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First time so please excuse me. I have a 72 gallon bow front aquarium. in it there is 2 bottom cats, just one electric yellow cichlid(I started with 6 but to my only thinking which I was not only one is left there were several colors) anyway the cichlid is full grown but very very shy I am planning on putting more in but only smaller and about 6 to 8 of them. I also have a sucker fish and he is huge when he hangs on the front glass he takes up almost all of it. So this is the real question I want to put sand in the aquarium and I wanted to know if it would harm any of my fish?

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You should be fine.  Sand is popular in the hobby and comes in many variations.  Swimming pool sand is popular and relatively cheap at the big box stores, It is intended for filtration and has a uniform size.  Sand that is too fine could cloud the water and filters.  Aquarium sand comes in colors and is expensive.  Whatever decision you make, rinse the sand thoroughly first. 

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As I understand it, the cloudiness that can be caused by sand is from silica dust. Diatoms love the stuff and the new substrate might cause a diatom (brown algae) outbreak in your tank. Diatoms are unsightly, but harmless. I find it kind of hard to get all the silica dust rinsed out, so I usually have at least a small diatom outbreak with new sand. It does go away eventually, so dont worry about it too much if you notice brown algae after switching to sand.

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11 hours ago, Sneedr said:

First time so please excuse me. I have a 72 gallon bow front aquarium. in it there is 2 bottom cats, just one electric yellow cichlid(I started with 6 but to my only thinking which I was not only one is left there were several colors) anyway the cichlid is full grown but very very shy I am planning on putting more in but only smaller and about 6 to 8 of them. I also have a sucker fish and he is huge when he hangs on the front glass he takes up almost all of it. So this is the real question I want to put sand in the aquarium and I wanted to know if it would harm any of my fish?

Are you or, will you ever have the itch to do plants? If so, I wouldn't do sand if I was you. 

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4 hours ago, Jeff said:

Are you or, will you ever have the itch to do plants? If so, I wouldn't do sand if I was you. 

I’ve got sand substrate and live plants. It’s working for me but I have low demand plants and feed with root tabs. The. Biggest pain is plants floating up before they are Rooted down but plant weights have solved that issue.  My biggest problem with the sand is I just added two nerite Snails and these things poop constantly and it’s visible. That’s a problem For me, it’s unsightly

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I use sand in all of my planted tanks. Either straight sand or as a bottom layer of substrate. But I've only got things like Pogostemon, hornwort and anubias. The pogo and hornwort love growing in sand. 

@Sneedrbe sure you pick the right cichlids. What I mean is, don't get a bunch of males that all look the same. Cichlids are notoriously aggressive. If your looking to get cichlids for the sake of having cichlids, make sure you get males that don't look the same, and that you get 2 to 3 females for them. And honestly, maybe get a back up tank set up because chances are good your going to need to move a male. 

If you are looking at cichlids because you think it it will make the fish you have now less timid, then I highly recommend finding suitable dither fish. Some big tetras, or perhaps some rainbows, though not traditionally considered a dither fish they work and look great for it.

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Mark’s fish tanks had a good tip for cleaning sand. Dump it in a 5 gal bucket, turn the hose on full, tilt the bucket a little, then as the water fills the bucket use your hand to stir the sand and let the water continue overflowing. The water is usually very cloudy at first and then starts clearing up. If you stir the sand well enough when rising in the bucket there won’t really be any clouding in the tank. I have used this method for my sand and it works great. 

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