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I have kept Frontosa for a few years, always with medium gravel as substrate. Because it is so darn easy to vacuum clean with a python connected to sink via hose. Spectrastone Deep River Pebble Size, poly coated. All local fish stores sell that brand.
Never even considered sand because I imagined it would be too hard to keep from sucking up with the python when cleaning.
Cleaning a fairly large 135 gal tank substrate is not even a 10 minute job with gravel, you're never going to have gravel go all the way up the 24" wand.
Easy in other words.
So how are you all cleaning your substrate, I know most of you use sand.
Was I wrong about the difficulty vacuuming sand?
 

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Use pool filter sand...the 20 grain (if you get the right product) falls right back out of the Python.

You can also hover the Python over the sand and even use your hand to agitate if necessary...there is a video in the Cichlid-forum Library showing that.
 

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I use Caribsea special grade aragonite sand. It's too heavy to go down in the python but not big enough that the cichlids can't dig in it.
 
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