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Hi guys, I've had barebottom for ages now but I feel that sand looks nicer. The trouble is when I had it before it was so much work as it always got siphoned out with water changes, and it got in my filters as well. Is it possible to keep tanks with sand clean? What do you guys do?

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I disturb the sand before siphoning. I hold the siphon right above the sand and suck up the debris. It's DEFINITELY more work than a bare bottom.

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Edited by Flipper

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I'd also look at the size of the sand particles. The smaller they are the easier it is to get a bunch of it floating around. :)

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I haven't had issues keeping it clean, since the mulm and debris are lighter than my sand. I do stir the sand a bit to kick stuff up occasionally but most of it just settles on the top anyway. I hover my syphon about an inch or two above the substrate and the stuff just lifts away, leaving the heavier sand behind.

That's probably the biggest trick - keeping the syphon off the sand bed so it doesn't suck it up.

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I do exactly what Flipper and Arctic Mama do -- it works really well.  I haven't noticed any sand getting into my filter.

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Ditto on what the ladies above have said.

Unless your intake is at substrate level, you shouldn't really end up with sand in your filter.

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Just thinking out loud here.  I dont like sand cause it gets sucked up every time you clean. But I have some in my saltwater tank and I have critters that keep it sifted and clean for the most part.  Is there anything like that in the freshwater realm?  Maybe some of the loaches that like to dig?  Or even snails that might dig in the sand to help keep it clean? Are any of these possible in a goldfish tank?  Maybe the trumpet snails like I have in my dirt planted tanks?

Just wondering.  

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Ditto on what the ladies above have said.

Unless your intake is at substrate level, you shouldn't really end up with sand in your filter.

Some of my fish love to grab a mouthful and sift through it right in front of the intake. I think if you have sand on the bottom, you are going to have sand in your filter unless your intake is a surface skimmer. That said, I haven't had a problem caused by the sand in my filters other than I have to rinse them a bit better when cleaning.

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Just thinking out loud here. I dont like sand cause it gets sucked up every time you clean. But I have some in my saltwater tank and I have critters that keep it sifted and clean for the most part. Is there anything like that in the freshwater realm? Maybe some of the loaches that like to dig? Or even snails that might dig in the sand to help keep it clean? Are any of these possible in a goldfish tank? Maybe the trumpet snails like I have in my dirt planted tanks?

Just wondering.

Yes. Loaches and trumpet snails are great for this. Also goldfish, because mine can't not root around in the substrate - they sift constantly!

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Ditto on what the ladies above have said.

Unless your intake is at substrate level, you shouldn't really end up with sand in your filter.

Some of my fish love to grab a mouthful and sift through it right in front of the intake. I think if you have sand on the bottom, you are going to have sand in your filter unless your intake is a surface skimmer. That said, I haven't had a problem caused by the sand in my filters other than I have to rinse them a bit better when cleaning.

Yes! This is true. :alex

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I had saltwater nassarius snails that would burrow in my sand too, and at one point looked for the equivalent of a freshwater burrowing snail for the same purpose.  The only one I found available in my area for sale are the assassin snail.   Store worker told me that the snails really do assassinate other snails, so these are not a good option for me since I have red onion snails in that tank.

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My daughter had fresh water clams in her tank. Sometimes you would see the sand moving/shifting because of them. They last over a year before the goldfish ate them all.  :feedme

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My daughter had fresh water clams in her tank. Sometimes you would see the sand moving/shifting because of them. They last over a year before the goldfish ate them all.  :feedme

 

Hey who doesnt like fresh clams as a snack lol

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Nom, nom, yum, clams!

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