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Why Sand And Filters Do Not Mix


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  • Regular Member

Ok...let me start out by saying that this tank has had sand in it for over a year and it was fine with just my angels. In October I rescued a large pictus catfish who was stuck in a 30 gallon tank. After I had him for a month I put him in the tank with my angels. This catfish is VERY afraid of people and spazes out whenever someone goes near the tank or an angel moves too quickly. I have 9 angels in this 55, which is about 4 angels too many. To compensate for the overstocking I have 3 large filters on this tank. It is so over filtered that 9 goldfish could be in there for a couple months. Anyway...the catfish spazing out causes the tank to be very cloudy from constantly stirring the sand. And sand is always getting up into the filter. I would empty the filter out once a month and clean all of the sand out. Well it finally had enough and quit working on Thursday. Another filter decided to quit working for an unrelated reason. I promptly freaked out and did a 50% water change and removed the filter to do an emergency cleaning. I decided to test the water to see how badly the water was effected by the loss of the two filters.

Ammonia 0

Nitrites 0

Nitrates 5

I got the HOB filter running again by threatening to throw it in the trash and found out that the other filter had been unplugged by my brother. Well I have learned my lesson and I am removing the sand a bucket at a time. It was also at least 3-4 inches deep so the fish will have more water. I'll be replacing the substrate with black gravel.

Just thought I would share that sand does not do well with filters when you have fish that like to stir up the sand.

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  • Regular Member

aww and i like sand. if i were ever to get it. note to self, avoid fish that get scared easily XD aside from that though. did you try adding some sort of sock i guess or sponge to the filter? i think in your other thread, which i actually just commented on you said you are removing the sand. anyways if you have yet to remove it. have you tried that?

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  • Regular Member

i am absolutly loving the sand as substrate in my 80 gallon (or at least i was untill i got a leak and had to disassemble the entire tank to re-glue) in my 80 gallon i had about 4 inches of sand i collected from the beachs of lake superior (freshwater lake) it took me days to clean the sand but the sand isnt super fine and it seems all my fish absolutly love it and when it gets stired up even by my syphoning it it only stirs up about 4 inches a good 2 feet from the filter. maybe you should try some not-so-fine sand and just buy sandbox sand i got my sand from the beach far away from the water so it was dry took it home and sifted out all the large debres,baked it in the oven then let it soak in salt water over night then rinsed it all in chlorinated water havent had no problems with it.

i love the sand becuase alll the food gets eaten none gets pushed into area where the fish cannot reach it and eat it so when i syphon i rarly have large particles to syphon out and i can feed the fish less food at a time emaning i dont have to worry about over-feeding. seriously try a heavier sand you could also try making the catfish more freindly by doing what i do i just stand in front of the tank for a long time and put my hands in the tank often mostly just to pet my goldfish and hand feed them but its worked wonders with my pictus cats they will even swimm up to take food from my hands.

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