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spaceman spiff
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11,769 Posts
Welcome to TRT!

There are a lot of sand choices, but I personally I've always preferred to use a dry aragonite sand. Not necessarily the cheapest out there, but it gets the job done.
 

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Premium Member
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8,278 Posts
the biggest thing you want to avoid is silicate sand like playground sand or some construction sands. aragonite is usually considered best. There are other options like crushed coral and small shells but I think those tend to be more expensive. If you want a fish only tank I have seen people other forms of gravel but have no personal experience. You don't technically need any substrate as long as you have somewhere for bacteria to grow.
 

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Bubble Algae Warrior
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4,365 Posts
crushed coral can be problematic, trapping too much detritus and contributing to high nitrates.

i use Old Castle/Southdown sand from Home Depot and have had no issues.

i think if i did not have that sand i'd either go with a nice aragonite or bare bottom.
 

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Premium Member
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8,278 Posts
crushed coral can be problematic, trapping too much detritus and contributing to high nitrates.

i use Old Castle/Southdown sand from Home Depot and have had no issues.

i think if i did not have that sand i'd either go with a nice aragonite or bare bottom.
good points ice, I have never ran crushed coral so I was unaware of the detritus buildup but it makes since with the shape. I personally have always used an oolitic aragonite base with about half of the surface covered with pink aruba puka shell. I know that the texture affects flow but I just like the way it looks:cool:.
 

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Quo vadis, Domini.
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469 Posts
What about a 6" deep bed of masonry sand that's been on the floor of a freshwater tank for close to ten years?:p

(Serious question, btw.)
 

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Premium Member
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8,278 Posts
it would need well washed and most would be afraid it had absorbed nitrates and phosphates out of the old tank. The remaining issue is its make up. get out some and place it in vinegar. if it dissolves it is calcium based and its all good. If it doesn't its likely silicon based. Thats my opinion anyways :)
 

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Premium Member
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2,769 Posts
I've used silica based sand before and had problems...I would suggest biting the bullet and getting an aragonite sand intended for saltwater tanks.
 
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