what are my options to keep sand surface clean?

zheka757

Member
i have a 400 gallon tank with 8 tangs, 1 royal gramma, 1 cardinal fish, 1 coperband butterfly fish, 8 anthias 2 blue chromies, 1 six line wrasse, cleaner shrimp, fire shrimp.
lps, sps, softies- mixed tank basically.
Im looking for a fish/invertebrate to keep my sand shifted/cleaned from algae, basically i want sand to look clean. I have tried diamond goby with no luck do to him being hiding possible from the other fish i have. its a big floor plan i have 96x30'' of my aquarium, so don't know what are my options!
Do you guys have any recommendations for me as to who can keep my sand clean and not being afraid of my other fish?
 

Snarky Shark

New member
Others may have better suggestions but nassarious snails, conch and cucumber. Have to be careful with those as they could nuke a tank if they die. Have you looked at websites like reefcleaners.org? Some have used algae barn.


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zheka757

Member
Others may have better suggestions but nassarious snails, conch and cucumber. Have to be careful with those as they could nuke a tank if they die. Have you looked at websites like reefcleaners.org? Some have used algae barn.


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thank you for suggestion, emailed them and they gave me a nice clean up crew package. my them i mean reefcleaners
 

Anemone

Cloning Around
Staff member
RC Mod
Premium Member
You might consider a Yellow Watchman Goby/Alpheus (Tiger) Pistol Shrimp pair (or a few, in a tank that size). The pistol shrimp is constantly digging tunnels and shifting the sand (keeping it well-turned), while the goby stands watch.

Kevin
 

zheka757

Member
You might consider a Yellow Watchman Goby/Alpheus (Tiger) Pistol Shrimp pair (or a few, in a tank that size). The pistol shrimp is constantly digging tunnels and shifting the sand (keeping it well-turned), while the goby stands watch.

Kevin
thank you for your suggestion. but im kind of concern with gobies now being in my tank. from my fish list, do you see what might have being after my diamond goby?
 

Anemone

Cloning Around
Staff member
RC Mod
Premium Member
thank you for your suggestion. but im kind of concern with gobies now being in my tank. from my fish list, do you see what might have being after my diamond goby?

Not really, although Sixlines can get aggressive, but I'd expect it to have more of a problem with the Royal Gramma.

Kevin
 

Brieninsac

Member
A Diamond or Yellow-head Goby would be what I would suggest. Your tank is big enough where you shouldn't have any issues with other fish.
 

zheka757

Member
the thing is I already lost my third diamond goby, first 2 times where kind of my fault. on first i didn't have a screen cover, he jumped out. on second i did have eggcrate over my tank, but apparently it wasn't enough as diamond goby found a way through it some how. before i added my third goby i made a proper cover for my tank. He couldn't jump out but he wouldn't come out from under this 1 rock, and 4 days later i have never seeing him again.... I just came to conclusion that diamond goby's is not for my tank.
 

Michael Hoaster

Registered Seaweedist
Premium Member
Basically, what you are looking for are detrivores-animals that eat detritus.

Of your eight tangs, are any of them the Bristletooth variety? Look for Ctenochaetus in their species name. I'm talking about Kole, Tomini and Two-spot tangs, among others. They have the right mouth shape to eat detritus off the sand (and rocks and glass). Most Pygmy Angelfish eat detritus too, so they're another option.

As for invertebrates, their are several good options. For starters, look for multiple species of snails that will reproduce in aquariums, like Cerith and Dove. They will multiply to reach an equilibrium with available food. Having more than one variety adds diversity to your snail crew, which is a good thing. Another good snail to have is the Nassarius snail. These guys eat leftover food, helping to keep the sand clean.

Brittle and Serpent Sea Stars eat detritus. Micro Brittle Stars will reproduce in your tank, which makes them my favorite, plus they don't get so big, like the non-micro varieties.

Pods also help. Again, getting multiple varieties improves diversity.

Sea Cucumbers are excellent detrivores, but don't make the mistake of getting too many, or they will gradually shrink and starve to death. Even in a 400 I wouldn't add more than two.

Fighting Conches are also great, but can also starve, so maybe 3 or 4. Maybe start with two and add more if needed.

I also have a few suggestions on what not to get. First off, the sand-sifting gobies. These fish remove all the life from your live sand, rendering it dead and unable to process detritus. Same with sand-sifting sea stars. I'd also recommend removing the six line wrasse. Wrasses in general are too good at hunting down the micro-life we try so hard to maintain in our tanks. You wouldn't put a barracuda in your tank. It would eat all your fish. Put a wrasse in your tank, and it will eat all your clean-up crew. I also don't recommend hermit crabs. First, they are inferior to snails, in the clean-up department, plus they kill snails to get their shells. Sure they can eat detritus and algae, if thats all there is to eat, but once they get a taste of fish food they are useless, in my opinion.

That's all I can think of right now. Hope this helps.
 

zheka757

Member
Michael Hoaster;25738179

That's all I can think of right now. Hope this helps.

Thank you for your long reply. I appreciate the afford in helping. As of right now, i have 5 different types of snails in it. in that mix i have 4 fighting conch snails, and they sims to do the job, its a slow process as of right now, but I see more and more of clean sand. But honestly im not a bid fan of seeing a snails in a tank. I would much rather see a starfish, since adding a fish is no longer an option. i think once this clean up crew will fade out eventually. Ill look into starfish options.

8 tangs are, 3 yellows, 2 purples, 1 blue, 1 gem tang, 1 Achilles.
 

DoUEvenReefBro

New member
I had a diamond goby and it was the best at keeping a very clean and pristine sandbed. I agree that it can be a pain with the tunneling but I never had to siphon my sand after that. Maybe the one that you had previously was very shy? The one that I had was always cleaning the sand constantly.
 

zheka757

Member
I had a diamond goby and it was the best at keeping a very clean and pristine sandbed. I agree that it can be a pain with the tunneling but I never had to siphon my sand after that. Maybe the one that you had previously was very shy? The one that I had was always cleaning the sand constantly.

tried 3 of them, at different time, no luck on any
 

DoUEvenReefBro

New member
:(

Yeah sorry, see that it didn't work out for you. How about hermit crabs? They are good at picking detritus off the sand.


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vsiege

New member
[MENTION=367657]zheka757[/MENTION] other have mentioned some good options such as nassarious snails, which are very helpful. To toss another in the ring.... Tiger Pistol*Shrimp, Alpheus bellulus, .75"-1.5", Sri Lanka... I pulled that off an order I got a few months ago. Those shrimp look awesome, and whether they end up paying with a goby or not... they turn sand over like crazy. It's comical to see just how much just one of these shrimp can move sand over night. Have had no issues with them and when you get a glimpse of them, very interesting to watch. Good luck [emoji106]
 

vsiege

New member
Thought I'd snap a few pictures of the little bulldozers work
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zheka757

Member
[MENTION=367657]zheka757[/MENTION] other have mentioned some good options such as nassarious snails, which are very helpful. To toss another in the ring.... Tiger Pistol*Shrimp, Alpheus bellulus, .75"-1.5", Sri Lanka... I pulled that off an order I got a few months ago. Those shrimp look awesome, and whether they end up paying with a goby or not... they turn sand over like crazy. It's comical to see just how much just one of these shrimp can move sand over night. Have had no issues with them and when you get a glimpse of them, very interesting to watch. Good luck [emoji106]

thank you for your help, much appreciate! ill do more researched about them shrimps
 
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