i had sand, it looks nice but i dont like working with it, u cant put the siphon into like you do with gravel you have to hover over it so you can hopefully pic up debris that is on top of the sand. Since sand has such a smaller particle debris doesnt usually get into the sand like it gets into gravel. you can always go with a larger sand than play sand. i heard tahitian moon sand is a larger particle sand. so it doesnt kick up so much, but it is black. there must be a light coloured sand like that also.