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Is a sand substrate more difficult to maintain than gravel? Do you syphon / vaccume the same way as you would gravel? I would think that sand is lighter and you would lose a lot with each water change.

I just acquired a second hand 90 gal rectangle tank today - man, what a mess this thing is. I haven't seen anything this gross in a long time. And the smell!! I will post pics when I get everything up and running, but suspect this will be a long project.

Anyway, please let me know what the scoop on sand is. Thanks!!
 

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Anything finer than pool filter sand is too fine for me. I hate white sand, which most PFS is, at least around here. If I could get some Red Flint PFS/aquarium sand, I would be all over it. Gravel is definitely easier in my mind.
 

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I think sand is actually easier to keep clean than gravel. Debris rests on top of sand, rather than falling into gravel. Hold the gravel vac near the sand and the garbage is easily sucked away.
 

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Sand all the way and as said above for $4-$8 per 50lbs, its worth it.
 

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i prefer sand over gravel. as voodoo already said, the un-eaten food and poop stay at top and you can just suck it out. sand is usually really cheap, but some sand like aragonite could be a bit costy. and i like the fine look of sand.
 

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I use the aragonite sand (cichlid sand). In order to not flush a pile of money down the drain (literally) i just put a container under the python so that any gravel that does get sucked up ends up in the container. The waste overflows, the sand stays.
 
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