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Old 10-07-2004, 04:05 AM   #1
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playsand combo

hi guys and gals out there
i like most of you are having a heck of a time trying to get southdown tropical playsand.
this is what i was thinking of doing,
at hd they have some nice high dessert sand (i got a cup or two from an open bag) i tried the vinegar test but it was a no go
the sand is a fine sand white with no silicates (got a pinch of it in my hand and held it up to a light at an angle ,i saw no tiny reflections from any silicates)

i was going to get about 100 # of it (2 or 3 bags), and then put about 80 #of caribsea aragonite sand on top of that.
my base rock will be tufa (about 100#)

does this sound good ? i'm hoping the caribsea aragonite sand and the tufa rock will be enough to buffer the ph .
i will be getting lr but not till next year(05)

my tank is a 90 aga , shop lights and a cascade 300 power filter hanging
on the tank ,currently saving up for a turbo flotor 100 of remora (not sure for a sump or hang on model)
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Old 10-07-2004, 09:14 AM   #2
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got a pinch of it in my hand and held it up to a light at an angle ,i saw no tiny reflections from any silicates
I've never heard of that before. any silica based sand (not silicates, they are very different things) can have a glassy like surface, that just what silica sand is. Take a look at this microscopic comparison of a couple sand types, you'll see what i'm referring to. That said, there is nothing wrong with silica sand, it simply lacks any of the positives an argonite sand will give you. Argonite sand is simply as close to natural as you can get (and it often actually comes FROM the ocean floor).

I think a base of the desert sand topped with argonite would be ok. because they're both sands and roughly the same size grains you should have too much settling, but over time the critters in the sand bed will mix the two together.

your bio says you from Washington PA... if you have the patience (I know.. I hear ya!) wait till spring. Southdown sand is highly seasonal as it's used in gardens and kids sandboxes so it usually only appears in spring to mid summer, then the stores let their supplies sell out until next year. It tends to be a NE product as well, so come spring you should be able to find some.

From the rest of your tank, I had Normal Output (NO) lights and didn't think anything of it. As soon as i upgraded to PC, it was like my tank bloomed. The coraline started to spread rapidly, a few corals I didn't even know I had started to appear.

Do you already have the HOT power filter? with LS and LR, its probably not necessary (just one more thing to maintain)
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Old 10-07-2004, 01:09 PM   #3
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Wow, interesting concept. let us know how it works out.
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Old 10-07-2004, 01:21 PM   #4
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I have been thinking kind of the same thing. I can't find southdown or old castle any where down here. I was thinking go with a couple of inches of quickrete sand then a couple more inches of the good stuff. My only concern would be the difference in colors if the sand some how got stired up.
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Old 10-07-2004, 02:39 PM   #5
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I would think there would be some stirring going on. 80 lbs of argonite will give you about an inch of sand I think, so that isnt terribly deep. the "bad stuff" will eventually get stirred up. (especially when putting in your LR.)

For me, the concern was that the little critters that live in sand wouldnt do good in silica. and my bottom dwellers would not be as comfortable.

If you can swing at least another 20 lbs of argonite, I would go for that.

I checked everywhere, bought a ton of silica sand to test, eventually I broke down and just bought $50 (50 lbs) worth of Carib sea argonite. :|
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Old 10-07-2004, 05:17 PM   #6
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the tank will start out as fo

early next year i will upgrade my lights to pc ,get lots of live rock, and get a good skimmer (i got so frustrated with my seaclone 100 i pitched it)

still using the mj1000 for surface movement

i can probably swing for more aragonite 40# more.
but 80# is a start

trying to locate a landscaper to get 100+# of tufa rock
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Old 10-07-2004, 06:58 PM   #7
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i just got bac fron busy beaver up here in washington pa i went to check on if they had any high desert sand (only 2 mile from home vs. 5 mile hd)

i saw some yard right river rock bags and some other yard right products i cant recall just now.
so i thought - hey maybe they can get some yard right tropical playsand?

it's the same stuff as south down tropical sand right ?

any way i tried to see if they can order some tropical play sand

but the guy at the counter said he would give all the info i gave him to the morning guy cause he had no idea how to do something like that

+ they had to call home office to see if they can order it
i cant see y they couldnt it's made by the same company anyway.

