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Old 09-01-2003, 07:02 PM   #1
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Need Final Word on Play Sand

Ok..I have been to over 25 websites looking into silica based vs aragonite..I have searched hi and low around here and absolutely all the home depots\lowes and every other home and garden store. They all carry silica based white playsand..Some by quikrete some by Nesco. Its white but its silica based..

Is anyone using silca based playsand. Is it causing them a problem..I have 5 bags of Nesco playsand (silica) in my garage that I was going to use for a project but I am not doing it now so I could use it in the aquarum...

Obviuosly I dont want a massive diatom problem but I also dont want to pay 150 for 5 bags of sand...

BTW this is for a 75g that is going to be fowlr with a sump\redsea turbo skimmer.


Thanks everyone! :P
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Old 09-01-2003, 07:27 PM   #2
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silica based sand will not cause problems.

Silica sand and Silicates are totally different beasts.

If the silica sand is of the desired particle size then you wont have any real problems.

One of the biggest negatives to silica sand is that the particles can be rather sharp on the edges vs aragonite sand is more often a softer rounder shape on the edges.

Im really suprised you cant find southdown or old castle or yardright sand in your area.
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Old 09-02-2003, 12:41 AM   #3
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I have the same issue.. All i can find is quickrete... Or Portland Sand..
Home depot, Lowes, Walmart, Toys R Us ect.. Only carry these 2 brands..


I Just decided to ditch the DSB because of that reason

James
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Old 09-02-2003, 03:06 PM   #4
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Thanks guys so much..I was so searching for this southdown and I have heard so many different things about silica sand being ok then someone saying not ok..Well Fishfreek I was going by your word and just going to use the silica but then I looked at your last sentence "I am really surprised that you cant find southdown".... So I said what the heck and today and I went to my last home depot for many miles, I had been to 6 already. Same old Quik Krete...As I was walking out. I stubbed my toe on a pallet and was pretty friggen mad...As I look down at my toe I notice a nice white sand a few pallets away...I walk over and there it was 10 bags left of southdown tropical playsand..I bought it for 5.00 a bag and took a couple ripped bags for 2.00 a bag....Now I get my deep sand bed with the right material..ALL thanks to you fishfreek for making me go out and look again AND STUB MY TOE...hehehe....
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Old 09-02-2003, 03:54 PM   #5
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I know it probably doesn't matter now (congrats on the Sothdown find!), but here's an excellent article on Silica sand:

>>Silica Sand<< ~ Rob Toonen.

Southdown, though usually readily available in the northeast, is a seasonal product -- come the end of summer, if a store is out, they aren't going to order more until March-ish.

HTH,
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Old 09-02-2003, 05:17 PM   #6
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One thing is that often people look in the wrong area. I was first looking for this stuff in the construction area but the 'good stuff' is kept over in the gardening area by the mulch and potting soil and such.
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Old 10-01-2003, 12:40 AM   #7
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quickrete etc.

I have checked the Home Depots and Lowes and only found the quickrete brand of sands also. I always start in the Garden area and they send me to the construction area

Is this a bad sand to use. I have seen posted that the "other sands" can be used as long as they are not mixed with other ingredients. Most bags I have seen don't say much as to the content.

Is the quickrete usable?
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Old 10-01-2003, 01:25 AM   #8
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The story is that southdown playsand is a regional thing. Only a few Home Depots on the west coast get it and thats by chance or by asking them to special order it. Ive seen many posts about people on the east coast getting lots of southdown in ny,nj etc. Here in CA its a pain to get southdown, trust me ive looked in many stores and called landscaping businesses and exhausted many resources. Ill keep looking because i refuse to pay 30$ for 12lbs of "live sand" at the local lfs, just as i wont pay 400$ for a skimmer. Either keep looking or make it yourself. Thats just my opinion tho.
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Old 10-01-2003, 10:13 AM   #9
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Some folks on the west coast have arranged to have a pallet of sand shipped to them. Sure a pallet is a lot more than you need but if your a member or an aquatic club or you know other reefers in your area often times you can sell the sand to them to make up for your expense in shipping it to you.

Ellisz i find it very strange that they send you over to the construction area. Do people in Indiana not use sand for landscaping? What do they suggest you use for play areas for kids?
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Old 10-01-2003, 10:55 AM   #10
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fishfreek: The sand in the construction area is "play" sand. The quickrete brand says, washed, cleaned, toxic free, safe for kids, etc. I am not sure about landscaping use though. My father in law runs a landscaping business and we get play sand for our kids sandbox from him but it is brown sand.

I need to see if he can order anything different, I guess.
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