How to Filter Sand Dust From an Aquarium

Written by philippa jones
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How to Filter Sand Dust From an Aquarium
Improve the water quality of your aquarium by filtering out the impurities. (Aquarium image by crossgolfing from

An aquarium contains many different components, including a bed of sand. There are several types of sand available for use in an aquarium. These include blasting sand, play sand and coral sand. Over time, pollutant particles such as dust from the sand and algae will enter the water and need to be removed. This improves the water quality and clarity so the water remains oxygenated. Consequently, the fish are healthy and have a clean environment in which to live. It is possible to filter sand dust from the aquarium by following some basic aquarium care tips.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Two buckets of water
  • Running water
  • Sand
  • Water filter

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  1. 1

    Choose and purchase a water filter for the aquarium. There are several types of filters available. An undergravel filter is fitted on the base of the tank, while a corner filter is attached near the water surface. Wet/dry filters are recommended by the Aquarium Guys for large amounts of waste loads, including sand dust.

  2. 2

    Remove the fish carefully from the aquarium and place them in a bucket of water. Drain the water from the aquarium. Remove the sand from the bottom of the aquarium.

  3. 3

    Put the sand from the aquarium or a new batch of sand into a bucket of water.

  4. 4

    Wash the sand by stirring it in the bucket with your hand as you run water through it. Rinse it several times until the water runs as clear as possible (just like washing rice in the sink).

  5. 5

    Put the sand back in the aquarium and fill it with the appropriate amount of water.

  6. 6

    Affix the filter according to the manufacturer's guidelines. Many filters are electrical, and it's important to follow the instructions to avoid electrical hazards associated with water.

  7. 7

    Test the filter to make sure it works and that it is positioned in a suitable place. Attach it to the back or side of the tank so you aren't blocking the view of your fish.

  8. 8

    Return the fish carefully to the tank, along with any aquarium ornaments you removed. It is not necessary to clean the ornaments. The Aquarium Guys and the Fish Channel explain how the algae contains good bacteria to help filter the water naturally.

  9. 9

    Check the water filter regularly. The Aquarium Guys provide comprehensive instruction for maintaining care for your aquarium, which includes ensuring that the filtration system is effective. You may need to wash the filter regularly or change it, depending on the model you have.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a high-pressure water supply to rinse the sand during Step 3. The force will help remove more of the sand dust. Remember to do this when cleaning the tank and before adding new sand.
  • Make sure you select the correct filter to fit your aquarium. Buy a good quality filter to avoid having to replace it frequently.

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