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Old 12-31-2003, 07:11 AM   #1
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QuickCrete Sand - Just got some

I just got back from Lowes today. My lowes has a WAY better selection of sands than HD. They also had some paper-bagged quickcrete sand.. One of the bags was busted open and the sand didn't look industrial enough to be eliminated from the equation quite yet. I picked up 2 100lb bags of it for 7 bucks each. The stuff looks IDENTICAL to the tropical sand I see on the internet and in the LFS. I have an intensive photographic memory, and the grain size and variations, size of granules, shape, etc.. all were rather similar to aragonite. The bag says "May contain FREE silicates"... I have heard of people using silica sand and said that leeching wasn't as possible as some make it seem. Also, the size was like sugar and it was bright white (not bleached). The bag said it was sterilized.

I'm wondering if I should pre-rinse the sand prior to using it in my tank, or if it is probably okay the way it is.. right out of the bag.

Also wanted to know if anybody has used quickcrete brand sand for their reef and if it has served them well.

Also, an Idaho HD has Old Castle sand for $2.42 / 50lb bag. Its a good couple hour drive to idaho and back from here (Oregon), but is it worth it for Old Castle? Also, Is Old Castle sand WHITE in color? or is it a darker color?

Any information is greatly appreciated. Thank you!

--Micah
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Old 12-31-2003, 12:20 PM   #2
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Old castle is the sand you want if it is the right kind. There is one bag that is basically southdown. Use vinegar to test it. If it bubbles, then you have found aragonite sand. No bubbles means silica. Not sure what color it is. I am just basing all of this from what I have read, so take it with a grain of sand (pun intended).
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Old 12-31-2003, 12:32 PM   #3
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The only quickrete I've ever used was to set post holes in the ground. I sure hope we're not talking about the same thing. . .
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Old 12-31-2003, 01:20 PM   #4
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So wait... is the bubling good? or bad?
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Old 12-31-2003, 01:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Pain Devine
So wait... is the bubling good? or bad?
Good. It means it is a CaCO3 based sand.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 12-31-2003, 02:36 PM   #6
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Lame, no bubbles... I guess I'm going back to the store... I think I may have gotten the wrong bag because after I opened it, it looked different than the stuff they had on display. It was brownish and actually had some gravel in it.
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Old 01-01-2004, 12:29 AM   #7
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Hey wait! Is CaCO3 the same stuff that crusts up all over my cappuccino machines milk steamer? I could start scaping that into the tank. Whats better? 2% or whole milk? I like the whole milk in my coffe but I don't want chubby bristle worms in my substrait.
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Old 01-01-2004, 05:39 PM   #8
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Oh wait... read this:


http://www.reefs.org/library/article/r_toonen9.html
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Old 01-01-2004, 05:49 PM   #9
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As long as it is >99% pure, the quartz-based sand will not directly harm anything in your tank. The aragonite sand is generally "softer" so to speak (after all the quartz sand is very fine dulled particles of a crystal...quartz) and it is preferred for it's buffering capabilities and the fact that it is naturally what the critters live in/on/around to begin with. If you don't have access to aragonite sand, or you simply refuse to pay for it (though it is still highly preferred over the silica/quartz-based sands), find a high grade quartz-based sand (as the author in your reference article was talking about) and you can use that. If your LFS is a smaller independently owned one, you can always see if they'll cut you a deal if you buy a lot of aragonite sand from them. That or a bunch of enthusiasts in your area plan a road trip to NJ to buy a ton of Southdown. [Information presented here is what I have learned/been told...feel free to correct me]
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Old 01-02-2004, 02:55 AM   #10
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i used silicate based sand and had diatoms covering my whole tank for about 2 months =/

i would advise against it.
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