Play sand as a subtrate?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by MadScientist, 4 Dec 2013.

  1. MadScientist

    MadScientist

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    Hi Guys,

    I am thinking of using play sand for the substrate for a new tank. I would like your opinions and experiences from using this. I have read on the net and there seems that there are quiet a few people using it. However people say there are issues with it clouding the water. Is there a different particle size sand that I can get to avoid this? Also is there any specific brand or things that I should look out for when buying? I am looking at the white play sand, as I think this will be the closest look to arogonite.

    Thanks:thumbup:
     
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  3. Zandy

    Zandy

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    Lots and lots of time to wash it off properly !!!! :thumbup:
    A warm day ....
     
  4. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Seeing that you listed your location as
    Substrate should be outside your door...

    Anyway, playsand from some Garden centers is the same as the sand from Reggies. Just a lot cheaper. . And do not be fooled by the writing on the bag. Even if it states "Washed" it is not clean enough. Rinse it properly. The more and better you wash it, the better for your tank.

    Pic from a couple of years back
    [​IMG]
     
  5. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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    Cool. So it's just a real pain to get clean. I can mmake a plan with that. Two other things I read is that it's too fine and will stir up with the flow. Is this true? Do you get different sized particles that we can choose when buying? Also read that it should be silica free. Yes/no?
     
  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    silica in sand in inert. Exactly the same as the silica in the tank glass. If it does leech out, your PH must be so off the scale that anything in there will be dead anyway.

    Normally, one size particle. After all, it is all from one and the same truckload...

    It will stir up, exactly the same as the same size aragonite. Actually slightly less as it is heavier.
     
  7. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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    Thats my thinking too

    Cool.. so I guess aragonite would stir up too.. what would you suggest I do to prevent this, if anything can be done that is..

    Its kinda hard needing high flow in a tank, and yet having a light substrate that can stir up. Would you suggest just playing around with the direction of flow pumps so that it does not disturb the substrate?
     
  8. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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    Oh just another question.. any major differences between pool sand and play sand? I am looking for a whiter colour sand..
     
  9. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    my 2c, its a waste and looks terrible, i tried it and eventually got rid of it.
    why not use sea sand?
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    high flow, rather go for coarser aragonite.
     
  11. Zandy

    Zandy

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    Or wait till someone is closing down their system. Get the aragonite from there and you have instant bacteria...
     
  12. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    According to Randy Holmes-Farley: 302 Found

    "Is it OK to use silica sand? Probably. Many people do so. I also believe that not all “silica “ sands will be the same for the reasons described above relating to processing of the sand and the nature of the mineral inclusions present. So the fact that many people successfully use some (or many) types of silica sand does not necessarily imply that all people can use any type of “silica” sand without a problem."

    So I'd say that the answer is a definite maybe……
     
  13. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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    Thank for the input guys.. I was thinking about sea sand too.. but the colour seems to be a bit too brownish in a tank. Has anyone used black sand or is curently using black sand? It seems to bring out the colors of fish and corals nicely. Is there any alternative to buying the hawaii black if using black sand? I'm not looking for live sand, as I will be running a DSB with the sand from my current tank. this will seed the sand in my DT quiet fast. I'm trying to google a video of a dive off the hawaii beach with black sand to see if there are natural reefs surrounded with black sand but cant find any.
     
    Last edited: 4 Dec 2013
  14. Qaiser

    Qaiser

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    I bought play sand at builders today. It came in a clear plastic bag and the guy says its Philipi sand. Is this correct?
     
  15. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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    Never heard of it.. is it very fine though?
     
  16. Qaiser

    Qaiser

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  17. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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  18. Qaiser

    Qaiser

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    Yes that's correct. The reason why it is used for screed and plaster is because its a finer grain to give your walls a smoother finish. I just want to know the difference between philippi and play sand.
    @RiaanP Do you maybe have any input on this?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  19. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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    I have some coarse crushed coral lying at home, with some of the pieces really large. If I had to crush this to make it really fine would it be okay?
     
  20. Hammerhead

    Hammerhead

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    Howsit, My bro was trying to source white silica for a cement pot plant manufacturer. He managed to source some locally from some company that sell the stuff for use on manucured golf courses. I will try and get a name or more info from him.
     
  21. MadScientist

    MadScientist Thread Starter

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    Hey @Hammerhead, that will be great!!!

    Thanks man.

    What is the difference between pool sand and play sand?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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