Question Adjusting HOB Intake Location

bamos1

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I am starting a new 20 gallon long with sand substrate (I've never used sand before). I bought a Marineland Biowheel filter for the tank. The intake for the filter is almost at the bottom of the tank, and well into the sand. I assume that this would cause the filter to suck up sand and would probably cause some mechanical issues with the filter, at the very least it would constantly clog up the filter media. Because of how the intake tube is made, I can cut it and make it shorter. How high above the sand should I place intake so it will pull off the bottom area of the tank, but not pull in sand?
 

JamesVader

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I bought a Marieland penguin as well for my tank with sand. I cut the tide so it was about a two and a half inches above the substrate and it works well for me
 

Sanderguy777

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bamos1 said:
I am starting a new 20 gallon long with sand substrate (I've never used sand before). I bought a Marineland Biowheel filter for the tank. The intake for the filter is almost at the bottom of the tank, and well into the sand. I assume that this would cause the filter to suck up sand and would probably cause some mechanical issues with the filter, at the very least it would constantly clog up the filter media. Because of how the intake tube is made, I can cut it and make it shorter. How high above the sand should I place intake so it will pull off the bottom area of the tank, but not pull in sand?
I'd say to take it back and get a sponge filter.
I had Penguins on my 60g with sand and they occasionally got sand in them if the cichlids got excited.
They aren't bad filters, but at leas the 350s pull in sand from at least 6" probably 10"...
That is not to say they pick up gobs of sand, but a grain here and there that eventually stop the impeller or make lots of noise in it.
The other option would be to add an intake sponge or filter floss to keep sand out.
 

AmnScott

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If it's about 2 or so inches above the substrate, you should be fine. Also, when doing water changes or vacuuming the substrate, make sure to turn it off! That way it won't suck in any sand while the substrate is being kicked up.

You could mitigate the issue completely and add a somewhat fine sponge pre-filter to the intake, which would prevent sand from being sucked in.
 
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bamos1

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Thanks for the help and suggestions. I’ll put it at 2 to 2.5” above the sand and keep an eye on it. If I start seeing sand in the filter I’ll put a sponge prefilter on it. It was fairly inexpensive ($15 on amazon), so if it does break it won’t hurt too much.
 

faydout

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Put a pre filter intake sponge over the intake, and you won't have sand in your filter no matter how low above the substrate you put it.
 

John58ford

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I would cut it 2-3 inches above, drill holes in the sides of it for 2-3 inches, then cover it with a sponge. The holes in the side of the tube (also covered by the sponge) will reduce the velocity a little, and the diameter of the sponge will reduce the velocity even more. You can keep the same flow rate with a lower velocity to the point where sand won't even sick to the sponge.
 

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