This weekend I'm switching my 55 gal goldfish tank over to sand. (Haha another sand convert). I've never had problems with my 29 gal sand bottom because the fish don't kick up sand. Goldfish do. They are always rooting through it. And I foresee sand in my filters as a major problem.
I know getting a canister is the best option, but I just don't have the money for a good one right now. If I'm going to invest in something like that, I want it to be something I can rely on for years.
So what other things can I do to prevent my HOB filters from eating sand? The sand is sugar grain-sized.