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Old 10-19-2006, 11:28 PM   #1
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Sand Waterfall Decor

I know this sounds stupid, but I want a waterfall under water. For this project, I obviously cannot use water for my waterfall in my aquarium. So I will use sand to simulate the movement of water. I'll call it a "sandfall" instead. I remember when I was younger, a fish store had one but I cannot find any place that sells them now. I have no idea if these are sold anymore.

The rock work will be easy. I'll use some pieces of slate to create the "sandfall." Then I'll just use epoxy to adhere them together and fill in any cracks where the sand might fall through. Once complete, the sand will cascade down the rockwork making the appearance that I have a waterfall in my aquarium.

Now the hard part...how am I going to get the sand from the bottom back up to the top so that it can fall down the rockwork? Initially, I thought that I could use a water pump to move the sand to the top, but sand will clog the pump. Then I thought that I could simply use the water pressure from the pump, but that would be too much pressure and the sand would blast out the top of the rockwork. Will air bubbles work? Perhaps the upward current that air bubbles would create behind the waterfall would move the sand to the top. But would it move enough sand?

I am open to any suggestions that you guys might have.
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Old 10-20-2006, 01:52 AM   #2
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My first thought was a bubble wand/rising air bubbles for power, but I have not gotten any farther than that yet... other than some mechanical type of "water-wheel" like from a steamboat or whatever, but that seems way involved. the hardest part will not be the pumping part, but how to keep the sand contained so you're not refilling it with sand every day or few hours. There needs to be a part that catches the falling sand and doesn't let it spill over where it can't be sucked up again.
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Old 10-20-2006, 02:02 AM   #3
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Don't mean to but in or anything, but I found htis on ebay from a UK outlet. I don't know if they ship to the US, but hey at least its a lead.

Just went ot ebay and ran a seach for aquarium sandfall.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d..._promot_widget
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Old 10-27-2006, 04:57 PM   #4
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Forgot about those things, had one years ago. Looked very cool but was very frustrating. The sand you use is really low density and either water current or the fish always emptied it out so you constantly refill it. I think it was more the fish at the time as it always looked like it was working correctly after a refil, but the next day empty. I had it in a FW with UG run by air pumps so low water flow. I can't imagine it working in a high turnover tank unless a different sand is used.
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:36 AM   #5
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Forgot about those things, had one years ago. Looked very cool but was very frustrating. The sand you use is really low density and either water current or the fish always emptied it out so you constantly refill it.
See, that's what I was talking about. Therein lies the challenge. Seems like too much work keeping the sand contained...
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:42 PM   #6
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An air driven chain mechanism with really small scoops could lift the sand and you could use play sand which should be heavy enough to run down and stay in the bottom catch trough. Wouldn't be too hard to rig if you know the working of such devices. You could even drive it from above water with a small clock motor or similar.
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Old 01-25-2007, 10:01 AM   #7
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I am from a rural area. I think the best way to move the sand from the bottom to the top would be to use a small "grain elevator". I know I've seen drill bits that look like the shaft in a grain elevator. A piece of PVC would serve nicely as the housing. Then all you would need is some sort of slow moving electric motor. Or a fast moving electric motor with a gear box. I think that would be the most efficient way to move the sand to the top of the sand fall. The sand would be contained on the way up so you wouldn't have to worry about water current spreading it everywhere. Anyway its just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-25-2007, 02:04 PM   #8
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This is a very interesting project. I'm glad it was brought back up. jdizzle3id brings up a good point. By spinning a drill bit or something similar inside a PVC tube, it will raise up sand without needing a big footprint. As for sand falling out of the contraption, why can't the bottom be a funnel type unit, pulling the whole substrate of sand in as the sand falls? Sure you'd have to level out sand, but I can't imagine you'd have to do it any more than during a weekly PWC.

Did this ever get done? I'd love to see it.
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Old 02-18-2007, 07:34 AM   #9
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I've seen some that use a piece of clear plastic and bubbles go up it giving it the illusion on running water.
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