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Old 10-07-2004, 05:05 AM   #1
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playsand combo

hi guys and gals out there
i like most of you are having a heck of a time trying to get southdown tropical playsand.
this is what i was thinking of doing,
at hd they have some nice high dessert sand (i got a cup or two from an open bag) i tried the vinegar test but it was a no go
the sand is a fine sand white with no silicates (got a pinch of it in my hand and held it up to a light at an angle ,i saw no tiny reflections from any silicates)

i was going to get about 100 # of it (2 or 3 bags), and then put about 80 #of caribsea aragonite sand on top of that.
my base rock will be tufa (about 100#)

does this sound good ? i'm hoping the caribsea aragonite sand and the tufa rock will be enough to buffer the ph .
i will be getting lr but not till next year(05)

my tank is a 90 aga , shop lights and a cascade 300 power filter hanging
on the tank ,currently saving up for a turbo flotor 100 of remora (not sure for a sump or hang on model)
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Old 10-07-2004, 10:14 AM   #2
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got a pinch of it in my hand and held it up to a light at an angle ,i saw no tiny reflections from any silicates
I've never heard of that before. any silica based sand (not silicates, they are very different things) can have a glassy like surface, that just what silica sand is. Take a look at this microscopic comparison of a couple sand types, you'll see what i'm referring to. That said, there is nothing wrong with silica sand, it simply lacks any of the positives an argonite sand will give you. Argonite sand is simply as close to natural as you can get (and it often actually comes FROM the ocean floor).

I think a base of the desert sand topped with argonite would be ok. because they're both sands and roughly the same size grains you should have too much settling, but over time the critters in the sand bed will mix the two together.

your bio says you from Washington PA... if you have the patience (I know.. I hear ya!) wait till spring. Southdown sand is highly seasonal as it's used in gardens and kids sandboxes so it usually only appears in spring to mid summer, then the stores let their supplies sell out until next year. It tends to be a NE product as well, so come spring you should be able to find some.

From the rest of your tank, I had Normal Output (NO) lights and didn't think anything of it. As soon as i upgraded to PC, it was like my tank bloomed. The coraline started to spread rapidly, a few corals I didn't even know I had started to appear.

Do you already have the HOT power filter? with LS and LR, its probably not necessary (just one more thing to maintain)
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Old 10-07-2004, 02:09 PM   #3
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Wow, interesting concept. let us know how it works out.
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Old 10-07-2004, 02:21 PM   #4
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I have been thinking kind of the same thing. I can't find southdown or old castle any where down here. I was thinking go with a couple of inches of quickrete sand then a couple more inches of the good stuff. My only concern would be the difference in colors if the sand some how got stired up.
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Old 10-07-2004, 03:39 PM   #5
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I would think there would be some stirring going on. 80 lbs of argonite will give you about an inch of sand I think, so that isnt terribly deep. the "bad stuff" will eventually get stirred up. (especially when putting in your LR.)

For me, the concern was that the little critters that live in sand wouldnt do good in silica. and my bottom dwellers would not be as comfortable.

If you can swing at least another 20 lbs of argonite, I would go for that.

I checked everywhere, bought a ton of silica sand to test, eventually I broke down and just bought $50 (50 lbs) worth of Carib sea argonite. :|
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Old 10-07-2004, 06:17 PM   #6
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the tank will start out as fo

early next year i will upgrade my lights to pc ,get lots of live rock, and get a good skimmer (i got so frustrated with my seaclone 100 i pitched it)

still using the mj1000 for surface movement

i can probably swing for more aragonite 40# more.
but 80# is a start

trying to locate a landscaper to get 100+# of tufa rock
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Old 10-07-2004, 07:58 PM   #7
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i just got bac fron busy beaver up here in washington pa i went to check on if they had any high desert sand (only 2 mile from home vs. 5 mile hd)

i saw some yard right river rock bags and some other yard right products i cant recall just now.
so i thought - hey maybe they can get some yard right tropical playsand?

it's the same stuff as south down tropical sand right ?

any way i tried to see if they can order some tropical play sand

but the guy at the counter said he would give all the info i gave him to the morning guy cause he had no idea how to do something like that

+ they had to call home office to see if they can order it
i cant see y they couldnt it's made by the same company anyway.

i'm gonna get 300 # worth maybe more if they will order it

gonna hold off on the high desert sand/ aragonite till i get an answer
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Old 10-07-2004, 08:02 PM   #8
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also just put in my atnic t 10 bulb in the shop light with my white light
the white light is t8 the atnic is t10
does anyone know if it is ok to do this?
the blue is kinda cool
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Old 10-07-2004, 11:09 PM   #9
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playsand combo

i may have said silicates sorry for the confusion but if you hold it up to a light at an angle you can see the silica bits reflect light
but this sand has no little reflective silica in it
looks good real fine white sand
although it wont fizz (i used both apple cider and distilled vinegar on it - not at the same time)
just how much vinegar r u supposed to use?
little bit or a good bit
maybe i used too much
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Old 10-08-2004, 12:33 AM   #10
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Yard right is southdown I belive. am I right on this??? anyone???
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Software:2 Tank-Raised Ocellaris Clowns, 1 Purple Firefish, 1 Electric Orange hermit crab, 18 Blue Legged hermit crabs, 8 or so Nassarius snails, Xenia, Blue, green, and Green Striped Mushrooms.

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