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Old 04-22-2003, 05:19 PM   #11
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Old 04-24-2003, 08:22 PM   #12
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Here is a great article on the presence of silica in sand, including aragonite. Thats right folks, aragonite released silicates into water. Not as much as silica sand but, they both do. But the point of the article is that silicates in fish tanks aint always a bad thing. Read the article, it is by chemist, Randy Holmes-Farley.

http://advancedaquarist.com/issues/jan2003/feature.htm
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Old 04-24-2003, 10:07 PM   #13
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IMO, t here is nothing wrong with using silica sand, however, it provides absolutely no buffering capacity. It is also very fine and although that could be a good thing for silt and such, it is also very jagged and sharp which is not good for most burrowing inhabitants. I would say the main disadvantage is buffering capacity. If it holds none, it just means you will have to supplement more to acheive more. There have been many a tank successfully reared with the use of silica sand alone and suffered no ill effects. Check it out:

Silicon:

The silicon in the sea, like phosphorus. originates from the land. Silicon (Si) is the element. When compbined with oxygen, it becomes silica (silicon dioxide, SiO2), the stuff of sand, flint, quartz, glass, and the skeletons of some tiny planktonic protoctists. Silicone ( with the "e") is SiO that is combined with various semi-inorganic polymers (R groups) to form adhesives, lubricants, and coatings.

Some silica is dissolved during the breakdown of rocks and sediments and is washed into rivers and out to sea. Silicon is an esential element to animals that use it in the development of skeletal supports such as diatoms, radiolarians, silicoflagellates, and sponges. In the marine environment, silica is obtained from the water by the organisms that utilize it, and some is returned to solution when the organism dies. Silica that is not dissolved, accumulates as sediment on the ocean floor.

Silica in the form of sand, rock, and glass is not very soluble and is not a chemical concern to marine aquarists. Silica in the form of silicic acid is another matter. Very few animals are that require dissolved silica in any significant amount; however, excess dissolved silicic acid may stimulate growth of unwanted diatoms and certain red algae. Silicic acid does not usually accumulate to problem status in marine systems. In fact, if anything, it is depleted from aquarium water. However, if fresh water supplies contain high levels of silicic acid, constant addition of tap water to make up for evaporative loss may cause excessive diatom growth is other nutrients are also available...

From the words of MOE
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Old 04-24-2003, 10:18 PM   #14
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BTW, very good article thanks...
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Old 04-24-2003, 11:37 PM   #15
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You might have noticed in the article he says that it does buffer the water as much as one would think. He said water changes would basically do the same thing. I found that interesting.
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Old 04-25-2003, 01:29 PM   #16
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So did I to the extreme that I have to question that...I have been reading the Marine Aquarium Reference by Martin Moe Jr, and he has quite a bit about silica sand and how it does not buffer... I also have read ather authors that say the same thing. I look at it this way. They use CC substrate for calcium reactors, because combined with the CO2, it breaks down and releases calcium in the water which gives good PH and Alk capacity in the water. You also have to replenish one with more CC as it dissolves. so, if you have Aragonite sand and good quality pourous LR, your buffering capacity will be greater than that of the same setup with silica sand.
It doesn't matter which one you use, the only thing is that one will require a closer eye on the PH and Alk on the silica setup as opposed to the Aragonite setup. This seems to be the consensus of the most well known Marine Biologists and authors..
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Old 04-25-2003, 07:18 PM   #17
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Well we cant argue this. Aragonite buffers, silica does not. No matter how much. Thanks for your input Tim.
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Old 05-02-2003, 12:46 AM   #18
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Im using that sand!!! MY tank is a 180 gal. I put about 200 pounds of it in mine . Its been set up for about 10 weeks now and is doing great ,went through the cycle I have a little diatom alge , but from what I hear thats normal . Ijust added about 15 pounds of Marshal Iland LR . Now Im going to up grad my lighting , I just have the basic aquarium lights right now .
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