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Old 07-26-2010, 05:27 PM   #1
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Play sand and Lava rock

I tranfered my 20 gallon setup over to a 40 breeder and my fishless cycle has been done for several weeks and all is stable.
0 nitrite
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79F
<5 Nitrate
8.0-8.1 PH


I have just added 2 percula clowns to my 40 breeder and they are loving life. They're PVC playground is just a riot to watch. I have 1 bag of black "live" sand as the substrate but was wondering what people thought about the aragonite play sand at the home depot or lowes. Can that safely be used in a fish only tank starting out eventualy going to a FOWLR? The large footprint of the 40 breeder is nice but it needs a lot of substrate, especially if I decide to get another yellow headed jawfish. Budget is the factor and reason for asking. There are posts where people say they used it but I could not find a topic discussion on it weighing the pros and cons and downfalls of it. If anyone knows of a resource or post of this let me know please. I am most curious if it creates enough buffer to hold hardness and PH stable. If not I think this would make a good discussion by the experienced for the less than experienced. In the past I have always gone with crushed coral but thought that the black sand would look good with the clowns. Now I am thinking that it was not a smart move as the stocking list I have picked out are mostly lighter colored fish and they may never feel comfortable on a substrate they have no chance of blending in with. The Percula's look very nice over it though.

I also was wondering if Lava rock can be used for substrate and decoration. It's very porous obviously but I can't find any info on if it leaches anything out into the water. Thanks for any insight or input.
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:52 PM   #2
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I`ve always heard that Lava rock will leach heavy metals into your water. I`ve never used Lava rock so I cant be 100% sure but that`s what I heard. Maybe you can check it out. I definitely would not use it for a substrate.
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:57 PM   #3
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I echo Mel here ... Tho I have had the opertunity to find faux lava I am wondering if this would be safe for frags ?
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:13 PM   #4
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Play sand is safe lave rock isnt...there is a debate of wether or not play sand causes extra diatom. But because its a debate and people been using it for years i decided to use it. I used play sand in a planted aquarium with no problems and am using it in my reef tank that is currently cycling
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:32 PM   #5
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people used to use southdown sand for some reason over other play sand. i think it's because of what region it is collected from, but it's the silicates in non-aragonite based sand that people feel cause issues with algae, not just diatoms.
i've also heard the lava rock/metals thing.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:27 AM   #6
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Thanks guys or gals. 86 the lavarock and see what play sand mixed with black sand looks like. And the play sand buffers good?
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:41 AM   #7
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Play sand doesn't buffer at all. Silica is completely inert.
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Old 07-27-2010, 12:43 AM   #8
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I've used something like Southdown sand in my brichardi tank, and it seemed pretty similar to the aragonite I've seen. I used it to increase pH and hardness, and it did its job pretty well. The larger pieces were more flakey than granular, but I haven't seen it or Southdown in a few years. It was under the castle brand
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_X View Post
people used to use southdown sand for some reason over other play sand. i think it's because of what region it is collected from, but it's the silicates in non-aragonite based sand that people feel cause issues with algae, not just diatoms.
i've also heard the lava rock/metals thing.
I dont see how the silicates in play sand can cause other algae problems. From the reading i did. Its the same sand used to make the tank glass. and yes your aquairium glass leaches silicates into the water over time. So it your aquarium is doing it and not causeing algae then how is the play sand?
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:08 AM   #10
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i don't know. i'm just repeating what i've read. i've never used it.
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