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Old 11-10-2004, 03:08 PM   #1
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Can Playsand be too fine...

Hello Fellow Salties,

I decided that as I had a bunch of spare equipment laying around from my fresh water fish keeping, I ought to try my hand at a small FOWL tank at the office.
Trying to keep costs low I decided to opt for playsand as my substrate. However, and quite unfortunately, sandbox season is pretty much over and I was not able to source any of the recommended sands such as Old Castle.
What I did find was something called All Treat. It seems very fine, almost too fine and my fear is that it will cake. I have had it running under the tap for about 12 hours now -- I turn the tap off at night to prevent floods -- and while it is running clearer than it did before, when I agitate it with a broom handle it still seems to throw up quite a lot of silt. What's more worrying is just how densely packed it seems.
My first question is: is this density OK and should I just run it longer. My second question is: how do I test for silicates. I was assured at the store that it was too inexpensive to be pure silica sand, but...
And I guess I have one more question; should I just pop for the over priced aquatic blends? Jeff
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Old 11-10-2004, 03:32 PM   #2
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take some out let it dry and add some vinager..
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Old 11-10-2004, 03:34 PM   #3
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If it fizzes, it's got silicates? Jeff
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Old 11-10-2004, 03:35 PM   #4
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If it fizzes it is calcium based
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:39 PM   #5
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Even if it does not fiz, it still could be used. You just won't get the PH buffering an arragonite sand will give.

Not sure about the exact sand you have but my sand has been in my tank for 1+ year and if I stir it up - or a powerhead does it for me - it will make the tank a bit cloudy.

If it is true playsand, it should be ok. Arragonite sand would be better but not necessarily a must. That being said, I have only used arragonite sand.
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Old 11-11-2004, 06:16 AM   #6
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Sugar sized grains are generally recommended. Slightly larger gives copepods a better home, slightly smaller gives more surface area.
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Old 11-11-2004, 07:20 AM   #7
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Thanks Indy and crew,
I have had the sand in a garbage pail having water over flow through it for about 20 hours now. The water is running clear, but I can still stir it up into a perfect storm. Jeff
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Old 11-11-2004, 10:24 AM   #8
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take heart in the fact that once the sand is in the tank and colonized with bacteria, It will settle down pretty quickly if it is stirred up.
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Old 11-11-2004, 10:40 AM   #9
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Thanks.
I didn't know that bacteria will help settle the sand.
Interesting.
In any event, I am going to set up the tank today and even see if I can't seed the cycle with a frozen shrimp or pure ammonia.
I am going to go away for a about a week so hopefully things should be settled, sandwise, in the tank. Jeff
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