Frequently Asked Questions

How do Sand Waterfalls work?

There are several different methods to create a SandFall. Our SandFalls use the suction created by running water to draw the sand into the main water line and create the waterfall effect. When the sand exists the nozzle it falls into the sand reservior where it then exits into the waterline again.

Are the materials in the SandFall safe for my aquarium?

AquaVista's Scapable SandFalls plumbing is primarily made from PETG. This is similar to the material that a common disposible water bottle is made from. PETG is considered safe by the FDA and is a recylclable material. The Haifoss Sandfall also utilizes a Resin rock that is made from the same material commonly use din aquarium decorations and is safe aquarium use. All other material use din teh system are also safe for aquarium use. (Note we do recommend you soak the system in freshwater for 48 hrs prior to installation to remove dust and other particles from the assembly)

Is there a temperature limit to the SandFall kit?

Yes, the material manufacturer rates the maximum operational temperature at 89.6 degrees F. Temperatures up to 122 degrees F for limited periods of time should have no significant impact on your waterfall.

What Type of Sand do you Recommend?

The Haifoss sandfall can handle a variety of different sand, but most of testing has been done with the White Sand from TopFin® Brand by Pet Smart and the Imaginarium® Brand by PetCo. We believe this sand is the whitest sand available and has a larger grain size to help prevent sand from being blown out of the reservoir. We have tested other brands of sand as well. The brands that we or our custoemrs have been successful with are listed ont eh accessories page of the Haifoss product page. We wiill continue to add brands of sand as we gain experience thru our testing and that of our customers.

Why is there a grate at the bottom of the Reservoir?

The reservoir is designed to maximize the amount of sand that enters the SandFall while improving the operation and longevity of the SandFall. The grate at the bottom prevents objects that are too large to pass easily thru the SandFall.

Why use the Haifoss SandFall instead of a DIY model?

Short Answer


  • Reduces Installation Time by 100%


Long Answer

First and foremost, IT WORKs. Our system has been heavily tested and works under a wide range of conditions. There are lots of videos and internet instructions on how to make DIY kits. What they don’t show you is how many times you will need to test and adjust your plumbing and your scape to get it to work. When you do get it to work, they frequently have a relatively poor rate of sand flow that is less than completely impressive. Once you finally have it working and then fill your tank for the final time and add fish, the DIY sandfalls will frequently either stop working or work even more poorly over time. And then what, rip your completed tank apart to start over.

In addition, The AquaVista Aquatics SandFalls are designed to insure the sand returneds to the reservoir. DIY versions typically propel the sand out at the same speed as the water and the sand bounces off your scape making it very difficult to get it all back into your holding area at the bottom, so it can be recycled back into the system. This means that your Sand fall will quickly run out of sand and stop working.

This system also includes a reservoir for the sand facilitating its complete return into the system. This reservoir contains a grate to prevent items that can clog the system from entering the plumping.

While we cannot guarantee you will never have a problem, we have tested over 50 different configurations and have thousands of hours of operating time on our systems. This has allowed us to design and build a very robust system will work for months and months to come.

In our experience, creating a DIY SandFall takes a lot of time and effort, frequently 100s of hours. About half this time is getting the DIY SandFall to work properly and the other half is getting your aquascape to return the sand to the reservoir area and creating the look you want. Using the Haifoss SandFall allows you to eliminate this time entirely. You just place the system in your tank, plug it in, and add sand. This allow you to spend your time on what you enjoy most, creating a spectacular aquascape that will look great and work for months and months to come.

How often should I change the filter material in my SandFall

We recommend changing the carbon pad once a month to maintain a strong chemical filter. Replacements can be purchased thru the accessories link on the Haifoss Product page. The foam filter pad does not need to be replaced until worn. Instructions for filter replacement can be found under the Instrucitons button on the Haifoss product page.

How Often Should I clean the Pump?

It is recommended that you clean the pump every six months. Instructions for cleaning are located under the instructions button on the Haifoss product page.

Is the SandFall safe for Shrimp?

While we cannot gurantee you will never have a problem, we have tested the Haifoss system with Shrimp and have not found there to be any problems. We have witnessed no joyriding or attempted suicides. They seem to be smart enough to stay out of the way of the sandfall itself. However, as with any filtration system it is possible for a shrimp to get caught in the intake of the pump between the pump and the pre-filter. While we hav enot found this to be a common occurance it can happen. If you are keeping shrimp you may want to insert filter foam around this area as much as possible to limit this problem.

Is the sandfall safe for Discus and other sensitive Fish

We have had sandfalls running in tanks with Discuss, Angels, and Rams, and tetras among others for over a year and have seen no ill effects. The fish generally just ignore the Sandfall and we have never seen them to be startled even by the sudden starting or stopping of the sandfall.

Is the Sandfall safe for Saltwater Tanks

Whil we are nto aware of a lot of saltwater installations, so cannto speak with a great deal of experience, the components and materials used are safe for saltwater tanks. We do recommend that you soak the system in freshwater for 48 hrs prior to installation to help remove all dust and other particles from the system.

How big of an Aquarium do I need?

Generally, the system will fit in any tank 45 gallons and larger, but may also fit in a 25, 29,37,38, 20 Xhigh, and a 30 Xhigh, To be certain, you need to verify the inside dimensions of your tank to the size of the sandfall, 18" High x 19" Long x 9.5" deep, although the top 3" of the sandfall can be above the surface of the water. There also needs to be enough space in the top of the tank between any supports to insert the waterfall in the tank. Ideally the opening should be 18" x 10", but it can be fit in some openings of 15" by angling the system thru the space. For example, it can fit in a 36 gallon bowfront with a center brace.

What does my SandFall have some sand in it when I take it out of the box?

We do a final test on some production units with sand to make sure there are no assembly issues or other defects we were not aware of as part of our quality Assurance program. We do clean and vaccum the systems when this is compelte, but we are not able to remove all of the sand from the system.