Sand or underground filter?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by Zack, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Zack

    ZackNew MemberMember

    So I really want to switch out the gravel in my 75g tank and go with some black sand. I have 2-3 types of sand locally that ive seen suggested on these forums. Currently i have a Emperor400 HOB filter, I have an underground filter that also has 2 very old power heads on each side of the tank. My tanks waters always crystal clean, sometimes I get some algae spots on the bank. I only have 4 fish currently but they are all pretty big.

    It seems obvious I will have to loose the underground filter when I get sand correct? That means the 2 power heads are gone, leaving very little flow in the tank. Should I switch out my HOB filter also? So my initial question is.

    Sand or underground filter?
  2. Orion5

    Orion5Well Known MemberMember

    Yeah, you'll have to get rid of the undergravel filter. The sand will fall through the grating and clog it. It's not such a bad thing though, since undergravel filters aren't the best options for filtration.

    Good luck! :)
  3. Fashooga

    FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    I would go with the sand and make sure your HOB will handle the extra work. If not than you'll need to upgrade that or buy another filter for the other side.

    Sand is really nice, the cleaning is a pain in the okole but you won't regret it. I did it and it looks really nice.
  4. aylad

    ayladWell Known MemberMember

    You could keep the powerheads. Many people use them for extra current in the tank. :) I'd get rid of the UGF and go for some other type of filtration anyway.
  5. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I would keep the HOB and replace the UGF with a canister.
  6. OP

    ZackNew MemberMember

    I would have to stick to a HOB filter or something that takes up very little space. My 75 gallon is on a stand with a big open bottom, a 20g long tank is there along with various tank supplies/food/etc. A canister would be awesome though, they are basically the best filters out there right?

    The powerheads are pretty old (atleast 13 years) so i dont have a real problem removing them, but will my tank need more of a current/flow then just the HOB filter provides? I hate bubble rocks so please dont suggest that lol.
  7. Lunas

    LunasWell Known MemberMember

    well you could keep the power heads on sponge filters would increase bio load capacity and keep the flow in the tank and i love my canisters i have a fluval 106 and 206 i think i paid 54 for the 106 and 70 for the 206 for a 75 gallon you would need the fluval 406 or one of many other ones. And they dont take up much space they just have to be below the tank and sit in less than 1f of space.

    Have you ever thought of turning the 20g long into a sump for the 75g? or is the 20g also in service?

    One issue with sand is that you need alot of filtration to keep the water clear also bubble rocks are not generally recommended with sand it tends to push sand up into the water where they are. For the most part bubble devices are for surface movement if you have something else providing enough of that then you dont need a bubbler but some fish do better in current than others...
  8. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Why does sand require a lot of filtration to keep the water clear?
  9. Lunas

    LunasWell Known MemberMember

    well first off this is a personal observation of my 29g the sand tends to have any waste, food and debris sit on the top with enough flow the debris will stay in the water or go into the filter. And overall my tank doesn't look as clear as my gravel tanks do. I am looking for something to fix my issue next time i tear down my fluval 206 im going to put a second water polishing pad in it.

    If you want to know which i would use if i were to set up my next tank it would be sand or bare bottom.
  10. Jaysee

    JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Oh okay. Yes, I agree that good filtration (circulation) will keep the sand cleaner. I don't ever see waste in my tanks because of the massive filtration systems I run.

    Try some purigen instead of a second polishing pad.