Live sand is a waste of money. How much stuff do you think survives in a bag on the shelf for weeks....not much, save your money and go with a quality dry aragonite sand, or crushed coral. If you plan on having a DSB I would go with aragonite sand, so that you will be able to use sand sifters to help keep it clean.
Your fish could care less (unless you have a sand sifting species). Like they said, live sand is a waste of money. Crushed coral tends to collect and trap detritus. Go with dry aragonite sand, it's the best all around choice.
if starting a new tank then id go with dry aragonite sand. if adding substrate or changing substrate from an established tank then the livesand is the way to go imo. crushed coral imo is a pain... like stated above it collects way too much detritus leading to no3 and po4 issues.
Just hanging around and read this post. Im starting a new 210 g reef tank and need a lot of sand, thought I had to spend a fortune on live sand because of the LFS advice. Thanks everybody this helped a lot.
Don't buy live sand, or if you must, buy the smallest bag and for the rest use dry aragonite sand you can buy at Home Depot (or your LFS) for pennies a pound. When I moved my 135-gallone across the state recently, I bought tons of dry sand and one small bag of live sand to start the seeding process faster - it works great and was fairly cheap to do.
What about adding live sand to crushed coral? I have a 12 gal tank and I set it up for just fish but want to add corals and LR to the tank. I have never heard of a reef with cc in it but would it be ok to add live sand to it or would it make a bad mix?