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  1. #1
    Senior Member percula99's Avatar
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    No starfish- Brown sand bed

    Last week I decided to take out my two sand sifting starfish because I found there were some parts of my sandbed that were brown, mainly near the rockwork and they weren't turning ovre the sand to keep it white. I also wanted to save the little critters in the sandbed that the starfish were undoubledly eating, although I was not having any nitrate problems. I have found that in the week since removing them, my sandbed has gone brown all over.

    I have a 180 gallon, do regular 25 gallon water changes every month. I use RO water, have three 250 watt metal halides (8 months old). Not much of a fish load because I lost most of them during the blackout.

    Is this a temporary problem, or is there a solution?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Zookeeper's Avatar
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    1) Tiger-tail cucumber. 1 per 50 gallons.

    2) Nassarius snails.

    3) Tiger pistol shrimp...contantly digging.

  3. #3
    ijo
    ijo is offline
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    The nassarius snails will definately do a good job of stiring up your sandbed. They hide under the sandbed with only thier trunks/nose sticking out. Once they sence food in the area your sandbed comes to life and then you realize how many of these you actually have. I have about 30 in my maion tank and seen them eat dead crabs, snails and even algae.

    IJO

  4. #4
    Senior Member percula99's Avatar
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    Hey Ijo and Bristleworm

    Thanks for the replies guys. The only problem is I took the starfish out to get rid of predators in the sandbed. Putting more cuccumbers (I still have two large ones), or snails is just introducing more predators. I want the sandbed to become more alive with worms and such. I believe in time these will grow and start to turn over the sand, and whiten the sand by themselves. After seeing Reeferboy and Fishysan's tanks, I don't think they have sand sifting starfish in their sand, and their bottoms are nice and white. OOOHHH!!! Mine is starting to look pretty grungy right now, but maybe that's the price I have to pay to get what I want. I'm hoping it doesn't take too long to come around.

    Thanks buds. Any further dialogue is still greatly appreciated.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Fishysan's Avatar
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    nass' snails are eating detritus and algae.

    you could also put in cerith snails..

    or, fighting conch..

    nass' will also wander rocks & glass at night. I have them up a foot or two on the glass at night.

    my fav is also olive snails.. serious submarines.
    Fishysan ><>
    ---
    180g display main floor, 150g trough, 75g, 20g in basement
    SPS, LPS, softies, many clams & 14 fish
    main: 250w AB DE HQI x 3, 5' x 3 VHO actinic - trough: 400w venki

  6. #6
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    percula99

    i introduced an olive snail to my tank. I think his helped a great deal. He's about an inch long, and burrows under the sand surface. I was watching my tank the other night, and there was a great eruption in the sandbed. it turned out to be my olive snail coming up to te surface. IJO. i'd go for another couple of these, if u can find them. I as lucky, i think getting this one from Jake's fire sale.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Fishysan's Avatar
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    sweet.. I have 5-12 of them upstairs, and some downstairs too, they be pricy though, the only problem. Not sure how many I still have - but I do, as they do create tracks and some times nock over small plugs in the sand. MS usually has em too, just got to go hunting for them in the sand tanks. I get em when they arrive so they don't have to put em in the tank.
    Fishysan ><>
    ---
    180g display main floor, 150g trough, 75g, 20g in basement
    SPS, LPS, softies, many clams & 14 fish
    main: 250w AB DE HQI x 3, 5' x 3 VHO actinic - trough: 400w venki

  8. #8
    Senior Member Zookeeper's Avatar
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    I had as many as three olive snails in my tank once upon a time. I don't think there are any left though, I have not seen one in a long time. As far as I could ever tell, they were model citizens.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Zookeeper's Avatar
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    With regards to the tiger tail cucumbers, I started out with one over a year ago, now I have two, and nothing I've ever tried has kept my sand bed cleaner. Unlike sand sifting starfish, tiger tails do not destroy sandbed fauna (at least from what I have read and experienced).

    I also tried Fighting Conch's at one time as well, but wasn't impressed with the job they did....nothing like the impact that the cucumbers have.

  10. #10
    Senior Member percula99's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. Olive snails it is then. I'll try and pick some up , hopefully this week. I do have two sea cuccumbers (started out with one also Bristleworm), but they seem to stay within the rockwork almost exclusively.

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