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how do I clean sand without losing all the water prior to me finishing the tank cleaning? It requires a pump and a filter to trap sand that’s come through…
 

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I usually siphon out the sand and replace with new sand. The sand that I siphon out I wash and let dry out, then reuse it when I have to clean the sand again. It’s tedious but that’s the only way really to keep the sand “clean.”
 

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I don't clean my sand. The substrate, especially the surface area that has access to oxygen houses beneficial bacteria that helps keep the tank balanced and clean.
I know this might not be the answer you're looking for but still wanted to give my honest answer lol. I hope you don't mind a different perspective!
 
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