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Old 01-04-2005, 10:16 PM   #1
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Live Sand issues

I decided to use Aragonite LS, but am not sure if I need to buy the bags that have the "injected bio" material in them already (the bags that have the sealed water inside with the sand). They have the same material w/o the water for half the price. (although I did find a place locally that will sell me two 20LB bags of the wet version for $23!!, versus $36 in other LFS).

Question: One LFS told me that if I'm in no hurry to cycle my tank, that the dry version would be just as fine. Is this true? If I go with the dry stuff, will I just be going to get a pretty yet expensive dead substrate with no future? (who would get the wet, and who would get the dry?)
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:13 PM   #2
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Everything I've read here says that the wet in a bag is all but useless. Your dry sand will seed with bacteria, etc during your cycling process and once your live rock is in the tank. There's no need to pay extra for "live" sand that probably isn't really live anymore. You'd do well to find someone local willing to give/sell you some from their tank.

That being said, I didn't know any better when I setup my tank. I bought 1 bag of LS from the LFS and 3 bags of dry. You can't tell one from the other now.
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Old 01-05-2005, 01:18 AM   #3
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find a local to trade you a pound or 2 of his sand for your dead sand.
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Old 01-05-2005, 02:02 AM   #4
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Well, not sure if I can make a trade with any LFS, but advice on the LS is what I had expected. About the expenses, how much would you guys expect to pay per pound of dry Aragonite sand? (LFS has it for $1.10/lb dry, while they have "you-bag-it-yourself" wet for $2.00/lb!!).

The dry bags they have here are $43.99 for a 40 pound bag and I believe are "made" by Carib Sea Pink Fiji or Fuji something-or-other aragonite (if I remember right). Again, I can get 40 pounds of the wet version for only $5 bucks more... waste of good Starbucks latte money, yay or nay?
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Old 01-05-2005, 10:27 AM   #5
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Waste of good Starbucks money I should think.
Aside from the bacteria, how much water do you think you would be buying.
That said, a lb or two of the wet stuff probably wouldn't hurt. Jeff
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Old 01-05-2005, 05:36 PM   #6
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Other than the bacteria in the sand that develops over time, what actually makes LS "live sand"? Read somewhere that it is the small starfish, worms, mites, crabs, etc that make it "live". Thoughts?
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Old 01-05-2005, 06:07 PM   #7
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You could just buy reg. dead sand or your choice of gravel and seed it with live rock thats how I went about it.
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Old 01-05-2005, 08:50 PM   #8
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You won't get anything but bacteria (if much of that) from bagged sand. Great live rock (like that from LR.com) has tons of great things in it that will bring your sand to life.
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Old 01-06-2005, 09:30 AM   #9
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If it is only $5 more then I would buy the live sand. Cuts the cycle time way down and you don't have to rinse it.
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Old 01-06-2005, 10:49 AM   #10
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If you have a LFS that you buy a lot of stuff from and they are not will ing to give you a few cups of LS from one of their tanks...find another LFS that will. A little customer service goes a long way with me. The "LS" in the bag is really nice looking wet dead sand. (by the way, $23 for 20lbs us a good price on that stuff) I just used 10 lbs of it in my new nano and added another 10lbs of truely LS to it. Like I said, it looks nice, but if you need a lot of it it's not a good choice. the dry sand in the bag is a better deal, put still pretty exspensive.
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Old 01-07-2005, 12:20 AM   #11
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Seems that you can't get Southdown or other tropical playsand in CA. You might want to ask the garden dept of your local HD if they can get some for you. They usually need to bring in a pallet (288 bags), but you don't know till you ask. It goes for $5-$6 per 50 pound bag.
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Old 01-07-2005, 02:09 PM   #12
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I am definitely not a pro on this but I would like to clarify a few things I have read on multiple how-tos and other forums and give my 2c on what my understanding is:

There is:

1) Retail bagged dry CaribSea Fiji Pink, Aragonite, etc. (cheaper)
2) Retail dry bagged sand that is suitable for Tank use after washing (discontinued Tropical PlaySand and others - at HomeDepot for some time)
2) Retail bagged wet Aragonite and other "water included" bags that are basically dead sand with water in the bag to make you think you're buying LS (more expensive than all the others but not really worth it for what's on it)
3) Real live sand from you're LFS or friends tank that is already established and full of life.

The most cost effective way is to purchase:

1) All dry sand and letting your Live Rock seed the sand over time/during cycling
2) All dry sand and ask your LFS to give you (customer service is the key here) a few cups to a pound of sand out of their already established tank (or a friend with a tank) and spread it over your dead dry sand in the tank which will speed up the seed process.

Please feel free to add comments or correct me here... like I said, just my 2c
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Old 01-07-2005, 04:18 PM   #13
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My neighbor and I get our cleaning crew from garf because they give you 2lb's of their stuff for free when you order. Plus their cleaning crew costs $1 for each animal (course you pay for it in their 20 shipping fee lol) But to me, it's worth it. You get all kind of colorful sponges growing on your rocks, pods, worms, mini stars coralline strains ect ect.
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150 gallon, 30g fuge/sump, 4.5 watt/gal VHO Lighting, 4" sand bed, 290 lbs LR, CDX-3 Nitrate/Phosphate filter

Female Naso "Isabell" or "Izzy", Emperor Angelfish, Flame Angel, Red Sea Sailfin tang "Bambi", Maroon Clown "Nani", 5 Chromis, 1 Aglae Blenny "Bengi" , Yellow Watchman Goby, pr of Banggai Cardinals, Lyretail Anthia, Six Line Wrasse

1 cleaner shrimp, Coral Banded Shrimp, lettuce nudibranch, 1 sand sifter stars, 1 tiny red brittle star "red", 1 tiny red and white banded serpent star, 2 tiny banded serpent stars, small orange Linkia starfish, assorted hermits and snails. Corals: star polyps, A ton of different types of mushrooms, yellow zooanthids, brown-orangish and light blue paly's, orange ricordia.

