To syphon or not?

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by LRS, 14 Nov 2009.

  1. LRS

    LRS

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    I've got about a 2cm layer of suger fine crushed coral in my tank which I have been syphoning with every waterchange since the start of my tank (about a year ago). I'm starting to have doubts about whether this is a good idea? Any comments plz! Am I killing bacteria and things when I do this?
     
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  3. FransSny

    FransSny

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    LRS...my opinion is that "deep" syphoning will also remove the good stuff and in your case (a small substrate level) I would rather go for raking the substrate lightly & then syphoning off the stuff in the water collum
     
  4. LRS

    LRS Thread Starter

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    OK so no more syphoning....but what should I use to rake the substrate?
     
  5. FransSny

    FransSny

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    I actually use a rake (kiddies type for use on the beach), I just cut it smaller, pushed the end into a piece of PVC pipe (no need for the triggers to nip my hands) & bob's your uncle
     
  6. LRS

    LRS Thread Starter

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    Shot will give it a go! Tnx
     
  7. Tony

    Tony

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    I have never siphoned my substrate. I just move it around every now and then to kick up the crap which feeds the corals and removed by the skimmer
     
  8. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Yup I'm with Tony On this one. However you must do the stirring thing regularly (2x a week) If you leave it, say a month then siphon gently and get into the habit of the gentle stir.
     
  9. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Well five years later I have changed my thinking.


    What do you think my thinking is?

    The methods and Technology in the industry have changed so much over the past few years.

    Perhaps a good thread would be to highlite past recomendations to now contradictions.
     
    Last edited: 27 Jul 2014
  10. Ebi Omer

    Ebi Omer

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    @Nemos Janitor what is your thinking about the regular stirring. Why not continue on this thread. .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  11. Riaanv

    Riaanv

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    Previously my view was to not touch it. Not sure anymore that this is the way to, I get dyno outbreaks.
    Currently testing the following approach:

    In tank substrate cleaned by a golden head sleeper. Does a good job on shallow sand. Syphon the deeper sections alternately twice a month or so.
    Second sump dsb. Kick up top layer when I see visible settlement. Basically 2 areas. Do at night as return takes this back to the display - coral food
    Remote dsb, do nothing as no visible settlement. Stirred a spot the other day and it was clean sand.

    My understanding nowa days is that sand beds are nutrient sinks and they will eventually get full as opposed to critters keeping them clean. Except for my remote dsb perhaps. The load compared to surface area compared to life seems sustainable. If I feed it flakes its a couple of minutes and all is gone.
     
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    sorry for only asking now.
    2 questions.
    Do you switch off your return for a few minutes when feeding? (Must admit, that is a nice feature of the DC return pumps)

    how wide is your under tank DSB? What return pump and what is its rating at the delivery height?
     
  13. Riaanv

    Riaanv

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    2 returns, tunze and an eden. Forgot the models but delivering approx 2500 to 3000 litres per hour combined.

    Returns not swithed off when feeding. Agree would probably be better.

    under tank us approx 1.3 long and 900 wide
     
  14. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    That means you need to deliver about 6000L/h into the display per hour. That is after head height taken into account.

    For an experiment over 3 or 4 weeks, add another return pump, a 2000L/h would be more than enough. But just route it back directly to your first chamber. If that helps with the settlement on the main DSB, then you know that the flow across your DSB is too slow. First siphon the worst of the settlement off, and take a picture to be able to compare in a months time.
     
  15. Riaanv

    Riaanv

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    There is another "problem". It is not a normal through flow sump. I have two algae screens so all the flow is directed to the middle of the sand bed with the return pumps on the right hand side in the picture behind the glass of the screens. I don't think increasing the flow will have the same effect as with a normal in one side out the other side sump.

    I think this adds to the settlement as the entire bed is not getting flow over it. But for the system as a whole I don't think it is too detrimental. I have a "normal" sump next to the display and a lot of skimming.

    20140804_131633.jpg

    20140804_132438.jpg
     
  16. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    OK, then what about 2 of the smaller Seio pumps in the sump, where you do not have flow.

    I use 2 old style ViaAqua 1800L/h in my remote DSB to add extra flow. that is in a standard Daro 220L or 4foot tank.

    OK, it will depend on the water depth above the sand. Alternative is a return pump that uses a spraybar like on the TL550. Mount spraybars at the ends of the DSB pushing towards the middle.
     
  17. Riaanv

    Riaanv

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    Have not thought of more in sump flow, think that is actually a good idea to keep settlement away.

    Will try an additional pump, water level is 24cm, may still have a seio laying around
     
  18. HOT SAUCE

    HOT SAUCE

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    guys on the topic of siphoning the sand bed I've done the follows g experiment.. in my 120 x 43 x 53h tank which is viewable from the two long sides I siphoned the sand bed about a month ago but only on half the tank.. I mean along the long side but only on one side.. since then the sand (caribsea aragonite) on the side that I siphoned is as white as I guess it can ever be and the other side is almost all covered in red cyno algae.. my sand sifting starfish has since moved exclusively to the clean see of the tank and doesn't go to the other half even in the areas which are not covered with cyno.

    my guess would be that stirring up the sand bed a bit and letting the skimmer do the work is fine as long as there are no corals or fish which are too sensitive to dirty water... I was amazed by the amount of gray dust that came out of my sand when I siphoned it
     
  19. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    If one applies logic thinking then all the waste will settle within the substrate. It is also logic that no amount of flow will keep all the waste off the substrate without blowing the substrate around.

    This leads to dilemmas in substrate choice, often fine grain is tossed away in preference to larger grain substrate.

    So those that have fine grain substrate tend to lift the flow off the substrate level to avoid sand storms. Others have been informed to not buy large grain substrate because they collect detritus.

    The old day thinking was that the substrate contained beneficial critters for the tank. Well it does but it also contains non beneficial substances.

    IMO regular siphoning of the substrate is a must. It removes unwanted detritus and gives one a choice to have fine substrate if desired. It also keeps the tank synthetics clean and visually more appealing.

    I must add that it is also beneficial to syphon the rocks on heavily scaped tanks. No matter how much flow you have, detritus and waste from dying algae and other growths will always collect within the rocks.
     
    Last edited: 4 Aug 2014
  20. Meg G

    Meg G

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    where does all the doc and dom go? it build up bcaus there is not O2 in top layer off sand to brake it down so then your redfield ratio goes out of wack. your botom layer will give N off which will again bind with O2 while rasing forming No2. or cyano takes up N and doc as it comes out off the sand.
     
  21. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    I am often asked why syphone and not turkey blast the rocks or point a wave pump into the rocks to bring the waste into suspension within the water column. The reason is by siphoning one removes all that the syphoneing collects and does not put the filter under and excess work. Turkey blasting just rearranges the "furniture" so to speak. The detritus will settle elsewhere in the aquarium.
     
    Last edited: 4 Aug 2014
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