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Old 09-12-2012, 08:50 PM   #1
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Aragonite vs Pool Filter Sand

Looking to get some inputs on the differences between the two. I'm looking to start a reef and want to keep costs down. Are there any properties that aragonite sand possesses that makes it better than pool filter sand which is much cheaper? Thoughts.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:19 PM   #2
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Looking to get some inputs on the differences between the two. I'm looking to start a reef and want to keep costs down. Are there any properties that aragonite sand possesses that makes it better than pool filter sand which is much cheaper? Thoughts.
Aragonite sand is best. I've never heard of anyone using pool sand before. There are many benefits to the aragonite more about the chemical properties and the ability to be broken down and release calcium alk and other trace elements. Into the water. Pool sand I believe is made of a silicate compound which has no beneficial factors in creating a stable tank.
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Old 09-12-2012, 10:36 PM   #3
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I agree aragonite. It helps stabilize a lot of stuff.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:03 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. Looks like the census is that aragonite is the way to go. I've seen a lot of youtube videos were people use pool filter sand in lieu of aragonite to cut cost. I'd rather have the properties you guys mentioned vice not having it due to cost.
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:00 AM   #5
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Pool filter sand is so light that when you do certain things(aquascaping,placing powerhead,cleaning) it blows everywhere and gets you tank cloudy. Very light.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:57 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Shan69743

Aragonite sand is best. I've never heard of anyone using pool sand before. There are many benefits to the aragonite more about the chemical properties and the ability to be broken down and release calcium alk and other trace elements. Into the water. Pool sand I believe is made of a silicate compound which has no beneficial factors in creating a stable tank.
Although i do agree that argonite can and will release chemicals into the water which will help to "buffer" the system.. It does however gradually reside after awhile... As with any trace elements, it cant simply replenish itself. So in a nutshell, argonite becomes as inert as PFS after an extended period of time. I ran PFS on my 125 and loved it! (so did my engineer goby)
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:27 AM   #7
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There seems to be a very common misconception that aragonite sand helps buffer your water when it dissolves. While this is true if it's used in freshwater systems where the pH is typically around 7, it doesn't normally happen in saltwater tanks. Aragonite is calcium carbonate. It's the same thing live rock is made of and the same thing that makes up the skeletons of hard corals. In order for calcium carbonate to start to dissolve, the pH needs to be around 7.3 or lower. You don't see a pH that low in a typical saltwater tank. Where you may see the pH that low is very deep (6" or more) within a deep sand bed, but the area would be so small and confined that any dissolution of the aragonite would precipitate back into calcium carbonate because of the locally high concentration and not buffer the tank water. Now if aragonite did dissolve and provide buffers under normal water parameters with a pH around 8, not only would the aragonite sand dissolve, so would your live rock and any live hard corals with calcium carbonate skeletons.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:32 AM   #8
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Wow!!!! See that's why I always come here to get info. There is always a wealth of knowledgeable individuals to bring to light information that many do not know. Looks like PFS might be in my plans after all.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:06 PM   #9
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Wow. Nice write up capt I had no idea. Thx.
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