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Old 10-15-2003, 11:25 AM   #1
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play sand vs. aquarium sand

8)

Please help.
I'm starting a 110 gallon reef/fish system. i've read many articles about pros and cons of using play sand over regular aquarium sand. Ive heard if you dont use aquarium sand you won't get the ph buffer that you need for corals. i've also heard that diatoms can go rampant. Is this true or is it something the pet stores say to get you to spend $300 on sand?
What is the amount of sand you should use? I've heard 5".
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Old 10-15-2003, 11:42 AM   #2
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5" would be nice for a DSB.

AS for play sand, it depends on the make up of the sand. There are a few brands that are similar to the sand you can buy at the LFS. Do a search on play sand and you will see the brands and other discussions. I could not find anything locally here so I bought my sand from the LFS.
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Old 10-15-2003, 12:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Ive heard if you dont use aquarium sand you won't get the ph buffer that you need for corals. i've also heard that diatoms can go rampant.
From what I have been told to acutally get the calcium buffer of the argonite sand the PH in the tank has to be in te low 7.0 range or even lower. At that PH you got alot more problems in your tank than worrying about your calicum levels.

Diatoms feed off of silicates but silica sand is not the same as silicates. You should see no more diatoms from silica sand than from any other sand substrate.
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Old 10-15-2003, 01:02 PM   #4
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Diatoms feed off of silicates but silica sand is not the same as silicates. You should see no more diatoms from silica sand than from any other sand substrate.
This is kinda misleading, for silica sand to be totally safe of silicates....it would have to be 100% silica, you won't find this in a playsand, cause 100% silica is a breathing hazard. Silica playsand contains feldspar (Any of a group of abundant rock-forming minerals occurring principally in igneous, plutonic, and some metamorphic rocks, and consisting of silicates of aluminum with potassium, sodium, calcium, and, rarely, barium), which will leach silicates into the water.
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Old 10-15-2003, 01:12 PM   #5
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5" sounds like a really deep dsb. I thought the target was 3-4".
I couldn't find any of the recommended Southdown or New Castle play sand, so I was also forced to buy mine at the lfs. I picked up 1 cubic ft. for $39US. The dimensions of the base of my tank are 3ft x 1 ft. my DSB is 4" deep. 3x1x4/12 = 1cubic ft. The brand name of my sand was Indo Reef I think. it was $13US/bag.

Hope that helps and isn't just randon babble,
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