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Old 08-17-2004, 03:32 AM   #1
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Silica sand....... I've searched...... now I have questions.

I just recently setup a 30g saltwater tank...... with about 14 lbs. of LR and "Playsand" I bought at Lowe's...... I don't think this is the sand everyone keeps refering too on this site....... I'm also starting to think it maybe silica sand........ I've used a layer of crushed coral "larger pieces" underneath the "silica sand" as a buffer just in case....... will this be alright???? what exactly is wrong with silica sand, other than the fact it doesn't buffer and irritates some diggers??????? Is that it..... or am I missing something???????

Thanks, Mike
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Old 08-17-2004, 04:02 AM   #2
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it doesn't buffer and irritates some diggers???????
I believe those are the only downsides
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Old 08-17-2004, 05:57 AM   #3
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I would remove the CC as it traps dirt and increases nitrate. You can use aragonite sand instead of silica sand to buffer. Last week I swapped my aragonite/CC substrate with aragonite LS. I swapped it all out in one go and I am very pleased with the result.
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Old 08-17-2004, 07:22 AM   #4
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Agreed, remove the CC. Other than that there is no real downside that I've found. I've never needed the buffering of aragonite or CC. The only time I need to adjust the PH is for replacement water during water changes. I've never seen a PH drop in the tank itself.

On another note. A friend of mine is a big snake and reptile guy. The other day I took a good look at the floor of one of his dragon cages and found it was covered with extremely fine grade almost white sand. It was so fine it made my tanks substrate look like gravel. It's a playsand carried by walmart, not sure of the brand name but $3/50lb bag. Unfortunately they were out of stock when I got there and won't be ordering more until next year. But it may be worth checking into for some of you other folks.
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Old 08-17-2004, 10:09 AM   #5
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argonite is the way to go if you can find it cheap. I couldn't so I had to buy it at my LFS. Silca Sand will not hurt your tank, But it won't help either. Some tiny critters may have a problem with it.

You will need more sand than what you have in there currently. I have a 37 gallon tank with 50 lbs of sand, and I dont think thats quite as much as I should have. Use this calculator: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/calcs2.php?type=sanddepth To determine How deep you need it. Then I would say go spend the 25 bucks at your LFS and get Argonite Sand to pile on top or your existing sand. I say If your gonna do something, you might as well do it right! (but thats just me)

(plus, my argonite sand from the LFS came with tiny little shells that look just awsome poking out of the sand in my tank.)

and Yes, I would remove the Crushed Coral.
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Old 08-17-2004, 10:22 AM   #6
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I agreed with rocketseason. If you're going to do it, you might as well do it right. That's why I did a total sand bed swap. I have about 70lb of aragonite LS in a 45 gallon tank. I bought the bioactive LS and here is a link to it http://www.naturesocean.com/bioactive.htm . They are very fine and very clean with no shells or CC in it, but quite pricy.
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Old 08-17-2004, 10:33 AM   #7
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Cute fire shrimp kwan I would love to get one but they are $30 each! They are not cheap, I like my cleaners alittle better cuz they clean also but are cheaper
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Old 08-17-2004, 10:45 AM   #8
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I have 3 cleaner shrimps and they are so lazy! My fire shrimp is actually very good at cleaning and loves to jump on to my yellow tang. Unfortunately he is quite expensive and hide behind LR most of the day.
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Old 08-17-2004, 10:53 AM   #9
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My cleaners are kinda lazy LOL
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Old 08-17-2004, 11:15 AM   #10
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silica sand is more likely to compact, making it harder for cleaners and other critters to burrow. aside from that, it's not terrible...its not toxic or anything that severe...just not 'ideal'.
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