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Old 01-28-2021, 06:25 PM   #1
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Pool filter sand/substrate

Just wanted to share a little anecdote for anybody looking for sand info. A little over a year ago I set up my 100g African cichlid tank. Used pool filter sand. Looked great. As my stocking increased i added more filtration, eventually having an internal power head on a small canister, 2 aquaclear 110's, a fluval 406, a sponge on air, and a sunsun 304b. Tank looked great. Over time the sand took its toll tho, killed the power head, and both of the 110s. I have since replaced the 3 dead filters with another internal canister, and a sunsun 302b. I also recently changed from sand to gravel. I've also lost 2 other power heads using them to do water changes in it. I secondarily found it really difficult to vacuum without losing a lot of sand in the tube. In conclusion, ime, I do not recommend a sand substrate for cichlids that like to dig, as there is always some unseen floating in the water column. Sand is cheap. Equipment, not so much, lol

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Old 01-28-2021, 08:23 PM   #2
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What kind of pool filter sand?
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:39 PM   #3
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It was hth brand. I loved the look, and when the tank was lightly stocked, no issues. But I have over 20, and at one time over 30, peacocks and haps, so several are constantly sifting sand. I think the issue is heavily stocked digging fish
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:42 PM   #4
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I replaced the impeller on both 110s, then the motors quit. I replaced one motor, it's running like new again on a different tank. I finally got around to ordering some pre filter sponges for the intake tubes. But just decided to change over to gravel today anyway
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Old 01-29-2021, 08:01 AM   #5
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I'm with you there. Had Cichlids over 35 years ago and up to 2 years ago and never used sand, just gravel because I was told they dig and yes... they do! Gravel is fun to hear them spitting it out against the glass though.
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Old 01-29-2021, 08:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishwonder View Post
I'm with you there. Had Cichlids over 35 years ago and up to 2 years ago and never used sand, just gravel because I was told they dig and yes... they do! Gravel is fun to hear them spitting it out against the glass though.
Haha! Yeah it is! I have some big diggers. But they are solo. If I had sand in there with the solo guys (they all have gravel too) i don't think it'd be so much an issue because it's just one fish. Also, I notice that the s and central American cichlids move stuff around to suit their decorating styles. The Africans just constantly sift in the sand. Grab a mouthful and swim away dropping it in a trail behind them. There was prob always sand floating in there
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Old 01-29-2021, 02:44 PM   #7
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New substrate and re-hard scape lol Click image for larger version

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Old 01-29-2021, 03:12 PM   #8
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Looks good.
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Old 01-29-2021, 05:45 PM   #9
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Looks good.
Thanks! Yeah, I love the sand look. I hope this is easier to maintain and easier on the equipment too, haha!
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