04-14-2007, 04:43 AM
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Hi Firebelly girrl,
I used to keep gravel in my tanks, and at first was slightly worried about keeping the sand clean etc, but I've never had one problem with it. I bought proper aquatic sand, as this won't compact like regular playsand.
Each time I do a water change, I hover the gravel cleaner just slightly above the sand, this way all the fish waste is lifted but the sand isn't sucked into the gravel cleaner (it takes a bit of practice to get the technique right). I go over the surface of the sand a few times using this method, until there is no dirt left.
I then use a plastic fork, and rake through the sand - just going through it once is enough. I leave it to settle for about ten minutes, and any missed dirt that has been disturbed has then settled back on the surface of the sand, and I repeat again with the gravel cleaner once.
Then I just fill her back up. It may sound time consuming, but it's not once you get the hang of doing it. I find the sand much easier to maintain than gravel, because with sand you can actually see the dirt, whereas with gravel it gets trapped between the stones.
Hope that helps :)
Oh - and the corys absolutely love digging about in the sand!