I found a great article at this website about the various kinds of sand you can use in your aquarium . . .
Nice bottoms:*Choosing the right substrate for your aquarium
However I would love to have your opinion, too.
I have a 120 gallon aquarium that is almost cycled and almost ready for my fish to move in.
I have a Fresh Water aquarium with South American river fish - 7 especially who are earth eaters and love to go around the tank scooping up mouthfuls of sand and looking for bits of food. They also like to scoop out a nice indentation in the sand to sleep in. Every morning the tank they are in has all the hills and valleys like sand dunes where they sleep at night. So cute!
So my local choices in Oregon are:
Florence Oregon beach sand
or McKenzie River sand
I can actually purchase it fairly inexpensively at Lane County Forest Products where they can scoop up a load and put it in your pick up. I don't need that much sand and I don't have a pick up but I need about 100 pounds of it.
If you have fish that like sand, what kind of sand do you use?
If you were to get the McKenzie River or Ocean Beach sand, how would you wash it to make it safe?
We have extremely good water in Oregon both beach and river water, extremely good water so I'm not too wary of contaminants in it. Maybe in other areas of the country where the rivers smell and you can't see to the bottom of the river, (like where I was born) I wouldn't even consider using the sand.
I've already tried filtered pool sand and it's really messing with the pH. I even did a "bucket with sand in it" and a "bucket with no sand" experiment and let both buckets just sit for several days and the "sand bucket" pH dropped dramatically so I need to change that out of the aquarium. I want to go with either the river sand OR the beach sand. Would the beach sand have too much salt in it?
I would appreciate any advice.