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Old 09-15-2003, 05:12 PM   #1
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Southdown alternatives?

I have been looking for Southdown in the St. Louis area for some time now. The HD stores don't carry it and claim that they can't (or won't) order it.

My question is, are there any alternative sands that somewhat compare in grain size and color that would work as well for a DSB other than the $20-30 per bag Carib Sea stuff?

Thanks.
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Old 09-15-2003, 06:36 PM   #2
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Have you looked at http://www.purearagonite.com/ ? They used to have bulk prices on 1/2 and full pallets. Of course this is probably well more than you need but some folks on other forums have sold it to local hobbiets to recoop costs.

Have you searched for the sand other the other names its marketed under? Old Castle, Yardright are a few names that southdown is relabled as.
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Old 09-15-2003, 07:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Have you looked at http://www.purearagonite.com/ ?
Yes. I contacted them twice now and they won't return my emails. They have a pretty good deal it seams with a buy 4 get one free.

Quote:
Have you searched for the sand other the other names its marketed under? Old Castle, Yardright are a few names that southdown is relabled as.
Absolutely! I also attempted to contact Yardright and they too do not answer my inquiries.

Right now, I have ~2" of the medium grade Aragonite sand from Carib Sea. I plan on removing half and then allowing the system to settle a couple of weeks before removing the rest. I really want to do a DSB the right way this time, but I would rather not spend $1 per pound when there are other options.

There is another post on some possible alternatives, but nobody will say definatively if the sands noted are worthwhile:

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...t=walmart+sand

The whole silica vs. aragonite thing baffles me as well. In fact, I had a huge diatom bloom with my current aragonite sand toward the end of my cycle, something that is supposedly a silica trait.

Help!
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Old 09-15-2003, 08:07 PM   #4
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I got mine from www.purearagonite.com. I found the same thing as you regarding e-mails. I had to call him. Very helpful on the phone.
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Old 09-16-2003, 09:30 AM   #5
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Diatoms at the end of the cycle is totally normal for an aquarium. This is because toward the end of the cycle your tank is loaded with disolved organics.

Silica does not equil Silicates. Since silicates are fuel for diatoms slica sand will no more encurage diatoms than leaving your tank bare bottomed.

Whats most detrimental about silica sand is the particle shape and size. Often time silica sand has larger particle sizes and the shape if each particle is much more jagged. These jagged edges can have a negitive effect on some of the sand sifters and other creatures that live in the sand bed. If you find silica sand with mostly sugar grain sized particles and more smooth than jagged edges you should be fine.
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Old 09-16-2003, 10:54 AM   #6
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IIRC, when your contacting some of these suppliers, do NOT mention you'll be using the sand for an aquarium. They may be part of the same no-compete agreement that southdown/yardright is. Tell them you want it for gardening etc.
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Old 09-16-2003, 12:57 PM   #7
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I have found the sand to use at only $1.98 per bag!!! Go to your local HD or menards or home improvement center, ask them if they have SandBlasting sand. Then go and look at them as I did. They are just as Fishfreek described about salt or sugar sized, which you can get in white, brown, black, and some others too. Silca sand is what is used for sand blasting, so i figured i would check it out to see if it works im in the process of a 75gallon and im coming with the same problem not wanting to spend a fortune for the sand. Im planning on using white for my aquarium but Im possibly thinking black would look good too. Then what im going to do is put LS on top of that for my DSB. HTH
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