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Old 12-10-2002, 03:24 AM   #1
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Sand? I Need to know.

Ok, I took advice from you guys and got rid of my UGF and went sand. However, in hind sight, I am wondering if I am going to have to re-do it again....I went to HD and found Play Sand which a fellow SWT owner told me to buy. (He said it was the sand that he used in his tanks). I drained the tank into 20g rubermaid tubs and put the rocks in and scraped all of the puka shell crap out of there and replaced it with the sand. After I had replaced it and put the rocks and water back in, it looked great to me...As we were talking about it and looking at the new seascape, I got online looking for live sand to purchase and lo and behold I went to fish freeks site on sand....now I wish I had waited...See, down here in J'ville, Fl. it is hard to find the Tropical Play Sand or Aragonite Sand ( Matter of fact, if you mention it they look at you like you're crazy). Anyways, I see all of this stuff about silicates and the problems with it and why not to use it and such...If I am not mistaken, the sand that I got is nothing but. My buddy says not to worry about it and just do like he did and add live sand to it....Scared I screwed up though....Has anyone made this mistake if it is one and can I just add live sand to it and to make it better? Do I have to re-do it again? I attached a picture if it helps...
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Old 12-10-2002, 08:43 AM   #2
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The sand you got is Silica (glass), silicates are a compound that has silica bound to a metal, it is the metal that fuels algae growth. Antecdotal evidence has shown the sand critters do better in aragonite sand, but silica will do just fine.
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Old 12-10-2002, 09:39 AM   #3
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I used a sand bed of pure silica sand for a couple years. Worked fine. Worms will reproduce and produce worm trails. Denitrification bubbles will form. Some cyano may form in the lower regions of the bed. All normal behavior for a DSB. You will be fine. If you ever decide to add pure aragonite you will notice the color difference. My bed currently has 2-3" silica sand covered by 2-3" aragonite.

Here is a pic early this year. The silica is pretty dark with no light shining on it.
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Old 12-10-2002, 03:09 PM   #4
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Sand? I Need to know.

Thank you for the vote of confidence.....I needed that...I think you can see I am wanting this to work right, and (Slap, Slap) do things without extensive research...more of a do and then learn guy...My buddy said the same thing and I wanted a second opinion...I got it in a flash. I wrote Yard Right/South Down to see who in my area sells it...If I have to travel 100 miles or so to get Tropical Sand at a good price I will...LFS want 10 to 20 bucks a bag here because they can get it...Not from me they won't....Anyway, I found some live sand in the internet for 1.95 to 3.00 a pound and I am thinking about adding at least another 25lbs of that instead of straight sand...Thinking that might be better?

Since I put the sand in, the tank is cycling again. Did too many things at once.

Changed sand
Added 4 lbs live rock ( I don't think cured)

Nitrite is 0.1
Nitrate is 10
Ammonia is 0.25
Ph is 8.1 or so, in between 8.0 and 8.2 on the color scale.

Should I wait to put in the live sand? or just go ahead and add it? or do it little buts at a time. 2 to 5 lbs at a time? to achieve 25lbs?
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Old 12-10-2002, 03:18 PM   #5
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It's the rock causing the cycle, not the sand (most likely unless there was dead organic material on/in the sand).

Make sure your LS has critters or you are wasting your money. Your sand will be populated by nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria soon enough and will be "live". I suggest getting a sand "starter" from your friend. A couple cups should do. Aside from that order a detivore kit online. They are VERY expensive IMO.

Mark
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Old 12-10-2002, 05:10 PM   #6
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Sand over aragonite?

Since I have been on this site I have been very confused about something. Most people recommend sand over aragonite. I strongly disagree with this. Because, aragonite desolves and is a constant source of calcium for you tank. Aragonite can become just as alive as sand can. So doesnt this give aragonite the edge because sand doesnt produce calcium? Im not trying to start an arguement, just trying to find the school of thought that makes everyone recommend sand over aragonite.
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Old 12-10-2002, 05:19 PM   #7
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the sand we recommend is aragonite. In fact having aragonite sand it will disolve more easily than larger aragonite particles.

The above info was just clarifying that silica sand will not cause a problem with silicates.

The benifit of sand is the particle size. Only in a low oxygen enviorment will you be able to get the nitrate removal capacty. Larger particles of aragonite rock will not give the low oxygen levels.
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Old 12-10-2002, 05:40 PM   #8
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[/quote]the sand we recommend is aragonite.
Quote:

So is Southdown tropical playsand aragonite sand ?
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Old 12-10-2002, 05:43 PM   #9
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Man........Messed that post up didn't I , anyway is southdown tropical playsand aragonite sand ?

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Old 12-10-2002, 05:59 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by vermonter310
Man........Messed that post up didn't I , anyway is southdown tropical playsand aragonite sand ?

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VT
yes to both, lol.

One thing about any calcium based sand (like aragonite) is that for it to dissolve it needs to be sujected to low ph. The buffering capacity of aragonite is not nearly as great as most people think. That is why you need CO2 injected into a CA reactor, to lower the ph low enough to dissolve the media.
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