How Do I Use Play Sand for a Fluidized Bed Filter?

Written by amanda richards
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How Do I Use Play Sand for a Fluidized Bed Filter?
Fluidised bed filters are excellent for maintaining water quality. (aquarium fish 9 image by cherie from

Fluidised bed filters use sand as a filtration media by suspending the grains in a moving water column. Bacterial colonies readily affix to the sand, making it an excellent filter for aquariums. Any medium-grain sand that is not chemically treated or tainted with additives works as the bed media. Play sand is a perfect choice of sand to use because it is clean and not chemically treated.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Fluidised bed filter
  • Pump or powerhead

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  1. 1

    Attach a properly sized hose to the fluidised bed filter's intake. Connect this hose to a submersible pump or powerhead in the fish tank.

  2. 2

    Rinse the play sand in fresh water until the water runs out clean. Fill the container of the filter slightly less than half full with the clean sand.

  3. 3

    Attach the filter to the aquarium, and turn on the pump or powerhead. Check that the sand becomes suspended in the water column and the filtered water is flowing from the release into the aquarium.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure the connections to the filter are secure and do not leak. Watch out for impediments to the impeller or a stagnated sand bed caused by debris or dirty sand.

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