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WELCOME TO TFK!!!

I have a couple of Aquaclear 70 HOBs on my 60g and have a [pool filter] sand substrate and have never had a sand problem in the filters.
Is your sand too fine so it's easily raised off the bottom or as mentioned, is your intake tube too low/close to the surface of the sand?
Perhaps your sand wasn't rinsed/washed well enough to remove the finer sand particles?
I often really wish you would stop pugging Aquaclears. What they were back when they first hit the market is not what they are today. Cheaper parts, flimsier bodies...etc

All my tanks had sand, and even with the intake well pulled away and with well rinsed sand these things would kick the bucket quite easily. I see used ones hitting one of the local stores every day.

To OP, you need to ensure that your intake is well away from the bottom. Putting a pre-intake sponge onto the intake can help but it will be rinsed from time to time. My best suggestion is to get a Canister and get one that pulls water through the canister and through the media first, and then it goes through the impeller/into the tank. This prevents sand from hitting the impeller if any does get in and problem solved.

Don't get Aquaclears unless you want to waste money and time.
 

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I was merely ball parking which was why I included the tilde ~

To mention the top contenders...

> Eheim Classic is about $85
> Fluval 306 is about $120
> Rena Filstar XP2 is about $100

These are current rounded Amazon prices for canisters suitable for a 60g (assuming free shipping), retail would likely be $20-$40 more. (also presumes they all come with appropriate media).

I like to solve problems at the root cause and If we keep the sand on the bottom where it belongs it won't bother the filter. But if MitchellLion wants to buy a canister filter, it's okay with me as long as he doesn't ask me for the money ;-)

Footnote: This may also be a potential problem for folks with much smaller tanks that can use a solution other than a canister filter.
It's not always possible to "Keep the sand where it belongs" depending upon your stock and set up. Some fish like to play/dig/ around and throw up sand on a regular basis. So while it's all and good to want to keep sand "where it should be" you can't always argue with your fish on that and win.

I could spend quite some time on why hiking up your intake further away from your substrate isn't always the best thing for your tank but that's not really important here. Rather than continue to throw money at temperamental HOBs, OP would be best served by buying a canister, or perhaps doing a canister + sponge filter combination. That way he can save money going with a smaller model and then run the sponge as supplemental. The sponge has amazing benefits.

In fact OP you really could potentially go with an all out duel Sponge Filter system. People often heavily underestimate just how well these Sponge Filters can keep small-mid sized tanks running well. Of course you really need to have a well planted tank for this to be viable.
 

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I've found a nice PowerPoint presentation is all that's needed to convince the fish to keep the sand where it belongs ;-)
I'm pretty certain all 14 of my loaches would look at that and then go on a digging spree to spite me.

Make sure the bottom of your inlet strainer is about 4" from the top of the sand. The sponge prefilter will [also] help solve the problem, but you may find that it will quickly restrict flow and may need rinsing as much as twice a week. Make sure to get at least two so you can swap back and forth quickly and easily.
Also it goes without saying that the filter should be off during water changes and/or whenever you disturb the sand.

Try to ignore the sarcasm posted. Some folks just like to 'debate'. But when somebody reports a flat tire, the first solution isn't necessarily to buy a new Cadillac...not that a new Cadillac wouldn't be nice mind you. ;-)
How nice to know that people disagreeing with you or choosing to want to see things fully talked about/thought through equals "likes to debate". I"m done here. OP I hope that when you do settle down with your new replacement that you no longer have these problems with sand. I know your pain too well having been in the same situation. Not a single HOB on any of my tanks pre-filter sponge or not seemed to be able to handle fish using the bottom like a kid uses a sand box. It's well worth it to save up for a canister.
 
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