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How close is the intake to the sand??? You want it to be a couple inches above the sand. Also you want to turn the filter off if you are going to do anything that's going to stir up the sand. Now this is only for filters that the intake water hits the propeller before hitting the media. Most if not all Hang on Back style filters are this way.
Other options is like its been mentioned putting a sponge on the intake or buying a Canister filter where the the water is pulled through the media before hitting the motor or propeller. Ehiem Classic series is one there are other brands too, that's just the brand I have and love.
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I was NOT plugging Aquaclear filters, but identifying the exact type of HOB's I use and the fact that I've never had a problem with my [POOL FILTER] SAND. But not all SAND is created equally and if the sand being used is very fine and/or the inlet tube strainer is too close to the surface, then there may well be a problem with sand being drawn in.
I have nothing against canisters but investing $125~ in a canister filter is not the only solution for this problem.
I agree a canister isn't the only solution which is why I stared what I did before.
On a different note canister for a 60gallon tank is cheaper then $125. I spent less then that for mine.
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