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Old 09-01-2010, 01:13 AM   #1
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sand from a beach

can i add sand from like panama city beach? my son went down there and brought some back in a zip lock bag and he really wants me to add it to my salt tank. can I. if not why not? its a 10 gallon zip lock bag i think.
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:24 AM   #2
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I've heard arguments for and against.

On the negative side people worry about pests, weeds, and toxins. If you're set on using it they would tell you to rinse it well, and boil or cook it to kill anything.

On the positive side people talk about biodiversity, introducing different varieties of little bugs and critters to help fill out the under-used niches in your eco-system. They might gently rinse it to remove any dirt and some just add the substrate directly to their tank. You need to watch for unwanted pests and weeds and remove them as necessary.
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:05 AM   #3
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Thirty years ago I use to SCUBA with a guy that kept a SW tank. When we went to San Diego to dive we would snorkel out at least 100 feet from shore with 5 Gal jugs to capture cleaner water than at the edge. Even with that he was always having problems with water quality.

Since there are no beaches in TN, I would figure that the sand was kept in baggies for more than a day? Might as well start with fresh sand!
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110 Gallon FOWLR, 25 Gallon sump/refugium.
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Old 09-07-2010, 07:37 PM   #4
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ya the sand is in 2 zip lock bags and its been sitting for about 4 months now. i just wanna know if i add it will it kill my fish?
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:55 AM   #5
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No one can really say for sure since no one knows what is in the sand - including yourself. That's the big negative aspect of using sand off public beaches.

If it's been in a bag for 4 months, whatever was alive in it is most likely dead. Probably doesn't smell too good. Might have some interesting things in there from the die off. Can you tell that I'm not really thinking it's a good idea to use it?
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:24 AM   #6
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If you want to add it I'd rinse it really well in a bucket, flushing it a couple times, then add fresh water to the bucket, stir it well, let it settle a bit, take a large jar of water out, and pick up a good handful of sand off the bottom and examine the jar of water and the handful of sand closely, then drop the handful of sand into the jar and watch it.

If you still want to add it, I'd fill the bucket of sand with freshly made tank water, and add an airstone. Let it sit for a week and monitor the PH, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates and whatever else you can. Examine the water and sand again and if everything still looks good and you still want to add it I'd say go for it.

I'd put the sand back in a ziplock bag with clean tank water while making sure the temperature was close to the tanks temperature, then flip the bag upside down, lower it over where I want to spread the sand, open it up and gently disperse it.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:46 AM   #7
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sand is cheap. how much do you have invested in your tank? now is it worth that to save the amount to get sand you know is clean?
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:21 AM   #8
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Do we really know how clean "Store Bought Sand" is? How many people clean their sand when they start a new tank?
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deep Seven View Post
If you want to add it I'd rinse it really well in a bucket, flushing it a couple times, then add fresh water to the bucket, stir it well, let it settle a bit, take a large jar of water out, and pick up a good handful of sand off the bottom and examine the jar of water and the handful of sand closely, then drop the handful of sand into the jar and watch it.

If you still want to add it, I'd fill the bucket of sand with freshly made tank water, and add an airstone. Let it sit for a week and monitor the PH, ammonia, nitrites and nitrates and whatever else you can. Examine the water and sand again and if everything still looks good and you still want to add it I'd say go for it.

I'd put the sand back in a ziplock bag with clean tank water while making sure the temperature was close to the tanks temperature, then flip the bag upside down, lower it over where I want to spread the sand, open it up and gently disperse it.
good info man thank you i think im gonna take this approach.


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sand is cheap. how much do you have invested in your tank? now is it worth that to save the amount to get sand you know is clean?

its not about what the sand cost my son brought it back from his beach vacation with his mom. my son is the world to me and he loves my hobbies just like i love his hobbies. his eyes lite up when he brought home the sand.
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thincat View Post
Do we really know how clean "Store Bought Sand" is? How many people clean their sand when they start a new tank?
the sand i have used i took the time to really clean it. i hope they do something to it.... prob better then any top sand at the beach.
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good info man thank you i think im gonna take this approach.

its not about what the sand cost my son brought it back from his beach vacation with his mom. my son is the world to me and he loves my hobbies just like i love his hobbies. his eyes lite up when he brought home the sand.
i fully understand.
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