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Old 02-15-2010, 07:32 AM   #11
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You could always use decorative gravel, doesn't look as real though. I have sand from home depot and have went through my diatom bloom. Got very lucky. Vaccuming sand isn't as wild as it sounds, just lightly brush the tube over it and you will suck up mostly the crap on it. you will lose a bit of sand, btu nothing to even worry about.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:25 AM   #12
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+1 on aragonite sand for a SW tank. I use Pool Filter Sand in one of my and one of my customers' tank and that works great. It is silica based but it doesn't leech into the water any more than the silica from the glass the tank is made from. The PFS I got was from Menards, while bag, blue lettering, Granusil brand, in the sandblasting materials area. The guy at Leslie's pool supply told me it's identical to their stuff, they just have gone through the extra certification process to give it the 'pool safe' stamp.

Plus PFS is slightly coarser and larger than play sand, and I have siphoned it along the surfance, and you get some sucked up but not that much. Especially for $5 a bag.

But you have to rinse the ever living you-know-what out of it.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:08 AM   #13
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I also am not sure any bad advice was given ...Some use this and some use that ... Some have issues others have used it for years ...
Every tank is diffrent ...
I have heard some say that the silica sand does not cause blooms others that swear it does ... there is not much on the market any more that is silicate free....
Either way you decide on the look you want do you want natural sandy bottoms or a crushed coral look ....?
Some make cc work as they have super charged currents in thier tank
the sand just does not allow it to get "stuck" as easy ....
The sand for pool filters and such should work as well ... call your local pool CO and see if they sell it ...
As for the shells besure to boil them in water to clean them if they are not from a tank already ... Especially if they come from the beach ....
You can use good ol aquarium gravel but it may leech the paint on the stones off and cause issues ... your best bet is sand ....
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:45 PM   #14
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awesome! I think i've decided to just get dry sand from the fish store, thank you guys so much
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:04 PM   #15
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OK, dry aragonite is the best choice, but today it is only available from a specialty store at $20 - 30+ per bag. You used to be able to get Caribbean plays and at Home Depot for about $5.00 per 50# bag. It was sold in garden center for use in a sandbox. You can still plays and, but today it is made of quartz (silica) sand. There is nothing wrong with using this in an aquarium. Read Silica Sand by Rob Toonen for more info.

Will you have more dissolved silica than if you used aragonite? Yes.
Are diatoms an issue in EVERY NEW aquarium? Yes, but they burn out in short order.

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