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Sand Substrate


New Member
Hi Apisto Experts!

I'm planning a new Apisto tank (~18gal/69liter) for my Apistogramma Agassizii pair

One key point is a sand substrate, I have read that a sand substrate (~0.5mm silica sand ie filter sand) is best for apisto and their natural sifting behavior.

I have never used a sand substrate before so I have some questions

Q1) How deep should the sand be?

Q2) I'm planning to have a plant substrate as the bottom half then capped with the sand, do you for see and issues with this?

Q3) How do you clean the substrate, I mean I assume the sand can get stirred up more and possibly make a mess. Is it simply a matter of being more careful with the gravel vac? and maybe reduce the siphon flow?

Q4) I'm still deciding on filtration either sponge or aquaclear 20. Would a aquaclear 20 hanging on a 15" high tank stir up the sand?



New Member
1. sand cover at least 3cm 2. No 3. No gravel vac! 4. I doubt it but I prefer sponge filters because after a while micro organism live in it which is perfect for fry.
Thanks for the feedback.
I also like sponge filters but one of the reasons I was considering a small HOB in this case was for reduced noise as the tank will likely be in the study. Also if i put an intake sponge on it that would serve a similar function to the sponge of the sponge filter ie contain micro organisms for fry to feed on.