Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Folsom, Louisiana
Sandfall mini tank
I've been working on building a sandfall in a 5 gallon Marineland Portrait tank.
It has been a challenge!
The tank came with a plastic partition about 2" from the back glass where the pump and filter pad were housed. The partition was glued in with silicone so I cut it out.
The back of the tank and about 3" on both sides at the back have a thick, black "plastic" obscuring the view into the back of the tank. This was good.
I found a small, hard plastic tray that I used for the sand measuring about 8"x4"x1.5" deep. I put this in the center of the tank and put plastic grating on the sides for the rocks to sit on.
My first attempt, I siliconed the rocks in place and then set up the fall. I had the rocks so tight against the back of the tank and around the uplift tube, I had a hard time getting the tube in the hole, with no room for adjustment. I also forgot to put the heater in.
I tried using Black Diamond blasting sand, mason sand and PetCo Aquarium Sand with a 60 gallon pump. Nothing worked.
I took the entire tank apart and bought pool sand and a 100 gallon pump. I tested the sandfall before putting in the rocks this time and it worked but not flowing heavily like I see in other tanks.
I put all the rocks in but didn't silicone them this time. I have the filter, heater and lift tube all in place, too.
I couldn't get the sand to slide back to the lift tube, it just piled up and spilled over the sides of the container. I decided to put the black EcoComplete around the edges of the tank and fill the center of the tank with pool sand. It is working much better but I'm still not getting the heavy flow that I'm looking for. I also have bubbles coming out the top of the 90 where the sand comes out, which carries some of the sand out instead of allowing it to fall straight down. I put a large hole in the top of the 90, hoping the air would go out the hole and not the 90 but that didn't help.
I used a 3/4" lift tube. My first step to try and get heavier flow is to cut the opening at the bottom higher. Right now, if I push the sand towards the pipe and push the pipe all the way down into the sand, it gets stopped up because the hole is buried beneath the sand.
If this doesn't work, I'm going to try using a 1" pipe.
If anyone has an idea on how to make the flow heavier, please let me know.
I'm going to put some Moss in the front of the tank as ground cover and put some Java Fern in the crevices of the "mountain" and maybe a few small "trees".
I'm putting 1 male Betta in here.
Fraternity of Dirt #160
75 gallon - CO2 injected
5 gallon tall cube - CO2 injected
Wish I had an entire room dedicated just for more tanks!
Last edited by Kntry; 05-18-2015 at 02:19 AM.