Question Random Question, Switching To Sand

AceFish

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So I was thinking of replacing my gravel with some sand but then I realized I can't clean it Because I use a syphon to clean my gravel but how would I clean the sand because it would just get sucked up in the syphon right?
 

aussieJJDude

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Depending on the siphon, yes.

Some people like to kink the hose so that way the sand doesnt get sucked up, but most like to hover the siphon a couple of inches over the sand - takes a little practise - and the debris will be swept up.
 
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AceFish

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Depending on the siphon, yes.

Some people like to kink the hose so that way the sand doesnt get sucked up, but most like to hover the siphon a couple of inches over the sand - takes a little practise - and the debris will be swept up.
Okay thank you
 

Morpheus1967

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Debris will be much easier to see. When you see something you want the python to suck up, swirl the python in circles about an inch over it. It will rise off the sand due to the swirling motion. Then just nab it with the python.

The end of the python never needs to be closer than an inch or so to the sand.
 

oldsalt777

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So I was thinking of replacing my gravel with some sand but then I realized I can't clean it Because I use a syphon to clean my gravel but how would I clean the sand because it would just get sucked up in the syphon right?
Hello Ace...

Sand isn't the best bottom material. It's difficult to clean and can become impacted in areas and will create water chemistry problems. The best material is pea-sized polished gravel. It's easily vacuumed and the spaces created in this material allows for water and oxygen to easily flow through it, so there's no risk of voids or areas that get no oxygen. That means there's no problem with the water chemistry. With this type of substrate, the organic material that collects on the bottom soon dissolves because of good water circulation. So, by just removing and replacing most of the water, you continually remove the organic stuff and the tank stays clean. No vacuuming is necessary.

Old
 

Cherie G

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I made the switch a couple years ago and have had good luck with it. I found it to be easier to care for & any sand I happened to suck up I just rinse with a little treated water and dump back in. But honestly it has never been more than maybe a tablespoon or so from a 29 gallon tank. I have cories and MTS that are constantly sifting/stirring through the sand which I think keeps it from causing any problems. Or during your water change just take a clean chopstick or something like that and stir the sand around a bit. I love the sand but just a personal preference.
 

oldsalt777

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I made the switch a couple years ago and have had good luck with it. I found it to be easier to care for & any sand I happened to suck up I just rinse with a little treated water and dump back in. But honestly it has never been more than maybe a tablespoon or so from a 29 gallon tank. I have cories and MTS that are constantly sifting/stirring through the sand which I think keeps it from causing any problems. Or during your water change just take a clean chopstick or something like that and stir the sand around a bit. I love the sand but just a personal preference.
Hi Cher...

Glad it works for you. I keep Corys too and the small polished gravel is easy on their barbels and I never need to use anything other than my water syphon to change out the water. Nothing to stir that might disturb the bottom material and because there's good water circulation through the gravel, I never need to vacuum the bottom. The organic material that collects on the bottom dissolves in the water, so I just remove the water and I remove everything that's dissolved in it.

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Cherie G

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Hi Cher...

Glad it works for you. I keep Corys too and the small polished gravel is easy on their barbels and I never need to use anything other than my water syphon to change out the water. Nothing to stir that might disturb the bottom material and because there's good water circulation through the gravel, I never need to vacuum the bottom. The organic material that collects on the bottom dissolves in the water, so I just remove the water and I remove everything that's dissolved in it.

Old
That is cool. Always interesting to hear what methods others are using. Thanks!
 

Cognac82

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I have pea gravel in my goldfish tanks and black diamond blasting media in all of my other tanks.
I vacuum the pea gravel because if I didn't there would be a tremendous amount of goldfish feces in it. Goldfish are super poopers and even though I drain the tanks every week and vacuum there is always plenty of gross stuff in there.
However, I also vacuum the sand. I do kink the hose and when the sand enters the siphon tube about halfway I kink it off and let it drop back down. I have to keep my tube kinked anyway when I do water changes in some of those tanks because the glowlight danios and the Kerri blue tetras have an absolute death wish and will not stop trying to enter the hose. I don't have to do much vacuuming in some tanks because they have a lot of plants but I still do see some debris being sucked out. I have heard that pockets of hydrogen sulfide can build up in sand if it is not stirred or siphoned, so I just do it every time I change water and I don't really lose any sand as long as the hose is pinched while I'm doing it.
Good luck with whatever you choose. Plants seem to do better in sand in my limited experience.
 

Brizburk

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Hello Ace...

Sand isn't the best bottom material. It's difficult to clean and can become impacted in areas and will create water chemistry problems. The best material is pea-sized polished gravel. It's easily vacuumed and the spaces created in this material allows for water and oxygen to easily flow through it, so there's no risk of voids or areas that get no oxygen. That means there's no problem with the water chemistry. With this type of substrate, the organic material that collects on the bottom soon dissolves because of good water circulation. So, by just removing and replacing most of the water, you continually remove the organic stuff and the tank stays clean. No vacuuming is necessary.

Old
I'm going to have to disagree. I use sand only for my Cory cats. No problems with cleaning or water chemistry. Even if I dig my siphon in the sand it falls back out just like gravel does, if I think it's not going to fall out on its own I simply close the end of the siphon with my finger and it all falls back out. Sand is my favorite substrate.
 

aussieJJDude

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Sand should be chemically inert. Pool filter sand is a pretty good choice as it is a larger size than something like play sand and others.
It really depends on water chemistry and what your planning your stock in your tanks. I have some coral sand mixed into my aquariums, and plan in the near future of adding more due to my extremely soft water.
 

MrBryan723

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It really depends on water chemistry and what your planning your stock in your tanks. I have some coral sand mixed into my aquariums, and plan in the near future of adding more due to my extremely soft water.
Lol well I guess I should have specified silica sands are inert.
 
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