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I'm thinking of converting to african cichlids. I read here that some people use sand.
what type? any product to recomment, Also, how do you clean the
bottom, does the sand get vacuumed out.

Thank you
 

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You can use pool filter sand, which is available at a big hardware store. Also the sand is heavy enough that it doesnt easily get sucked up into the syphon but if it did you could always put it back in after you dump your bucket. Im currently using crushed coral in my tanks but I will use sand in my next. Try seaching for "sand" threads for more detail.Good luck.
 

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I use arragonite sand which helps buffer the water to help maintain the high pH required by my Malawi cichlids.
 

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vjl110 said:
I'm thinking of converting to african cichlids. I read here that some people use sand.
what type? any product to recomment, Also, how do you clean the
bottom, does the sand get vacuumed out.

Thank you
Sand is fun! I've used regular Home Depot Playsand in a small tank before, but the stuff is *very* fine. I would not recommend using it without spongy prefilters on all your filter intakes. It churns up into the water column fairly easily, but my multi's seemed to like it ok.

I've never used pool filter sand, but if I make another sandy tank I'll probably give it a whirl. It's whiter than playsand and rumored to have larger grains that help keep it on the bottom where it belongs (and might also make vacuuming it easier).

My understanding is that detritus doesn't tend to get down into the sand bed like it does gravel, so some people hold their gravel vac just above the surface of the sand, sucking the stuff off the top while sucking a minimal amount of sand with it (I suspect there's an art to it).

Another option is under-gravel-jets. Many people swear by them for keeping gunk off the bottom of the aquarium, so that it can get sucked up by your filtration of choice. (no more vacuuming? That's a lovely thought!)

Anyhow, keep your salt shaker handy since most of my post was merely regurgitating info that i've collected from other sources rather than personal experience.

-Rick (the armchair aquarist, and a big fan of Lake Tanganyika and the cichlids therein)
 
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