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Old 10-18-2007, 07:18 AM   #1
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sand question

I searched, but didnt find this.

I cant find aragonite sand here for under 20 bucks a bag. Would it provide the same buffering if I added CC to my sump and used silica based sand in the tank?

I have 75LBS of CC in my freshwater tank that I plan to break down this weekend.
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Old 10-18-2007, 02:25 PM   #2
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Regualr play box sand from Home Depot or Loews would be fine. I don't think CC buffers all that much at normal marine aquarilum pH levels.

Someone else more knowledgeable on the buffering of CC may chime in.
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Old 10-18-2007, 05:21 PM   #3
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You want an aragonite based sand, NOT a silica based sand. If you go with the silica you will have tons of problems with algae and no buffering capacity like you would get from the aragonite.

CC is a good buffer IMO and IME, but you don't want to use it as a substrate as it traps waste and cause a rise in NO3 overtime and it will look nasty. You would have to vaccum the cc at least once a week.
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance M.

CC is a good buffer IMO and IME, but you don't want to use it as a substrate as it traps waste and cause a rise in NO3 overtime and it will look nasty.
This is true. Great buffer but bad collector of waste and nitrates.
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:43 PM   #5
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Agreed...make sure the sand is NOT silicate based. I would shell out the bucks for the sand you know will work now. It will save you time, money and trouble in the future. CC works fine but, as mentioned, can trap detritus and cause NO3 issues over time. LS is superior IMHO.
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:20 AM   #6
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Silica based sand is fine to use. The glass of your aquarium is silica based. It is basically inert. It does not buffer the water, but IMO the buffering of arogonite is overstated. I have not seen any real research that it helps in a properly maintained tank.
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:11 PM   #7
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So I guess there is not consensus on whether silica-based sand is ok or not for SW tanks. I'm using it so far, but was concerned when I saw recommendations against it. Generally, sand by nature is silica based. And it is inert as cmor1701d says. What would be the rationale for not using it? I did not see any given. I know my sand bugs and sand crabs love it. It's their normal habitat.
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:34 PM   #8
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The silica based sand has a sharper grain, so some more delicate inverts and/or fish may not appreciate the extra rub. Over time there could be algae issues I suppose, but if you keep all other parameters where they should be, this should not be a problem. I have used a silica based sand for 3 years in my tank with no algae problems, and am using it in my new tank. May not be the best, but it is CHEAP!
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:52 PM   #9
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Yeah. Cost can really eat you alive if you're not careful.
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Old 10-25-2007, 12:46 AM   #10
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I wouldn't use anything but aragonite just because of its buffering capabilities.
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