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Hello,

I am in the process of building a 75 gallon cichlid tank and have a few questions on the substrate:

I enjoy the look of sand but worried about the vacuuming process. I have a Python for water changes....will this suck up the sand? Is sand harder to keep clean vs. gravel?

What type of sand is best? I was looking at Carbisea Cichlid mix but open to other suggestions.

Also, leaning towards a Fluval FX4 but wondering if the FX6 might be a better choice for added filtration.

I am taking my time building this and want to get it right, not only for me but the fish. I hate rushing into things only to make changes later.

Thanks for any help that is offered.

-Fireman
 

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I'm guessing this is gonna be an African Cichlid tank, right? Mbuna.....?
Your Caribsea Cichlid mix will work just fine. It IS a bit pricey. But, if you like the look of that stuff, it is used in African Cichlid tanks all the time. You may wanna consider another option:

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/ ... nd_pt1.php

Pool Filtration Sand (PFS) is much cheaper than the Caribsea Cichlid mix you are looking at. And, I personally believe it looks a lot more natural in the aquarium. Best place to purchase quality PFS may be in a dedicated Pool Supply store. As for cleaning? The technique for sand is a lot different than with gravel. I've found that it's best to just 'hover' over the surface of the sand and gently provide some current to agitate fish waste or uneaten food, so it can be easily siphoned up. However, PFS has a nice quality of not getting sucked out of the tank, if the Python Gravel Vacuum tube is used for cleaning. For cleaning however, it's not necessary to use the gravel vacuum tube, as the stuff you want to siphon out will just rest on top of the sand.
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As for filtration, your instincts serve you right as the FX4 will provide plenty of biological filtration from that canister for your 75 gallon aquarium. That said however, the FX4 will work best if used in conjunction with a Hang On Back (HOB) filter.
Redundancy = "One? Is None." Right?
So, an Aqua Clear 110 will get the job done nicely, as will a Tidal 110. The Tidal HOB provides the nice quality of 'surface skimming' as part of it's filtration capabilities, to remove surface film build up from the water. :)
 
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