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Old 12-15-2011, 01:42 PM   #1
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Natural beach sand?

I am setting up a 40G FOLR on a budget. I intend on a DSB using sand from a beach here in RI.

I know everyone's going to advise I get some reef sand from the LFS.

I have located a near by beach that has natural fine sand (not dredged or imported).

My plan is...

Collect 100lbs at low tide.

Test it with vinegar to see if it bubbles.

Soak the sand in a mixture of water & bleach for a couple of days (to kill any bacteria)

Then soak it in RO freshwater, followed by saltwater for a few weeks (mixing often and changing the water).

As it would be sanitized and cleaned would you agree that this would be acceptable?

As the tanks not setup yet and I'm in no rush I want to take my time ensuring this sand will be as clean as possible. And the tank is purely going to be a FOLR.

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-15-2011, 01:46 PM   #2
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If you soak it for a few days in water/bleach, and it is aragonite or calcium carbonate based - some of it will dissolve in the more acidic freshwater. Can't tell you how much for sure - the more acidic your freshwater, the quicker it will dissolve. I've dissolved entire chunks of LR in a vinigar water solution in less than 24 hours.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wy Renegade
If you soak it for a few days in water/bleach, and it is aragonite or calcium carbonate based - some of it will dissolve in the more acidic freshwater. Can't tell you how much for sure - the more acidic your freshwater, the quicker it will dissolve. I've dissolved entire chunks of LR in a vinigar water solution in less than 24 hours.
Thanks for the reply, I didn't think if that! maybe I will just soak it for a day, I'm sure that will kill off any bad bacteria...
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:31 PM   #4
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Here's my opinion... I think that all of that sounds like a lot of work for a tiny "savings". What I would do is to go to home depot and buy two (50) lb bags of pool filter sand. This will cost you $10. Budget or not, if you can't swing $10, this is not the hobby for you.

Doing this will also eliminate a ton of steps for you. You won't have to worry about bad stuff, or leeching bleach into the system. A good rinse and into the tank with PFS.

Then once that's in, I would go to the LFS and ask them for a scoop of established sand from one of their tanks and use it to seed your sand.

I would surely advise against buying "live sand" from them as I've yet to have someone prove it's actually live and / or beneficial.

My two cents!
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by TLTGF
Here's my opinion... I think that all of that sounds like a lot of work for a tiny "savings". What I would do is to go to home depot and buy two (50) lb bags of pool filter sand. This will cost you $10. Budget or not, if you can't swing $10, this is not the hobby for you.

Doing this will also eliminate a ton of steps for you. You won't have to worry about bad stuff, or leeching bleach into the system. A good rinse and into the tank with PFS.

Then once that's in, I would go to the LFS and ask them for a scoop of established sand from one of their tanks and use it to seed your sand.

I would surely advise against buying "live sand" from them as I've yet to have someone prove it's actually live and / or beneficial.

My two cents!
Thanks for the idea, but I have used PFS in freshwater tanks in the past and am just not keen on the looks of it. I don't think there will be any bleach leeching from the sand if I take time to soak and rinse it.

I have an established 100G reef tank, so seeding it won't be an issue.

The main reason for my budget is the mrs! She only agreed to another tank if I could set it up for under $100, as I already had the tank and a Remora skimmer I thought I would accept the challenge!

I've even decided to make my own live rock (posted a thread) to keep it cheap. This is completely the opposite to my reef tank but as I'm not in a rush and the beach is 5 mins away I figure I could try it, worst case, I can always replace the sand if it's not working (before adding any livestock of course).
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:27 PM   #6
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And now we know... The rest of the story!

I've never used PFS, just heard lots on here about it.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:40 PM   #7
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the only difference between the silia and the aragonite sand is that silica will not buffer the ph.
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_X
the only difference between the silia and the aragonite sand is that silica will not buffer the ph.
I really appreciate all of you helping me out!

I have just picked up a few scoops of the sand, it is very very fine... Is that bad as it may be very compact/ dense. I will take a pic of it later so you can see, I want to make sure it's usable before I lug 100lbs of it home!

To combat the buffer issue... Would it be a good idea to add a bag of additional sand? As I plan on having 4-5" of sand, would CC make a difference to the PH if it was underneath the beach sand? As I recall reading that CC is good on the bottom of DSB as it gives the anaerobic bacteria room to grow.. Or should I just get a bag of aragonite and throw it on top - if so how much would be needed to maintain a PH of around 8.2 in 40 gallons of water?

Thanks!
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:06 PM   #9
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I would just dish out the money and buy it, its not that expensive.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:09 PM   #10
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FWIW, I got this sand - http://reefrocks.net/index.php?page=...mart&Itemid=56

I set up a 10g a long time ago and hated it, part of that was due to the sand. I got the aragonite sand from petsmart... nasty stuff IMO. This stuff didn't hardly cloud my tank at all, and it's staying put, even with my powerheads and return pump running.
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