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Old 02-03-2003, 01:02 PM   #1
DHS
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Sterilized Playsand

While at Home Depot this weekend (looking fruitlessly for SouthDown in TX) I found that they had some sterilized playsand. This sand is suppose to be sterilized enough for babies to play in but my question/idea is this...if I get the sand and setup a way to pull as many of the unknown chemicals from it would it be usable in my new tank??

Full details for my idea are as follows:
Bake 5-10# of sand in the oven @ 500 degrees for 1 hour
Place a bubble wand on the bottom of a bucket
Put the sand in a bucket
Fill the bucket with water
Place a heater in the water (running temp 90+ degrees)
Attach 2 power filters on either side of the bucket (to create a circular motion of water)
Use Active Carbon in one filter and SeaGel in the other filter
Let this run for about 5-7 days (turning up the sand about twice per day)
Finally filter out as much of the water as possible & rebake the sand @ 450 degrees in the oven again for 1 hour

Now if anyone has other animals like herps or snakes you'll know that baking items from out side at 450+ degrees for 1 hour is the standard practice to remove bacteria & parasites. Thus the reason for the baking, but my thinking is that with the whole process it should hopefully clean the sand and make it safe for my tank. But any ideas to perfect this process would be great. Also please don't get on to me about the use of play sand and chemicals..bla, bla, bla...I know all this. But with no Southdown down here I am really trying to avoid paying $20+ for 20# of sand.

Peace,
DHS
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Old 02-03-2003, 01:11 PM   #2
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Another option to Southdown is www.purearagonite.com Check them out. If I were not able to find any southdown, I would probably go with a silica sand, it's ground glass and simply won't have the buffering capacity of aragonite. It is still a suitable substrate for a DSB. As for cleaning the sand? Rather than bake it, you could bleach it. Let it soak in bleach for a few days, drain it add water and dechlorinator and it will be free of the bleach. My biggest concern would be any contaminant in the sand, there are many things that are not harmful to human babies but are toxic to our reef tanks.

Another possible option for Southdown is local reef clubs. If you are a member sometimes you can get together and have a pallet shipped to you from southdown, then you can simply split it up. Much cheaper than some other options, als a member might have some that they aren't using.
Might consider looking at www.justphish.com I think he used to ship southdown, it is more expensive, but from wha tI understand he makes very little off of it and does it as a service to his customers.

HTH
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Old 02-03-2003, 06:19 PM   #3
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You can also go back to your local Home Depot and have the person in the Garden section order and have shipped to them, from another Home Depot:

YardRight/SouthDown Tropical Play Sand Sku#:578-819

They can have it transfered to them from location:

Watchung Home Depot Store #906
1515 Route 22
Watchung, NJ 07069
(908)222-7700


This way, you don't have to pay for the high cost of shipping and buy it for what Home Depot sells it for.

Good luck.
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Old 02-03-2003, 06:27 PM   #4
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Oh, yeah, I used the play sand from HD in my setup. It doesn't do bad, but, there is no reason to go through all of the stuff you mentioned. Key words on the bag ( sterilized playsand ). They remove all harmful chemicals in the same ways, but in a more efficient way than you can do at home. I guess you can do that, just to be sure, but IMO, unneccessary.

I bought the play sand and added it to salt water and poof I had my SW tank. The play sand at HD is silica sand and no matter how much you shake and bake, it will still be silica sand and the worse thing that I saw in mine is the abundance of diatom growth during the cycle period. After that, it has been fine.
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Old 02-04-2003, 01:59 AM   #5
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Timbo,
Is your alkalinity fairly stable using the silica sand?
Logan J
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Old 02-04-2003, 07:34 AM   #6
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From what the test says, yes it is. I confess, I don't know much about Alkalinity though. I know I test for it and it is in med/high on the color chart..Red Sea test kit. It is right on the border of being high.
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Old 02-04-2003, 10:49 AM   #7
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Thanks for the ideas everyone. Unfortionately the HD down here can't/won't ship anything in that under $100, and there is no way I'm buying that much sand just for my tank when all I need is 100-120#. As for using bleach, I want to avoid using anything that harsh unless its totally necessary...know anything that does as good a job as bleach thats just not as harsh?? Just to let everyone know why I'm going through the whole process is to make sure that I can pull out as much of the bacteria/heavy metals/general junk that the sand may have in it or that it may get while at HD. Plus thanks to timbo2 and his good experience that means though I maybe going overboard to make sure my sand is totally clean at least nothing horrible will happen...but we'll just have to wait and see.

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Old 02-05-2003, 05:20 AM   #8
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I think, before I did all that work (but I'm kinda lazy), I would check around to see if some other folks might be willing to go in with you on a minimum order of the sand from HD. I know you're not the only one around there who'd like to have some. It's a thought anyway. Or...buy $100 worth and resell what you don't need. I would guess you could get enough out of it to make it worthwhile although you might have to wait a little while. Let us know what you do and how it works out anyway...I'm guessing if you're willing to go to that much trouble with the sand, the rest of the tank will be awesome when it's done.
Logan J
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Old 02-05-2003, 06:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
As for using bleach, I want to avoid using anything that harsh unless its totally necessary...
Bleach...Harsh...???

In all seriousness, it may be harsh, but it is much better suited to what you want to do, than baking. Bleach actually breaks down and many organic contaminants which baking will not. In short, bleach will do everything that baking will...and more. Bleach is also easily removed by rinsing and judicious use of a Sodium Thiosulfate (dechlorinator). Good luck with whatever method you use...and keep us posted
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