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Old 12-08-2004, 03:52 AM   #1
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Just Sand Ok?

if i was going to start a new sw tank, would just sand i retrieved from the beach in north carolina be ok for a substrate? i understand with no undergravel filter you should have less than 1 inch of substrate is that true? or should it be less to make certain i dont get any anerobic bacteria growth? is that the only reason for the shallow amount?

do i have to wash the sand? if so, how the heck do you wash sand? 8O
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Old 12-08-2004, 10:37 AM   #2
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Re: Just Sand Ok?

Quote:
Originally Posted by anememonemone
if i was going to start a new sw tank, would just sand i retrieved from the beach in north carolina be ok for a substrate?
Never use sand from human populated areas. Biological and chemical waste will have leached into the sand making it unusable for a marine tank. Best off to use a quality oolitic aragonite sand or if still available in your area, tropical playsand.

Quote:
i understand with no undergravel filter you should have less than 1 inch of substrate is that true? or should it be less to make certain i dont get any anerobic bacteria growth? is that the only reason for the shallow amount?
You shouldn't really use an UGF in a marine tank, but to answer your question it's not true. The depth of the sand is directly related to the amount of anaerobic bacterial growth. The deeper the sand, the more anaerobic bacteria possible. Personally I do not like anaerobic denitrification but it's not "always" bad depending on how you employ it. If deciding on a shallow bed, having at least 1' of a good grade of oolitic aragonite is best coupled with a generous amount of LR (1-2 lbs/gal). Without rock you would need to look to other means as a shallow bed alone will not be able to handle the bioload. These are by no means the only way to complete the nitrogen cycle or the only way to reduce the production of nitrogens/elevation of organics. There is also macro algae/soft coral harvesting, coil denitrators, aggressive skimming, DSB refugiums etc etc....

Quote:
do i have to wash the sand? if so, how the heck do you wash sand?
Not required or desired. As I said I would not collect sand from local shores but the stuff you can buy in the dry form does not need to be washed.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 12-08-2004, 02:07 PM   #3
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There are several kind of PS you can find at HD or Lowes. Most people prefer Tropical PS(argonite). Howver, you can still use other brand of PS(contains silicate) if you can't find tropical PS in your area. Just be sure you get one with a sign on the bag that says "DISINFECTED", and somewhere on the bag says "Not for commercial use".

I would rinse the sand in a bucket with regular tab water first to get the dust off to reduce the amount of cloudiness when you put the sand into the tank. Good Luck.
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Old 12-08-2004, 06:13 PM   #4
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Silica does not mean silicates, they are two seperate issues.

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Old 12-08-2004, 07:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve-s
Silica does not mean silicates, they are two seperate issues.

Cheers
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I'm I missing something here? Could you please explain the issues. Thanks.
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Old 12-08-2004, 07:39 PM   #6
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Silica is an insoluable element (in sw anyway) that will not do anything to harm a marine tank. It is what many playsands are actually comprised of, not silicates. Many confuse the silica based sands for algae problem causing silicates. Silica doesn't play a role. The only real difference between a proper silica based playsand and aragonite, is the ability of the aragonite to add to the buffering capacity of the water. The other is shape, aragonite typically being oolitic (rounded) where silica is flat like small shards of glass.

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