Playsand as a substrate

Discussion in 'Pumps and Waterflow' started by keyaam, 29 Apr 2009.

  1. keyaam


    Posts: 2,502
    28 Jul 2008
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    Cape Town

    I was brave enough to try playsand and im a bit dissapointed. My waterflow in the DT is about 65x and the sand seems to be floating everywhere. I never had this problem while using sugar fine aragonite. ive tried every possible position for my pumps but still. My water was clear while using aragonite and now there is constant particles floating. Its depressing:(. Now my questions are as follows:

    1. Is aragonite more dense than playsand?
    2. Can I add aragonite on top of the playsand because there is so much life in the substrate that i do not want to lose.
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  3. Warr7207


    Posts: 12,781
    28 Dec 2007
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    1. Nope but generally bigger particles.

    2. Don't see any reason why not.

    The playsand once introduced takes a while for the smaller particles to be "flushed" out the system. My first tank took at least 2-3 weeks before the suspended particles disappeared.

    But as said before Aragonite is the best, playsand is a cheaper alternative, but not in the same league.

    Like comparing Horses and Donkeys ;)
  4. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

    Posts: 27,849
    4 May 2007
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    All depends on what aragonite you buy, there are different brands and different grades, some finer than others.
    Yip, nothing wrong with that, I would put about half a cm at a time, give the life below it time to migrate into the new layer and then progressively add more.
  5. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

    Posts: 8,384
    7 Feb 2009
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    Joe's Mountain

    Some times what is good for the eye is not so good for the tank. So tanks with crystal clear water normally have corals that will not grow or show poor colour.

    As long as the murkiness is not gravel and is detritus you should be happy that your circulation pumps are doing what they are in your tank for. To keep the detritus off the rocks and corrals and keep it suspended in the water column for consumption. Corals eat this detritus. Especially the dendronephthya ( Red Chili coral) and Tubastrea (Sun corals).
  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

    Posts: 22,979
    11 Aug 2008
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    How many days ago did you add the playsand substrate? You mention there are life in there, so I gather it is more than 4 weeks?

    Then small stuff should have been flushed out by now. As Warr mentioned. Also depends on how good you washed your sand before using it.

    Or else, it means that small stuff do not get trapped in the substrate, like it used to in the coarser substrate -- and this is a good thing.

    But if the problem is that you keep on creating sandstorms, with a 65X turnover that is possible if you really manage to create random hectic flow, maybe downgrade your turnover rate? or else retry the positions, point the pumps at each other.

    Anyway if you add a layer on top to keep the sand down, the first time either you or a goby scratch around in the sand your problem will be back. My opinion, this option will only work in the short term, maybe a week, but will not give you the results you want in the long run.
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