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Old 08-01-2003, 12:57 PM   #1
grazhopr
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Silica Sand


Hi,

I have a quick question: Can I use sand that is normally used for sand blasting jobs. I was told it was silica, basically. But it sure looks like the playsand everybody has talked about in recent times. If it is good, I think I may use it in my tank.

Thanks!
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Old 08-01-2003, 01:30 PM   #2
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The famous playsand that is usually discussed here is silica free. I have cheap Wal-Mart silica sand in my 20 gallon, and it does not seem to affect anything different than the silica-free aquarium sand in my 29. YMMV.
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Old 08-01-2003, 02:48 PM   #3
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Grazhopr dont use it that stuff would be nothing but a problem
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Old 08-01-2003, 03:05 PM   #4
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Silica sand also is sharp, so benthic invertebrates and sand-sifters may have a hard time with it compared to the 'rounded' aragonite.

Overall, it's not too great to use... but some people do use it and don't have any problems.
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Old 08-01-2003, 07:10 PM   #5
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I do use regular old playsand in my 75, and have been for the past ~1.5 years. I have had no diatom problems and I have pretty high lighting, (720 W) I use it, but I wouldn't recommend it, I don't like the way it looks, and particles of it are always suspended in the water which I hate. I will be using only southdown in my new 150 I am setting up soon.
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Old 08-01-2003, 07:20 PM   #6
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I used home depot white silica sand in my 180 with no problems. Plenty of life in it as well. I did not have access to Southdown at the time and was not about to pay LFS prices. However, if you do have access to SD, that is probably the best way to go.
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Old 08-02-2003, 05:23 PM   #7
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Thanks guys,

I made my mind and I think I better not use it.
I have asked my LFS to order some sugar sized grain aragonite for me. I have not much room for error because this is my first attempt to build a big tank. I have spent some money on this project and I want to do it right the first time. I may spend more money, but I think it'll pay off.
Paint Guru: I wish I had access to SD, but I have not been able to find it here.

Thanks again for your advice.
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Last edited by grazhopr; 08-02-2003 at 05:25 PM..
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Old 08-02-2003, 10:43 PM   #8
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grazhopr,
Sounds like you have made your choice and it is a good one. Having said that, I put in 100 pounds of a fine sandblasting sand in my tank 7-8 months ago. No regrets. The price was right, totaled about $8.00. It's not pure white but an off white, not too bad looking. Don't know about the sharp edges. It is sugar sized, no major blooms of any sort. A little bit of diatoms on the sand, (what I consider normal) but I like that, need it for my conch to eat. If you have the money, buy the aragonite, if not, don't be afraid of using sandblasting sand.

regards, fsa
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Old 08-02-2003, 10:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by fsa
grazhopr,
Sounds like you have made your choice and it is a good one. Having said that, I put in 100 pounds of a fine sandblasting sand in my tank 7-8 months ago. No regrets. The price was right, totaled about $8.00. It's not pure white but an off white, not too bad looking. Don't know about the sharp edges. It is sugar sized, no major blooms of any sort. A little bit of diatoms on the sand, (what I consider normal) but I like that, need it for my conch to eat. If you have the money, buy the aragonite, if not, don't be afraid of using sandblasting sand.

regards, fsa
Hmmm,,,
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Old 08-02-2003, 10:50 PM   #10
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Na,,,,,,,
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Old 08-02-2003, 11:25 PM   #11
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wouldnt sand blasting sand be angular on the edges, to help it "blast" when in use?

i know from experience (desert storm) that a sand blast can be quite painful, rips the paint right off tanks, and can do some serious damage to exposed skin.

so i'm thinking sandblasting sand might be similar?
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Old 08-03-2003, 06:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by thefatman
wouldnt sand blasting sand be angular on the edges, to help it "blast" when in use?

i know from experience (desert storm) that a sand blast can be quite painful, rips the paint right off tanks, and can do some serious damage to exposed skin.

so i'm thinking sandblasting sand might be similar?
agreed and his tank is new could have problems later on as it ages. LT
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Old 08-03-2003, 08:04 AM   #13
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I'm pretty sure southdown sand, if blasted at high speeds, would do the same thing.
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Old 08-05-2003, 10:51 AM   #14
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Yeah. I think that for a good start, I'd use the aragonite. I don't like the look of diatoms much.

Wanna know a secret? I've been teased by Spanky's Starboard bottom idea.... Would I still need a remote DSB?
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Old 08-05-2003, 11:16 AM   #15
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grazhopr,
there are 100 good reasons to NOT use silica sand in your tank...but diatoms isn't one of them. Silica sand is will not cause a diatom bloom, however silicate will. The silicate in your common silica sand is bound and should not leach into your system. The biggest problem you have with silica sand is not the sand itself, its anything that happens to travel along with it. Search for posts on silica sand, and look for the folks that have been using it for some time. There are a few horror stories, but even more success stories. Alot of the horror stories you read are pass-alongs and not actual reefer experience (ie I read something somewhere).

The reason I even bring this up, is that at one point I was considering the money saving aspects of using silica sand, as the "miracle HD stuff" was not available here. I ended up making a super long trip to purchase 200 lbs. Now like you im reading alot of threads about some of the draw backs to DSB's, and they make a LOT of since (I alwasy wondered where all the nutrients that DON'T get broke down go....).

So I would keep looking at Spanky's Starboard tank in hopes that you can force yourself to give up on the sand all together.......I don't think I can, so I am going to remove all but an inch of this sand I have before I ever fill the tank up....and have a 1" bed. (heck my goby and pistol will need something).

As far as "would I still need a remote DSB?" No, you wouldn't NEED one. If you had a really high bio-load it might be a good idea to keep nitrates down. From what have have gathered in the last couple weeks reading what seems like 1,000's of posts, you would only want a remote DSB if you had the space for one large enough to handle the entire system.....bigger being better. In other words you would basically want something with the upper surface area that your tank would have had if you had put the DSB in there (the Remote should have roughly the same foot print as your tank). Of course that is a debated topic, and alot of folks reason the way I do. If a DSB that is size X works, the a DSB that is 1/2 the size of X will work, but not as well, therefore it might still be a benefit to have the smaller sand bed working. As far as needing it? No, thousands of people kept tanks prior to the DSB craze, and did so with much success. The DSB was supposed to make life a little easier, a little lower maint, and a little better water quality, for many people it did just that, for others it seemed to do the opposite.

Make your choice, and keep up the good housekeeping and husbandry. Read read read read read.......don't believe everything you read, don't discount anything you read...ok im done contradicting myself.
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