05-19-2010, 09:32 PM
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IME sand is very deceptive, I have seen tanks that look amazing and on that whim I went and changed from gravel to sand but a lot of work goes in to maintaining the appearance, as I have found out.
Raking the sand is easy enough but its the water changes and then every day preening that are a right royal pain in the butt. I have golden/tan sand and the amount of crap from the fish and plants that you see on the surface is unbearable, for me anyway. Just be aware that the lighter the colour of the sand the more noticeable the waste will be. As for the filter, I left my fish in the tank when I changed the substrate so I needed the filter on for them and I havent experienced any problems, I pretty much switched the filter on after just 20 mins and it still runs perfectly =)