Sand and HOB's

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by brodylane1122, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. brodylane1122Well Known MemberMember

    Ok, so I'm planning on doing my 10 gallon snail community tank with sand (I know my MTS will love it). Here's the issue. I know HOB's aren't the best filters with sand, but I have so many HOB's lying around that it would be ridiculous to go and buy something else. So my plan is to just use two HOB's with prefilters, and make sure the intakes are closer to the middle of the tank.

    I've read that there are heavier sand and lighter/finer sand. I'm guessing with HOB's, I'll want the heavier stuff. Any recommendations?
  2. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Yes, the heavier the better. Pool filter sand is the best to use with an HOB, in my experience.
  3. JunneFishlore LegendMember

    I just used regular sand that they sell at Petsmart and it seems fine. The sand is really fine so I just have to make sure the filters are turned off when I clean or move things around. So far so good. :)
    That's good you have a prefilter - I do mostly because of the sand and also to keep the mts out of my filter.
  4. brodylane1122Well Known MemberMember

    WHere do you get pool filter sand? And what should I be looking to avoid? Are there additives in some?

    Do you vacuum the sand with a gravel vacuum? Just wondering since it's so fine.
  5. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Nope, no additives, nothing to worry about. I would go to a pool/spa store. Hardware stores can carry it to, though it would probably be in the back as it's out of season.

    Yes you can vacuum sand, but it's different than with gravel. there's finesse to it - that's the only difference. It;s easier, once you get the hang of it.
  6. Mrs.PriceValued MemberMember

    Make sure the intake is above mid level, and I would even suggest putting some kind of fine stocking over it... To vac sand, all you have to do it run the gravel vac a half an inch or so ABOVE the sand, if you put the vac into the sand, it will siphon it up.
  7. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I keep my intakes an inch off the sand, but canisters are impervious to it. If you are using a heavy sand like PFS, you can keep the intake lower. The lower it is, the more waste it will collect. The higher it is, the less chance of sand making your filter noisy. It's a trade off that you will get to play with - find what's best for you.

    Washing the sand really, REALLY well goes a long way to keeping it from fouling the filter, since it washes all the fine particles away.
  8. Mrs.PriceValued MemberMember

    I've found the best way to rinse sand is in a pillow case... and rinse it VERY, very well, constantly agitating it within the bag... and when you think it's good enough... do it a lot more. ;)

    And then, to get the last bit of any yuck that might be in it, this is a good method:

  9. brodylane1122Well Known MemberMember

    Thanks all, well while we are at it, can I get some more ways to rinse the sand. Is there a good way with a 5 gallon bucket? I have a few.
  10. guster730Valued MemberMember

    Just use PFS and put it in the bucket and use a hose and spray it around in the sand, letting the water overflow out of the bucket for a good while. Once it's completely rinsed out it may still make the water cloudy. Run your filters with no fish in it for a day or two then rinse off the filter media. Then you should be good to go, no need to keep the intake more than an inch away from the bottom. That's exactly what I did with my PFS, I even had a HOB running for a while with no problems.
  11. JayseeFishlore LegendMember