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Old 06-07-2005, 05:44 AM   #1
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Argamax vs. "play-sand"

Trying to save as much money on my new setup here. I'm reading all these things about "play-sand" being good enough to place in an aquarium but is it worth skimping out on sand compared to buying stuff like argamax (from Carib-Sea?

My LFS says that argamax is has all metals and other impurities removed and is great for bottom dwellers and refugiums while keeps the water chemistry stable.

Just wondering if ordinary play sand is just as good?
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Old 06-07-2005, 08:27 AM   #2
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Others have used the argonite based sand from HD without any ill effect. I haven't found any in Texas, but would have bought it without hesitation.
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Old 06-07-2005, 11:30 AM   #3
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MJ's dead on the money - if you can find the correct play sand, it's about 1/3 the cost of Carib-sea's stuff. The problem is, its very regional. Play sand comes from regional quarries, and if your region doesn't have aragonite layers in the quarries, you'll only find the really cheap silica playsand (under $5 for a 50 pound bag). This stuff compacts, is very brown, and will irritate sand sifter's.

For that reason, I feel it's worth the cost of carib-sea, since I cannot get tropical playsand here in Nebraska. Also, there's no reason to buy live sand. The carib sea Aragamax sand will be perfect.
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Old 06-07-2005, 02:40 PM   #4
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OK I've done some googleing on it and here's a pic i found comparing Carib Sea and playsand found at your local Home Depot, Wal-Mart or Toys R Us:

http://www.planetkc.com/irobot/Brain...ithicSands.jpg
*note CS=Carib Sea, SD=Southdown/YardRight/Old Castle Stone Products Playsand

Looks close enough, granularity seems a bit finer on the Carib-Sea but 50lbs@~$5 compared to 30lbs@~$30 ...

I think it's worth a look around my area for the cheap stuff, but argamax is at the top of my list if it doesn't work out.

(Here's a related link reviewing the two: http://www.crabstreetjournal.com/pro.../playsand.html
I realize it's an old article, but yeah I'm new to SW reefs)
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Old 06-07-2005, 03:27 PM   #5
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Yep, that's about all you can do, is check around Home Depot, Lowe's, ACE...I've even heard of a Wal Mart having it.

If that fails, you at least have carib-sea for a backup.
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Old 06-07-2005, 05:31 PM   #6
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If you can find the right stuff go for it...I did. Got the white play sand by Durascape/Oldcastle foamed so much it almost came out of the container I tested it in.
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