How to get rid of Detritus in a Reef Tank


What’s salty folks!? Jeff here, with another article to help you with maintaining a successful reef tank. Today, I to talk about detritus and it’s role in a reef tank. More specifically “How to get rid of Detritus in a Reef Tank.” The name of the game when it comes to keeping a successful reef tank is good water quality. If you don’t take anything else form me, take this… Good water quality = success with reef tanks. Good day!

Ok, you’re still here??? I’ll explain more; Many hobbyist have different thoughts on why it may be important to remove detritus from a reef tank. Simply put, detritus can have huge impact on water quality and it’s important to remove detritus from your reef tank as often as you can.

How to get rid of Detritus in a Reef Tank Video

In this video we take a look at how to remove detritus from your reef tank using the Cobalt Aquatics In-line pump. Detritus, uneaten fish food and all the other dead organic material can have an impact on your water quality. Removing Detritus should be apart of your monthly reef tank maintenance.

What is Detritus and it’s role in a reef tank?

Detritus is defined as dead particulate organic material (as opposed to dissolved organic material). It typically includes the bodies or fragments of dead organisms as well as fecal material.

Detritus often appears as fluffy/clumpy brown material in low flow area of your aquarium. It often collects in the nooks and crannies of your display, overflow, plumbing and sump.

Some hobbyist dismiss the idea of removing detritus from a reef tank, due to the fact that it’s already decomposed. The thought being anything “bad” in the organic material has been released and has already had an impact on your water quality.

How to get rid of Detritus in a Reef Tank

The video above goes over how to get rid of detritus in a reef tank using the Cobalt Aquatics In-line pump. Which works great but there are some other things you can do to help remove detritus from a reef tank. below you will find and list of ways to keep detritus from building up and removing it from your reef tank.

How to get rid of Detritus in a Reef Tank Quick Tips:

  • Keep an open aquascape: Detritus like to collect in low flow areas, so if you have a mass wall of rock, most likely its going to become a detritus trap. Some hobbyist like to place powerbeads in their aquascape to blast the brown stuff out.
  • Good water flow in your aquarium: Good water flow is key in many reef tanks but people often fail to explain why… Its has a lot to do with keeping detritus from building up on corals. Corals don’t have the ability to move so it’s import to keep the water moving and the detritus off them.
  • Keep you clean up crew stocked: Many invertebrates will actually eat detritus in your aquarium. It’s very important to keep your clean up crew well stock so they can take care of all that brown stuff.
  • Use filter socks or a filter roller: Filter socks or filter rollers (For those of us that are not disciplined enough to keep up with filter socks) is a great way to constantly remove detritus from your reef tank. The only thing is you need to change out your filter socks every 2-3 days to see the benefits of using them.

How to get rid of Detritus in a Reef Tank Final Thoughts

Removing detritus from your reef tank is an important part of maintaining a successful reef tank. In my “How to get rid of Detritus in a Reef Tank” video I cover just one way to remove detritus but there are quite a few ways to get the job done. I would make removing detritus from your reef tank apart of your monthly reef tank maintenance and you’ll see great success.

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