I have sand in a couple tanks. Before placing the sand in the tank. approx one pound per gal,, You will want to get a large rubbermaid tub or equivalent and dump five to ten pounds of sand into this tub. Then using garden hose, fill the tub to cover the sand and dump and repeat several times to remove small grains and or dirt or other particles. You can then soop the sand from the tub and place it in the tank. Then place a small bowl or dsh on the surface of the sand and allow the water entering the aquarium to hit the dish or bowl. This will help to keep clouding to a minimum. After the tank has filled,, .I would suggest waiting for an hour or two ,or even overnight,to turn on the filter in the aquarium. Water will usually clear within 24 hours assuming you rinsed the sand sufficiently.
To maintain the sand,You hold gravel vaccum just above the sand to remove debri as opposed to shoving the gravel vac into the sand as you would do with gravel. After you have vaccumed up all the debri on top of sand,,then you simply use a plastic fork or fingers to sift through the sand to prevent pockets of gas from forming that some believe, are harmful to fish. Or you can employ the use of malaysian trumpet snails that will sift through the sand and thus help keep said gas pockets from forming.
I have found that if sand is kept at depth of no more than two inches,, then there is no problem with gas pockets and I also use trumpet snails. Sand should be maintained weekly just as you would with gravel. Difference is,, with sand,, all of the gunk that needs to be removed with vaccum will be on top of the sand as opposed to finding it's way down into the gravel substrates.
Last edited by 1077; 08-27-2009 at 04:10 AM..