Question about using sand as a substrate

  1. blueiristyson Member Member

    I have a Jack Dempsey cichlid and if you know anything about them you know they like to dig. Right now I have regular colored gravel in my tank but I want to change it out and replace it with sand.

    Here is the problem, I was given some gravel/sand mixed substrate but I had to change it out because the sand kept jamming up my emperor hang on back filters.Is there a larger,heavier type sand that wont suck up into my filters I can use?How do you keep sand clean? Are you supposed to vaccumm sand like you do gravel? If so, wouldn't it get sucked into the bucket along with the water?

    Can someone give me a brief tutorial on using using sand as substrate and if there is a certain kind I need to get for a Tropical freshwater set-up.

    Thanks
     
  2. Aquarist Fishlore Legend Member

    :animal0068:Hello Blue and Welcome to Fish Lore. I have moved your thread to the Freshwater Substrate- gravel sand, section of the forum to help you to get more responses.
    Thanks!
    Ken
     

  3. Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    Even fine sand should be ok so long as it is washed very thouroghly. A good washing will remove any fine particles that are easily suspended in the water. Pool filter sand is available in different grades so it should be fairly easy to find something with a large grain size if that is what you desire. Apart from that all you can really do is make sure the filter pickup isn't too close to the bottom of the tank & that the current in the tank isn't enough to constantly stir the sand up. Airstones will also lift sand into the water column & I always have my stone located in a small patch of gravel to avoid this problem. Yes you should vaccuum the sand but you don't dig down into it like you do with gravel. Just run your gravel vac lightly over the surface of the sand & it will pick up any detrius. You should run you fingers through the sand every couple of weeks to release any poisonous gases that may build up over time. You can use chopsticks or whatever if you don't want to use your fingers. You can use Malaysian sand snails & Khuli Loaches to help dig through the sand but these would likely be eaten by your JD.
     
  4. Sonfish Member Member

    How close is your pickup from the pump to the bottom of the tank, Ya might be able to shorten that some
     
  5. griffin Well Known Member Member

    you could also maybe put a sponge over your filter inlet to prevent the sand from getting in? malaysian trumpet snails could stir up the sand, but if your JD go digging, they'll also stir up the sand :)