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i have some of that tropical white sand (not sure the name) in the front of my tank and i just cant keep it clean. it seems like within an hr after cleaning it will already have more shrimp crap on it. just ive also had what seems to be a kind of algea outbreak on it. most of the top layer of sand has turned a slight yellow, but i can stir it up to reveal clean white sand.

my question is whats the best way to keep this stuff looking good in clean like ive seen in all the pictures???

thanks
 

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About all you can do is keep it vacuumed off and turned over.
 

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I have the exactly same problem in an aquarium that I was settin up, I have white sand in the front, and since I started I got the sand cover, first for a yellowish snow looking layer and I believe was a kind of fungus and there after for a brown layer that I believe was an algea, all this during the cycle process. After several water changes and syphoing, I drop a bag of activated Charcoal inside the aquarium with a dosis of bacteria AKA, and not only got rig of dirty looking in my sand but also got my water really clear. I haven't had the problem again, at least not that critical as I had it initially.
 

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You have identified one of the problems with using sand for a substrate or substrate cap. The fine grains prevent waste mater from working its way to the under-substrate. That both prevents the plants from using it, plus it adds to the maintenance, as you have seen.

Bill
 
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