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Considering starting a new tank theme when i buy my larger tank for my two red devils, Was wondering how one cleans Sand substrate?? i think it would look really nice but have never done it before.

also does anyone know how red devils go with sand, Or is gravel a better option?
 

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I just started a 55 gallon tank and went with black tahitian moon sand and a black background and it looks awesome, but it requires a LOT of maintenance if you don't want to see the fish waste all over the surface all the time. I love it, but just a forewarning.
 

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+1 for the pool filter sand. I have it in my 135 Malawi. The fish love it they get mouthfuls of it carry it up, spit it out and let it rain down, looks really cool.
 

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+10 on PFS, it's very easy to clean, super cheap (pool supply stores), looks natural, and doesn't get sucked up my syphon (I can sink my syphon into the sand and clean it like it's gravel after I suck the small bits of poo off the surface)

It just makes sense if you want to have a beautiful tank :thumb:
 

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The only advantage(s) for gravel I can think of is it is a lot easier to vacuum and it doesn't get sucked up into HOBs.

With that being said, it's a lot easier for detritus to accumulate in gravel.

IMO, even if there were more benefits to gravel, I'd still pick sand over gravel just because of aesthetics.
 

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Well I will be the one dissenting opinion. Sand sucks. It looks nice for a week or two then it it gets gross. It is **** hard to clean, never looks as good as it first did, it gets in the impeller and is generally a HUGE pain. I had converted to sand thinking everyone's opinion was better than mine, but I was wrong. I have switched back to gravel and couldn't be happier. Sand--PFS or PS is way more work. and quickly starts to look like **** in no time. I still have 3 tanks left with sand and cannot wait to get rid of that ugly substrate. Sand is cheap, and you get what you pay for.
 

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I think it depends on how much time you are willing to invest in your tank(s). I have gravel in my 30g and sand in the rest, I just removed the PFS in the 75g due to diatoms and replaced it with boiled river sand, it looks more natural, and I can already see a difference in the plants, plus, the fish can still grab a mouthful and spit it out with no problems.
 

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Hello, I have a 125 with moon sand and a black background and I love it. I recently added a powerhead and it blows the debris around and it gets sucked into my filters quite nicely. Be careful when cleaning the glass near the sand though, the sand will scratch the glass. I learned that the hard way. Ever seen a grown man cry? lol.
 

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I'm a gravel girl, myself. Nice, small, river-rock like miniature pebbles are wonderfully attractive, and they come in all sizes mixed together, including little enough chunks that my fish get to pick them up and carry them around (or pick up a whole mouthful and deposit it on my rocks). That, and considering my rocks are all river rocks makes for a really nice look over all - lots of sand substrate just never 'matches' the rocks in the aquarium with it.

I don't know about ease of cleaning, carefully vacuuming out gravel is a time consuming job. Just swishing your vacuum over sand seems so much faster, but I haven't ever really tried it myself.

Go for what you feel like. There are seemingly good reasons for either. You've never had sand, it's not expensive, it's easy to vacuum out - give it a try :)
 

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Bruce Haynes said:
Well I will be the one dissenting opinion. Sand sucks. It looks nice for a week or two then it it gets gross. It is darn hard to clean, never looks as good as it first did, it gets in the impeller and is generally a HUGE pain. I had converted to sand thinking everyone's opinion was better than mine, but I was wrong. I have switched back to gravel and couldn't be happier. Sand--PFS or PS is way more work. and quickly starts to look like #%$& in no time. I still have 3 tanks left with sand and cannot wait to get rid of that ugly substrate. Sand is cheap, and you get what you pay for.
The sand is hard to clean and the gravel is not? It may not appear so, but with gravel fish and food waste builds up between the gravel, where the sand it will build up on top, making it easier to clean off. If you do not maintain your tank well enough, or the filtration is not up to par, it may be unattractive to the eye. I'm not saying you don't clean your tank enough or your filtration isn't good enough, but I have sand in 8 tanks and it doesn't look gross at all, so I don't know why you have that problem.

I use pool filter sand. $7 for 50lbs.

This sand has been in here about 3 years, and that is my tank dirty.


This is about 9 months.
 

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I stick to my opinion...sand looks like **** after a very short time. My siphon sucks up both PFS and PS. Also my tanks aren't filled with rocks so you can actually see most of the bottom. It is easy to clean gravel. I have 12 tanks and do water changes in all of them every week. I just changed another tank out from sand to gravel last night. One left and then I am done. $30 and I never have to replace it again.
 

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As that's your opinion, there is nothing wrong with that. Just wanted to show that sand doesn't look like trash after a few weeks in every tank.
 

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I had used strictly gravel up until my newest setup, I used the medium grade all purpose sand fom a hardware store, got 100 lbs. for about 6 bucks. It is so easy to clean and looks great, maybe it is just me but my fish seem to really feel at home scooping up sand looking for food or digging little pits, with the medium grade sand after a good washing I have had no issues with it getting sucked into the filter at all. I will go with sand on my display tanks from now on.
 
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