i'm gonna get 300 # worth maybe more if they will order it

gonna hold off on the high desert sand/ aragonite till i get an answer
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Old 10-07-2004, 07:02 PM   #8
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also just put in my atnic t 10 bulb in the shop light with my white light
the white light is t8 the atnic is t10
does anyone know if it is ok to do this?
the blue is kinda cool
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Old 10-07-2004, 10:09 PM   #9
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playsand combo

i may have said silicates sorry for the confusion but if you hold it up to a light at an angle you can see the silica bits reflect light
but this sand has no little reflective silica in it
looks good real fine white sand
although it wont fizz (i used both apple cider and distilled vinegar on it - not at the same time)
just how much vinegar r u supposed to use?
little bit or a good bit
maybe i used too much
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Old 10-07-2004, 11:33 PM   #10
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Yard right is southdown I belive. am I right on this??? anyone???
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Old 10-08-2004, 02:09 PM   #11
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Yard right is an Oldcastle brand name. Oldcastle bought out SouthDown. They are all the same thing. (note that Oldcastle makes a LOT of products including other types of sand. you want to get carribean tropical play sand.)

The vinigar test can be done with any amount of vinegar, but really only requires a couple drops. The Acid in the vinegar reacts with the base of the calcium carbonate and causes the reaction.

Just to be sure I was clear on the silicates/silica thing. Silica based sand IS ok. You DONT get silicates from a silica based sand. That's a common missconception.

I'm not that up to speed on the NO light ratings. I think the t8 and t10 are different wattage or frequency ratings? I think they'll "work" but you may get a shorter lifespan by using the wrong type of bulb in the lamp. Somewhere on the lamp itself it should tell you which type of bulb to you.
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Old 10-08-2004, 02:18 PM   #12
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I am like you nad could not find the southdown or anything else for reasonable price. I used the quickcrete silica sand with 20# of crushed coral on the top and it looks great. I have about 3" o silica sand and 1/2" of c.c. I have not had any problems with the silica san being stirred up too much and I had a digging trigger. Loved to relandscape the tank. After a few days the silica sand would shift back down between the crushed coral. No major problems with algea blooms either like the LFS warned me about, just minor typical cyano blooms from a new tank.

Total cost of sand
$20 for 20# c.c.
$8 for 75# silica sand
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Old 10-08-2004, 04:10 PM   #13
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well just got off the phone with busy beaver.
they cant order it for me
WHAT A BUMMER, THAT BITES
guess i'll get the high dessert sand and caribsea
man! :|
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Old 10-09-2004, 07:43 PM   #14
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well i am gonna try a test
got 1 bag(50#)
puting it in my 5g eclipse with my whisper 20
just plain tap water no declorinating , no salt
just a test

think i have a leak or maybe it was just me being a little sloppy setting it up

cant see nothing even after an hour
the filter will filter up to 20g i have a 5g

hopefully after i come home it will be clear enough to see
i think it will work
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Old 10-10-2004, 07:33 AM   #15
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came home this morning and the tank didnt clear up much still a milk cloud
the one thing i didnt do is rinse it off first
BIG MISTAKE!!!
this sand has ALOT of sediment
so i drained the water out and rinsed it out with fresh water
and it looks **** good
nice white color and a nice texture i think i will try it !
just gotta rinse the sand several times (2 or 3)
the sand doesnt pass the vinegar test but thats what the caribsea aragonite
will be for
also looks very nice under actnic lights
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Old 10-10-2004, 08:21 AM   #16
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Is the 90 empty or full of water??
If empty place sand in tank, cover all sand with large plastic bag and place a glass bowl in the middle. Fill tank with water pouring into glass bowl only. Plastic bag will float as water fills just keep pouring into bowl till tank is full. Take out bag & bowl you will have near clear water...
Place in rock and wiggle so it gets imbedded into the sand, try and have it touch the bottom glass so you have a good footing.
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Old 10-10-2004, 04:29 PM   #17
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With some live rock to seed it, you should be good to go.!!
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Old 10-11-2004, 10:09 AM   #18
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seahams suggestion is an old tried and true method. I use it all the time.
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Old 10-11-2004, 08:33 PM   #19
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seaham
full
i'm gonna drain the tank into containers
ditch the current sand (golden beach play sand)
and put the base in
top it off with carribisea then refill it up with the saved water
ph 7.9
sg 1.024

no fish or inverts or corals
no life in the tank
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