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Old 09-16-2003, 07:06 PM   #1
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sand questions

All this talk of LS and Playsand and such is confusing me!! Can I use any play sand or should it be sterilized play sand for the DSB?? Also LS would be sand from an established reef??? If it is dried out the bacterias and such would be dead correct?? I am getting ready to start my 55gal and really need a little more direction on this sand issue. This will be a fish only tank to start with and I plan to use a DSB and some live rock. Any help would be greatly appriciated!!

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 09-16-2003, 07:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Can I use any play sand or should it be sterilized play sand for the DSB??
generally, you can use any playsand (silicone based, or caribbean). Most people swear against silicone based, and only preach that caribbean can be used. The only thing that really matters is the particle size. You want that sugar-sized (about .13 mm average) grain. The differences are: 1.) silicone based sands do not buffer pH or help with carbon 2.)silicone based will have a slightyly higher chance of algae bloom starting off, but it will get better .
Quote:
If it is dried out the bacterias and such would be dead correct??
correct


Most people try to find Southdown or Old Castle brands of playsand, because it is argonite based, but I use regular old $1.50/bag silicone based laced with about 30lbs of LS (from a bag). It works, what else can I say? Also, so supplement your DSB, might I recommend a little pod helper? What I did for both of my tanks, is when I bought LR from the store, I scooped up about 5 lbs worth of the small (1"-2") rubble pieces and some of the mud in the bottom of the LR tank. Next thing I know, I have pods, bristleworms, and little shrimp going crazy. Oh, and I have so many little fan worms in my "pod pile" that some of the rocks look like little bails of hay. 8O

Good luck. HTH. : 8)
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Old 09-16-2003, 08:10 PM   #3
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The differences are: 1.) silicone based sands do not buffer pH or help with carbon 2.)silicone based will have a slightyly higher chance of algae bloom starting off, but it will get better .
Regular play sand is Silica based sand which means technically it is glass...You will not get any more an algae bloom with it, than a bare bottomed tank.. as the tank is glass and diatoms feed on the silicates from glass..and silicate in the water you use. i.e. tap water

Tropical Play Sand is made from Calcium Carbonate..It is basically coral skeletons, shells and rock that has been over the years reduced to sand grain size... This is usually mined from around reef areas and such. This provides a silica free sand that is safe for children to play in (silica has been known to cause breathing problems because of collection in the lungs much like asbestos..It doesn't break down and therfore stay with you for life). IT is great for our tanks because it has great buffering capabilities... It also pretty importantly, has a different grain pattern. More smooth and round, whereas Silica based sands are rough and jagged.. Mostly could be harmful to sand sifters and Gobies, etc...

With that said, either one is good to use, and studies have shown that.

The question on bacteria and being dry and dead? well, you would have to ask the brine shrimp eggs how dry they are yet they still hatch to young? Just because the rocks are dry, doesn't mean bacteria, bad or good, will not be regenerated when placed back in water....
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Old 09-16-2003, 09:58 PM   #4
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well, you would have to ask the brine shrimp eggs how dry they are yet they still hatch to young?
well, i can see where this is a good logical conclusion. we may not know either way, because some organisms do indeed have a hybernation state and can survive extreme conditions (i.e. no water)
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Old 09-16-2003, 10:36 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick and insiteful answers. I havn't found any Caribbean play sand here locally so looks like the average run of the mill play sand will do. 3" depth sound like enough in a 55gal?? Also I'm sure this has been coverd also....but I can'yt remeber where I read it!! Should i add LR right after initial start up of the tank and let it cycle with the LR?

Thanks, Mike
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Old 09-16-2003, 11:09 PM   #6
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3" depth sound like enough in a 55gal??
sounds good to me....its all up to you. there is a very tedious arguement amongst hobbyists right now about whether or not DSB are even the way to go at all. (its too draining to get into, something about DSB's crashing after several years) The sand bed depth is up to you, but 3" should be just fine.
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Should i add LR right after initial start up of the tank and let it cycle with the LR?
absolutely!! If you do, you shouldn't even need any live sand, as yours will become LS from the rocks critters/bacteria. I prefer to use some for the aesthetic look of a mixed sand, which I think looks good and natural; as well as the extra punch to speed up your cycle.
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Old 09-16-2003, 11:44 PM   #7
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Would there be a problem using sand from the beach. I live about 25 miles from Destin Fl, where the sand there is snow white, I think it would look really nice with some VHO's on it
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Old 09-17-2003, 09:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrndHog
Would there be a problem using sand from the beach. I live about 25 miles from Destin Fl, where the sand there is snow white, I think it would look really nice with some VHO's on it
Well first it might be illegal to take sand from a beach for 'personal' use. I know FL has some very strict laws about the ocean wildlife but im not sure what they think of as far as sand from the beach. It might not be illegal but it might be something that is strongly discouraged due to beach erosion so check the local laws first.

Second the sand on the shores does have a fairly good chance of being polluted to some extent. The tan oils and other man made pollutants that would have direct contact with the beach sands are numerous. If its legal to collect sand then I would do it some distance from the shoreline to reduce the level of potently pollutants.
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Old 09-17-2003, 11:05 AM   #9
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I know of some pretty remote places that I could get it, if it is legal, you think it would work?

I'm just asking this because my local HD and lowes carry play sand but it has a brownish color to it. I think the white sand would look better.

Thanks
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Old 09-17-2003, 01:23 PM   #10
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I believe the law states that you can get 1 gal bucket of sand per visit.

The white sand at the beach where people walk is not good for an aquarium.. There is so much trash in it, you would not believe... not to mention, it is silica sand anyway. It will be very grey when you put water on it...

I would go out into the ocean to get the sand... then, you will get some worms and such also...
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