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?

Yes. The sutherland scapable sandfall is made from PETG. This is similar to the material, PET, that a common disposible water bottle is made from. PETG is considered safe by the FDA and is a recylclable material.

Do I need a seperate pump for my waterfall?

Maybe. A seperate pump is generally the easiest method, but if appropriately sized the sandfall can run from the output of a cannister filter, a return pump from a sump, or even a pump used for a UV light set up. The SandFall works best with a waterflow of around 150 gph.

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?

Our testing has been done with the White Sand from TopFin® Brand by Pet Smart and the Imaginarium® Brand by PetCo. We believe this sand has a suitably consistent grain size and gives the most realistic look. However, teh Sutherland Scapable Sandfall will allow the use of a wide variety of sands, althouhg grain sizes of approximately 1 mm or larger are recommended. If the grain size is too small, the sand will not fall properly. Please test prior to use.

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 prevents objects that are too large for the system from entering, greatly reducing the chance of clogs. (It is still possible for several smaller particles, such as lava rocks from soil like eco complete, to combine to form a clog, but this is rare.)

Why use an AquaVista Aquatics SandFall instead of a DIY model?

Short Answer


  • Reduces Installation Time by 50%


Long Answer

First and foremost, IT WORKs. Our system has been heavily tested and works under a wide range of conditions. We offer detailed instructions and an extensive troubleshooting guide on our website. 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.

This system also includes a reservoir for the sand facilitating its complete return into the sandfall. 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 100's of configurations and done numerous scapes with months of continuous operation. This has allowed us to design and build a very robust system that will help you build a great looking SandFall that will work for months and months to come. If and when you do encounter problems, our website has a great deal of trouble shooting information to get you back and running as fast and as easily as possible.

In our experience, creating a DIY SandFall takes a lot of time and effort. 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 AquaVista SandFall allows you to eliminate the trial and error process of the DIY version and it also makes it easier to get the sand to return to the reservoir due to the proprietary nozzle. 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.