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FAQ: Can I use SAND as substrate? How to convert?
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Steve Hampton
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2003.06.06(Fri)8:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coarse grade pool filter sand is about $3 per bag at Lowe's and Home Depot in my area.
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Zurvan
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Joined: 04 Mar 2003

PostPosted: 2003.06.06(Fri)9:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can also get play sand from Home Depot... I paid $5 Canadian for 20KG... which is enough to do about 5 square feet, at 2" deep.
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Jake
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Joined: 19 May 2003
Location: N.C.

PostPosted: 2003.06.08(Sun)17:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be VERY careful when buying play sand for substrate. Some brands will severely throw your chem readings off. I had such a bad problem with it that I finally just spent the extra buck and used sand that was sold for aquariums. If you want details just ask.

Good luck
Jake
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moricollins
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Joined: 02 Jun 2003
Location: canada

PostPosted: 2003.06.08(Sun)20:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

can you tell me more about this sand? cost, appearance, etc...?
I have another question: how do you clean your tank with sand as a substrate?, wouldn't the sand just travel up a gravel vaccuum?
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ophie
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Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: 2003.06.08(Sun)21:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've gotten coarse sandblasting sand from a warehouse that sold various blast media for $5 per 50 or 100 lb (I forget) bag. It's not very exciting, but the coarseness keeps the siphon from sucking it up, and things root in it very well.
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FishAddict85
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Joined: 16 Feb 2003

PostPosted: 2003.06.09(Mon)12:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

moricollins wrote:
I have another question: how do you clean your tank with sand as a substrate?, wouldn't the sand just travel up a gravel vaccuum?


Fish poop is very light and will easily be sucked up by the siphon. And since it cannot just fall down the cracks like in gravel you can put the siphon just close enough to do this but not pick up any sand. Maybe an inch. On thing you really want to do is be VERY careful when adding water to the tank when you fill it up and when you do weekly water changes. If you just dump it in there you will have a mess of trouble. So be patient and VERY slow when adding water. Wink

Also a great tip put a plate at the bottom of the tank where you will be adding the water...that way when you add it the current as it comes down doesn't mess up the sand.
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moricollins
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Joined: 02 Jun 2003
Location: canada

PostPosted: 2003.06.10(Tue)20:10    Post subject: sand Reply with quote

anyone have a particular type of sand they would recommend (I'm looking for aquarium sand), it's gong to be part of my birthday present from my parents so I'm looking for just types, I live in canada and we probably don't have the same brands as other places ... so the name might be helpful...
anyone used : aragonite, aragamax, calcite, or any other type,?

thanks
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Jay
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Toronto Canada

PostPosted: 2003.06.10(Tue)20:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

What type of tank are you trying to set up? Is it going to be planted? Or are you looking to set up something more like an african cichlid tank? They type of sand/other substrate should really depend on the set-up.
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amishfignewton
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Joined: 22 May 2003

PostPosted: 2003.06.10(Tue)21:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like pool filter sand, sand blasting sand, quickrete playsand, southdown (white) playground sand... all are cheap and work out very nice. Make sure to rise your sand out well and be prepared to wait a couple weeks for the tank to clear up. As far as the more expensive sands, I tend to stay away from that stuff, basicly because it is more expensive then all the sands listed above and does the same thing. Although I do like that black sand which I think is called moon sand or something.
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ophie
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Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: 2003.06.11(Wed)20:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

And just to be clear, the types you list are generally for saltwater applications. Are you setting up saltwater?

If not, Aragonite and Calcite-based sands will drastically raise hardness and pH. Inert types include Tahitian Moon Sand and those listed by Amishfignewton
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