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Old 04-29-2008, 10:11 PM   #1
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Cyno issue

I have a slight cyno problem and am getting it under control, but in the meantime Im having to syphon out some of my sand. I do have the all elusive sand that some people cant find. However, Im running out and want to know if I need to add more sand later, what do most people do? Do you just use playsand from like Lowes or Home Depot? I have heard this has a lot of silicates and such in it? I dont want to add more problems to my tank.

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Old 04-29-2008, 11:05 PM   #2
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You can use any sand, though most people prefer aragonite based sand for the added buffering ability. It's expensive though. Atleast moreso than playsand from the hardware store.

My 30lb bag of aragonite costs me $30 at the LFS. For comparison, a 50 lb bag of playsand probably costs $5 at Home Depot, but you lose the buffering ability.

There are some aragonite based playsands out there, but they are few and far between. Some people suggest taking vinegar with you to the hardware store and testing the sand there. If you drop some vinegar on the sand and it fizzes, it's aragonite based. If it doesn't fizz, it's likely silica based.



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Old 04-30-2008, 10:29 AM   #3
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Another option, is if you are just replacing a small amount that you sucked up while syphoning, you could just find a LFS that sells live sand and just get a pound. You'll get your replacement sand with the added benefit of some new populations of sand critters.

PS: silica based sand doesn't necessarily equate to silicates. It's a common missconception. My biggest concern with hardware store play sand is the possible contaminates they could harbor. Safe for kids to play in, but might not be safe for fish to live in.
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Old 04-30-2008, 10:43 AM   #4
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took me a while to track down this old article with a photo comparison of the sand types:

Reefs.org: Where Reefkeeping Begins on the Internet - Photomicrographs of Sands & other Substrates

There are a lot of different play sands out there. Follow Lindsay's tips for getting the right stuff.
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Old 04-30-2008, 11:49 AM   #5
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i ciophoned out all my aragonite when i had cyano and i got playsand and it looks cleaner and i havent had a problem since. i also added a small air pump with an air stone platform for a little more circulation of things
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Old 04-30-2008, 04:47 PM   #6
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I remove some of my sand on occasion and I just replace it with new dry (rinsed in SW) sand. I haven't taken the step to the play sand as yet but with a 210 coming up I will! That is a great article btw BillyZ, thanks for sharing it!

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