90g RR, W/D, 120 lb's LR SF eel, pygmy angel, pr sebae clownfish, 4 chromis. Star Polyps & Mushrooms
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Old 01-07-2005, 04:52 PM   #14
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Now I'm totally confused. I was sold 40 pounds of live sand in bags and a huge jug of live water to start a 75 gallon tank is this bad? What would you suggest return all that buy just regular sand (not live and wait with live rock and seed with sand or coral from a tank from the fish store? The fish store said they didn't like to give out sand from their anks because of medications they add to their tanks.
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Old 01-07-2005, 05:57 PM   #15
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Yeah, if the LFS medicates DO NOT buy their LS. I got mine free from garf and bought a couple extra pounds (I think 8lb's in all). It has like a gravel consistancy to it (purple). I let it sit on top and my sand sifters mixed it all in, you can't really see it now, look in my gallery...but it came with all kinds of life...thats what you wanna look for...sand that has diversity in it and you will have an awesome bed. My husband bought 60#'s of "live sand" from the store for his 55...there was nothing live about it. Bueatiful sand with no critters....I used to tease him about mine compared to his lol. If you already bought it, you can still seed it...you won't be sorry...the more critters, the better it funtions as a nitrate reducer. Ebay is another good source, they sell kits that has worms and mini stars, pods, ect ect.
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150 gallon, 30g fuge/sump, 4.5 watt/gal VHO Lighting, 4" sand bed, 290 lbs LR, CDX-3 Nitrate/Phosphate filter

Female Naso "Isabell" or "Izzy", Emperor Angelfish, Flame Angel, Red Sea Sailfin tang "Bambi", Maroon Clown "Nani", 5 Chromis, 1 Aglae Blenny "Bengi" , Yellow Watchman Goby, pr of Banggai Cardinals, Lyretail Anthia, Six Line Wrasse

1 cleaner shrimp, Coral Banded Shrimp, lettuce nudibranch, 1 sand sifter stars, 1 tiny red brittle star "red", 1 tiny red and white banded serpent star, 2 tiny banded serpent stars, small orange Linkia starfish, assorted hermits and snails. Corals: star polyps, A ton of different types of mushrooms, yellow zooanthids, brown-orangish and light blue paly's, orange ricordia.

90g RR, W/D, 120 lb's LR SF eel, pygmy angel, pr sebae clownfish, 4 chromis. Star Polyps & Mushrooms
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Old 01-07-2005, 07:08 PM   #16
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clowninaround - thanks for the info - can you point me to one of those sand/critter auctions you are referring to? Also, good info about the medications as well.

Barbtrave - Not to say your LFS lies or anything... but I would imagine that some lfs's would say their tanks are medicated just so they can say that they dont recommend it. Especially when it means that you may then have to buy the more expensive stuff. But just to be on the safe side - don't get it. If the price difference isn't that bad - save yourself a trip and keep the already clean "wet" stuff ya got!
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Old 01-07-2005, 08:37 PM   #17
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http://www.garf.org/main.html This is the site where I got mine, but it's not an auction. Their clean up crews are awesome too if you need em. I searched on ebay but i know I am spelling it wrong, someone help me here....what you are looking for is a detritvore kit is that how it is spelled? I have never ordered them online but I here they are good also. I just never needed to cuz the grunge I get has all that cool stuff plus other stuff, so I stick with it, has so much diversity in it and that is what I look for.
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Alex n Mary

150 gallon, 30g fuge/sump, 4.5 watt/gal VHO Lighting, 4" sand bed, 290 lbs LR, CDX-3 Nitrate/Phosphate filter

Female Naso "Isabell" or "Izzy", Emperor Angelfish, Flame Angel, Red Sea Sailfin tang "Bambi", Maroon Clown "Nani", 5 Chromis, 1 Aglae Blenny "Bengi" , Yellow Watchman Goby, pr of Banggai Cardinals, Lyretail Anthia, Six Line Wrasse

1 cleaner shrimp, Coral Banded Shrimp, lettuce nudibranch, 1 sand sifter stars, 1 tiny red brittle star "red", 1 tiny red and white banded serpent star, 2 tiny banded serpent stars, small orange Linkia starfish, assorted hermits and snails. Corals: star polyps, A ton of different types of mushrooms, yellow zooanthids, brown-orangish and light blue paly's, orange ricordia.

90g RR, W/D, 120 lb's LR SF eel, pygmy angel, pr sebae clownfish, 4 chromis. Star Polyps & Mushrooms
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Old 01-08-2005, 02:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
2) Retail dry bagged sand that is suitable for Tank use after washing (discontinued Tropical PlaySand and others - at HomeDepot for some time)
Drop the washing part. No rinse required just use it right out of the bag. It's same as the bagged CaribSea stuff, just sold for playground use...
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