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Old 03-26-2004, 01:16 AM   #1
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SUBSTRATE: Can i use regular sand??

Can i use regular sand instead of aragonite? I still plan to add live sand but I dont want to spend all that money on aragonite that i could spend toward LR. I will be adding Baserock from www.hirocks.com. So i shouldnt need the aragonite to make the ph high right? The baserock is calcium-carbonate. Would sand from the beach be ok? How many lbs would i need for a 55g tank?
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Old 03-26-2004, 06:07 AM   #2
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You can use silica sand. It's not as good as the aragonite for a couple of reasons. It won't help keep alk up. The sandbed critters may not do as well in silica sand...it has sharp edges. Be sure you get play sand and not construction sand. The construction sand may have feldspar added to it. Sand from the beach is likely to have all sorts of contaminants in it...I would be very careful about using it. It may also be illegal for you to take sand from the beach. Check out the calculators link at the top of the page. There is a sandbed calc in there that will give you a pretty good idea how much you'll need.
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Old 03-26-2004, 11:30 AM   #3
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sicklidkid,

I can't remember for sure right now which brand, but search in this forum. What sticks in my head is Play Castle, but don't hold me to that. I do remember a post that specified 1 or 2 brands that you can get at Home Depot or Lowe's. I plan to add more sand and it was considerably cheaper than the LFS.
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Old 03-26-2004, 11:46 AM   #4
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It is Old Castle or Southdown play sand. Available at some hardware stores and places like Home Depot.
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Old 03-26-2004, 12:10 PM   #5
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If you cannot find it, regular play sand will work. However aragonite will lead to a healthier tank. I have both types in my tanks. You could mix them.
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Old 03-26-2004, 01:28 PM   #6
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folks are suggesting the Old Castle/Southdown/Yard Right play sand because it IS argonite sand, but sold as play sand so the costs is extreemly cheap. It's seasonal, so should start appearing in stores soon.
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Old 03-26-2004, 11:04 PM   #7
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So will it be OK to get the Old Castle/Southdown/Yard Right? How much diference is there between that and the stuff i could buy at the LFS? I could buy all the play sand i need for less than 15 lbs of lfs stuff. So if there isnt too much of a difference i will go for the playsand for sure!
Thanks for all the responses!
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Old 03-26-2004, 11:08 PM   #8
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If you find aragonite playsand it is no different than the aragonite reef sand sold at LFS's. Silica play sand will work, it is not as white as aragonite, not Calcium carbonate based and the sharper edges can irritate some sand bed creatures. If you need a couple hundred pounds of sand though the play sand is much more economical.
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Old 03-28-2004, 04:37 PM   #9
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yea, the difference between southdown sand and the argonite sand at your LFS, is about $1 a pound. Thats the only difference.
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Old 03-28-2004, 05:48 PM   #10
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My only experience is with the live sand sold at the LFS. To be honest, I would like to add about 400 more pounds of sand to my tank, but right now HD is not carrying it. However, the main reason I havent tried it is because the two guys at the LFS (who have proven themselves 98% trust worthy over the last 2 years) said that they have see Old castle wreck tanks by causing all kinds of crazy hair algae. To this point, I have been very luck and only had one very minor case of nuisance algae in the last 5 years. I am very reluctant to use Old Castle. Any thoughts or opinions on this?

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