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Old 10-14-2004, 10:17 PM   #1
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Free stuff from Petco

Went into Petco today to buy some dog food. Went the fish section, I was looking at the live sand in the bag. As I am in the process of starting my 44 gallon pentagon aquarium. I noticed all the water had leaked out of one of the bags. I went to ask if they discounted these bags. The sales associtae thought I was talking about the bags of sand and crushed coral behind the counter. He told me I could just have the bag of crushed coral. They just give thoses bags to employees. He gave me about 25 pounds of crushed coral for free. He told me it would be bad to add the bags of dried up dead sand, as it would do more harm then good. I see the bags all the time there. I will now be going in till I have enough to fill my aquarium and it is free . I am not sure this happens at all Petco's but it would be worth the trip to find out.
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Old 10-14-2004, 11:15 PM   #2
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Good deal!

I actually bought some of that "LS" from my LFS the other day. They, too, had some of there LS bags torn so that the water had leaked out. They sold me two bags of 20# for $20!

Its not bad to use it after the water has leaked out. It is just sand after all. Any bacteria that they collected at the time of processing the sand and putting it in the bag has long since died way before it every reached the LFS.
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Old 10-14-2004, 11:24 PM   #3
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The only "bad thing" would be that perhaps the things in the sand had died and would produce ammonia. Since you are starting a new tank you can think of it as a jump start to your cycle.
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Old 10-14-2004, 11:33 PM   #4
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The only "bad thing" would be that perhaps the things in the sand had died and would produce ammonia. Since you are starting a new tank you can think of it as a jump start to your cycle.
If anything was alive (and I like to think this is a really BIG if), I would have thought it would have decomposed long ago. The sand smelled, well, just like sand. There were large chunks of shells (mostly clams) in the sand which I thought was cool. I guess they are actually taking the sand right out of the water.

Actually I am using it in my refugium for my 40 gallon. I just have to wait till the sand storm calms down before I can plumb it into my system.
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Old 10-15-2004, 01:30 AM   #5
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I work at a local fish store, and i can tell you from experience, those bags get torn up really bad on a regular basis. The shippers stack them so high on the pallets that the bags have no choice but to bust open. We usually bag them up in smaller baggies and sell them for people with smaller tanks who don't want to buy 20lbs of sand but want enough to fill something out or whatever. Most of the time the big chain stores will just write it off as damaged and it's free for them, they can't use it anyways. Most chain stores around where i live wouldn't know the difference between live sand and dry sand.
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Old 10-15-2004, 07:42 AM   #6
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Heh, I'll do you one better. I used to run a forklift at a local farm and ranch company. If the lift happened to miss the pallet and impale the bottom bags of feed we just taped 'em up and marked 'em down. : ) Some folks there only seemed to mess up when the pallet was loaded with their brand of feed...
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Old 10-15-2004, 10:12 AM   #7
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If you're looking for sand, check out Petsmart as well. They have discontinued there CaribSea white marine sand. I got 2 20 lb bags (the last 2 they had) for $10.98.

Went to the next closest store, got another bag for $5.49. Good deal on this stuff, provided you're stores still have it.
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Old 10-15-2004, 10:31 AM   #8
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Question, I see some debate on the issue. The purpose of buying the live sand is so I do not have to cycle my aquarium. First does it work as labeled. Second if the bag is open and all of the water is out does it still work (not having to cycle the tank). I see where one person said it would not matter it would jump start the cycle. The guy at Petco said it would do more harm. I am trying to avoid cycling my tank. I am a very impatient person.

http://www.naturesocean.com/bioactive.htm
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44 Gallon Pentagon l 3" Live Sand l 50lbs Live Rock l 96 watts Power Compact l Currently empty l

75gallon l Rena XP3 Filter l 80pds live sand l 30pds of Lace Rock l 40 watts Strip Fluorescent l 1 White Tail Trigger l 1 Titan Trigger l 2 Domino Damsels l 1 Yellow Damsel l 1 Blue Green Chromis l

135 Gallon l Currently buying filter and sand to start the cycle, so my Titan Trigger can have a home all to himself l
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Old 10-15-2004, 10:58 AM   #9
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First does it work as labeled.
I don't believe it can. The bacteria responsible for nitrification must have food in the form of ammonia and nitrite. Yet, there is none of that in the bag. Second, the bacteria also need oxygen in the water. In a bag that is tightly sealed with no water circulation, I doubt there is any oxygen in that water.

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Second if the bag is open and all of the water is out does it still work (not having to cycle the tank).
Since I don't believe it works even with water in the bad then...

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I see where one person said it would not matter it would jump start the cycle. The guy at Petco said it would do more harm. I am trying to avoid cycling my tank. I am a very impatient person.
Again, this is all dependent on if there is anything alive in bag in the first place. I do believe that when they are harvesting the sand out of the ocean, they are probably gathering bacteria off the ocean floor from digging the sand up. But it could take at least a month for that sand to be processed, bagged, shipped, etc.. to retailers. By then the bacteria that may have been in the bagged has long since died.

All of this is my personal opinion. But it is based on how nitrification works and the bacteria involved. It just doesn't make since that this sand could still be alive if it even where alive in the first place.
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:36 AM   #10
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There is really no way to avoid cycling your tank. The good news is that depending on what you use, you can really speed the process up. Even if you use real LS, tons of cured LR and one of those "miracle" products like Bio-spira, you will still need to let the tank cycle. It may just take a couple weeks instead of six. Just a caution...most imptient people in this hobby ussually spending three to four times as much money as they need to becasue they are always replacing things that die.
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