Cleaning Onyx Sand - help! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2004, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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I have a 10g planted tank with Onyx sand as the substrate. I have 5 dwarf puffers and 3 Ottos in this tank. I am supposed to do 50% water changes weekly for the puffers, but am curious how I am supposed to clean some of the nasties out of the sand or if I am to leave it be.

I occasionally feed algae wafers to my Ottos and that sometimes leaves an icky mess behind, which I can usually get with a turkey baster. However, sometimes it's not that easy as some is left behind.

Am I supposed to leave it alone for "mulm" or spot-clean the sand with a siphon like you would a gravel-filled tank? Is there a special siphon you can use for such sandy substrates?

Ideas? Suggestions?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2004, 06:06 PM
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The mulm in a planted tank supplies the plants with food. I don't keep puffers, so if they are particularly messy to where you have stuff building up, you can siphon just above the surface with a small bore siphon to pick up the loose stuff.

Here's a thread with pics of my Onyx tank. I might siphon clean it some as described every few months. Or not. The snails and plants process pretty much everything. (With puffers, you don't have snails )

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2004, 08:59 PM
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Get some shrimp. Since I got shrimp in my tank, 4 ghost shrimp, 2 amanos and 1 bamboo shrimp, my 20 gallon has been spotless. Sometimes pufffers will kill your shrimp, sometimes not. Buy some cheap ghost shrimp (usually 3/$1.00) and test it out. If the puffers leave them alone, pick up an amano or two.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-04-2004, 12:56 AM
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I clean mine out once in a while. I usually feed in the same bare spots, so about once a month, I'll vac those areas out.

My puffers don't even consider my ghost shrimp as food, so they clean the tank pretty well. Of course ,the shrimp I have are 3x as big as the puffers
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-05-2004, 07:12 PM
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I have about 8 ghost shrimp in there now, and they seemed to have cleaned up a lot of the mess. Thanks everyone!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-05-2004, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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I have about 8 ghost shrimp in there now, and they seemed to have cleaned up a lot of the mess. Thanks everyone!
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