I asked the same question, and got the same answers as above. I ended up just stirring the sand manually every so often. Does the trick and is pretty easy.
Every week when I do a water change, I just siphon the water through the sand (vacuuming essentially).
Several months ago I started just forcefully turkey-basting the sand once every 1-2 weeks or so with filter socks in and return pump on high and gyre pumps doing their thing. It’s amazing how it frees up all the detritus out of the sand and buries/kills any cyano or other algae starting up.
Clean the socks after an hour or so, set the return pump back to normal speed, and all done. Before that I would siphon clean the sand with half my water changes. The new method is less likely to injure livestock buried in the sand, keeps the sand cleaner, and is a lot less work so I do it more often. Also I can clean areas I couldn’t reach with a bulky siphon tube.
I’m also trying out the trend to do fewer and smaller water changes, so this fits in well with that.
Thanks I'll check out the valenciennea sexguttata, hopefully googling it won't take me to a porn site lolI have a pair valenciennea sexguttata in my 150. They do a great job of keeping the sand clean and IME aren’t as aggressive and don’t throw sand around like diamond sifters do.
They eat everything including nori.
I really like my pair. They have a great personality. In terms of shifters they stay close to the bottom. Sand is spotless. You can’t keep coral frags on your sand though cause they will get covered. I have all my corals on rock.
It did take me awhile to get a healthy pair in my tank though. They are touchy with TTM and love to jump.
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The issue of releasing something toxic is if you have a sandbed (especially a deep one) that has not been disturbed for a long time so that it has developed anoxic zones or a huge amount of decaying detritus. If you clean it frequently it isn’t a problem.Yeah, I've tried manually cleaning the sand as well, I've done the turkey baster thing a few times and it seems to do the trick. Although I've read somewhere that disturbing the substrate too much can cause an ammonia spike? Is this true?