), I'll siphon out a small amount of water, then pour it back in to stir up the entire column of water and then do my wc while the debris is still floating around so I get a good bit of it out.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:42 PM   #3
discuspaul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knotyoureality View Post
Sand is fine grained enough that any debris will tend to stay on the surface. Some folks get good at just skimming the surface with an airline siphoning out water and pulling the debris up that way, others just accept they get some sand along with the debris, some do the vacuming with hose over the end etc.

In my nano tanks, I typically use an airline hose to get any obvious debris, then use a disposable pipette to suck up some water and then "puff" along the bottom to herd the rest/small stuff out into an open area so it can be sucked up. If the tank is too deep/narrow for this (as with some of my planted vases), I'll siphon out a small amount of water, then pour it back in to stir up the entire column of water and then do my wc while the debris is still floating around so I get a good bit of it out.

Good approach - couldn't have said/described it any better than that.
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:08 PM   #4
MarimoLobster
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Thanks! This gives me some ideas for a DIY mini-vac. We homeschool so I know I can find a pipette in our science supplies, as well as some extra tubing.

Thanks again!
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