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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am setting up my new 120gal. I put the southdown playsand in my tank and boy was I in for a shock. The "silt" created when pooring in the water has not gone away in two days. I just wanted to know if this has happened to others and if there is a way to clear up the water quickly. Also, I hope the answer is yes, is the sand safe to use direectly out of the bag without cleaning.
Thanks
 

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doh! not how you want to start off a new tank! :eek:

"Southdown Manufacturer Warning - Here is what the representative from Southdown made a point to say that he has been hearing that people have been adding there sand in salt water aquarium and that we should be informed to how the sand is collected and transported and stored. Southdown will scoop the sand with machinery and dump tons and tons in dump trucks then transport and dump the sand in large outside storage bins. Warning!!!!!! As we all know how fine this sand is he told me that as they dump the sand in the bins they will spray a liquid oily lubricant on the sand to keep the dust (sand) from flying which can be very hazardous if the sand is not washed prior to adding any animal life. Another reason to wash your sand thoroughly is Southdown is not only a sand manufacture they also manufacture different typed of gravel and rocks like slate, marble, lava rock, etc. The rock is stored in the same bins as the Southdown sand which means that other rubble is packaged with Southdown sand. "
 

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with that warning mentioned... (and it's probably a good idea) MOST southdown users, do NOT rinse the sand first. it's the fine silt stuff you want.

as for the milkshake, it would have been better had the sand been added first, but since that isnt as option now, just let it go, probably reduce your flow in the tank for a while.

msot say it takes about a week or more for it to completley clear up. sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The sand was added first and I used a plate to pour onto but as things go and as fine as some the sand is it wasn't enough to avoid the silt storm. Good to hear that some people do not rinse the sand and everything doesn't die. Maybe some good skimming in the next 10 days will get out any harmful stuff in the sand but that is probably very very optimistic. As far as rinsing I couldn't really figure out how to rinse something as fine as sand.
 

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first thing i would have done, was built a sifting box with nylon screen mesh, then after sifting it a few times, i would have filled up a 5gl bucket 1/2 way with sand, and stuffed a garden hose into the bottom of the bucket, and just turned it on and let it overflow out, stir it a few times, and drained out the excess water, repeat it a few times and then add the sand to the tank in batches. i'm just trying to pass on some helpful tips, not trying to come down on you. just offering some help. hope all works out, and no problems arise!
:cool:
 

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i just used it straight out of the bag. now i also have a small algae problem.:D a lot of that is due to the fact the tank is under a year old. only the great mojo knows how to not have algae breakouts in the first year.

as for the southdown milkshake only time will settle it. keep the pumping to a minimum enough to keep the water ciculating oxygen. eventually the bacteria will weigh down the sand.

G~
 

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Banggai Mommy
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We have SD in ours and have had the usual algae problems, but nothing we can attribute to the sand. The milkshake will clear - just run your pumps and try not to worry about it.

Danielle
 

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Try putting some filter mesh after the overflow or around the return pump intake to filter out the very fine stuff.....I did this and it cleared the water pretty fast.

Be careful to change it often though, as it will change the flow of water going in to the tank.....

FWIW.......Don't know if it will affect the pump, but it seems to be fine......ran it that way for 2 days, and cleared it up.
 

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Ughhh.. Dinoflagelettes..
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Yeah..... it's nothing to worry about.... The SD Milkshake has become the TRT drink of choice... ;)

It'll clear up in about a week as TFM has mentioned... My 125 settled out in about 4 days...

After it settles, make sure to remove your heaters and clean them off, and well as give your pump/filters a good cleaning...

These are all standard steps in setting up a new SD sandbed... ;)
 

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I just started up my 75g and I to even with careful pouring had a nice dust storm in my tank. It will eventually settle. It is to the point now, that if I stir up the sand, within a few hours, the tank is clear again. It will get better and better, just be patient. :)
 

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This is what i did a few weeks ago in a 30 gallon tank with 6 inch's of southdown.

Took a 20 ounce plastic coke bottle. Cut a the bottom off. Stuffed it full of cheap filter floss. Dug through my extra plastic tubing bin and found a way to tightly attach the top of the bottle to the input of a maxijet 1200. Ran the power head for 24 hours. I had to rince out the filter floss a couple of times, but it worked like a charm.

Don't worry...there will still be plenty of silt down in the sand :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks for all the sugestions. The tank has finally cleared and I have added the livestock. My fiance' also bought me 50 lbs of live rock for putting a rock on her finger. I still think she got the better end of it. I will be posting pictures of the tank soon. I would also like to know if any NC readers have any fraga they would be interested in selling or giving away so that I can get my sps collection going again after the big power outage of 2002
 

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Just curious what live stock have you put in. Just my opinion but three weeks is a little too soon for your cycle to have finished even with the live rock. Putting livestock in this soon depending on what it is could be detrimental to their health.

Earl
 

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Buzz_Hog said:
... The SD Milkshake has become the TRT drink of choice...
HMMMmmmm!!!!!:idea:
  • one cup half and half
  • 1 oz berry Stoli
  • 1 oz. Kahlua
  • 1 oz. SD milkshake (optional)

mix well, pour over cracked ice...:dance:

A lot of the info about the Southdown and the way they collect it is based on not only which site it comes from, but with whom you're speaking to about it (and some of the info has become urban legend, I am sure). A good deal of it comes into their site in Jacksonville, FL and is NOT treated with ANYTHING to prevent if from blowing away (the stuff is literally dirt cheap, any other treatments just add unnecessary costs to the product). Yes, they do use machinery to collect, sort, transport, bag and distrubute the raw product. Adding any oils, settling agents, etc., makes the product unsuitable for use as an aggregate in construction (the primary business of Cemex who owns the Southdown trademark now is construction aggregates and concrete/cement manufacture), and yes, I have personally spoken with the folks at Cemex about how they process their sands.

As an aquarium product, the fines in the sand are desirable, as they increase the surface area of the substrate as a potential biological medium and drive the initial Ca and alk levels up (although once they gain the biofilm coating, this effect becomes minimal, and the pH of most aquaria is not low enough to adequately dissolve the CaCO3 to maintain this level of Ca/.Alk). Just to assure myself, I will be running a sample of the sand through an acidified bath to dissolve the CaCO3 and then run the sample through a GC to see if their is a hydrocarbon peak. BTW, putting this sand through a sieve is of little benefit, and actually, unless you're spreading it out in the sun to dry, next to impossible.

I have a large amount of this sand in the aquarium systems that I keep, never had any problems associated with strange/toxic additives in these systems, and the water column always clears within a week or two. The addition of sources of live sand helps to accelerate this process. Running a skimmer helps, although it does leave a great deal of sediment in the skimmer. The use of a paper filter will polish the water in a system that still has the opalescence in the final stages of clearing, I have had crystal crear water in 3 days, although I have also had it take as long as 2 weeks when allowed to run unattended and unaided.

Southdown rooles! everything else...;)
 
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