When you buy your first sand sifting fish, it won’t take long for it to get to work sifting through your sand bed, keeping it nice and clean and aerated. This is a great thing! It reduces the need for you to siphon your sand bed and it will help to keep your sand bed as white as it was the day you put it into your tank.
These busy little fish will make light work of even the biggest of sand beds, but there is a downside to them, sand in your water column. As they grab mouthfuls of sand, then filter them through their gills, the very fine sand particles will not settle straight away, they will float about in your display tank.
This causes issues for most aquarists. Firstly its a bit unsightly and makes your water look a bit cloudy, and secondly the fine particles will eventually settle, sometimes that will be on your rock or prized corals. But fear not, we can fix it!
Firstly, add some filter floss (Like this https://amzn.to/2TdVzkG) into your sump. Make sure the water has to flow through the filter floss. The filter floss will catch the majority of the fines that are floating around, and when you change the floss you will remove those fines with the old floss. doing this over about 15 days, changing your floss every other day, will reduce the number of fines within your tank massively.
The next thing to do is to take a turkey baster and blow water around your rocks and corals, this will clear any of the sand that has settled on them. It will put the sand back into your water column, but keep up the filter floss and you will soon clear the fines. If you can make this turkey baster blasting a part of your weekly maintenance, then you shouldn’t have any issues with sand building up on your corals.
Though they may cause you some extra work to start with, the sand sifting fish available to the aquarium trade are a must for any tank with a sand bed (in my humble opinion that is), they are interesting to watch and provide a valuable service to your sand bed.