Sea sand for substrate

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by Tiger eye, 25 Oct 2012.

  1. Tiger eye

    Tiger eye

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    When I visited Riaanp the other day i notesed he has sea sand for substrate and I am seariosley considering it for my new 4ft tank. At tje moment ive got fiji pink aragonite in my 3ft and if I put a sandsifter in my tank I get constant sand storms. It seems to be to fine.
    If i wash the sea sand likethe play sand (+-15 times) will this sort out any polution, phosphate, contaminants ect.. Problems?
     
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  3. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Hi, sea sand is almost the same as Fiji pink, and sea sand won't be cleaner etc that will rely on husbandry and not over feeding etc
    Sorry it's not what you want to hear but you better off leaving your Fiji sand in
     
  4. Tiger eye

    Tiger eye Thread Starter

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    Sorry misunderstood. I ment washing it to get rid of the contaminents that is on the beach(we dont have the cleanest beaches) to avoid problems in the tank. It does look a bit coarser than the arragonite or it mite be the water that creates the elusion.
     
  5. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I used the sand as is. Transported it in a bucket with half a cm water covering it. Dropped directly into the tank. Just ensure that no small objects are mistakenly picked up, like bi-valve snails. I let the tank run for a week, and was lucky, no cycle. Or minimum. Skimmer did not react. No algae or diatoms. After a week I added a couple of hermits, to do cleanup of things I could not see. But OK, this was at the startup of the tank. Nothing else was in it for that week.

    So far I'm happy with the sand.

    Obvious, collecting at a clean beach, below the low water mark is easier. But it is a lot of work carrying the sand to the car. I filled a 40L tub. And wet sand is heavy. Got my sons to do the carry work, paid them with ice-cream.

    DO not wash the sand with fresh or RO water. You would kill of a lot of organisms in it that would lead to a big cycle period. You can sift the sand with your wife's flour sifter (just do not let her see you).
     
    Last edited: 26 Oct 2012
  6. Elrond

    Elrond

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    Tiger eye,

    I've used seasand mixed with aragonite (70/30 ish) for 2 of my systems now totally 4 years without any negative side effects. I took from the waterline at low tide, washed this thoroughly with normal tap water and then rinsed with sea water before applying to my tanks The goby loves it and it looks pretty good in my opinion. I can't imagine anything natural (but clean) being bad for a marine tank, this is after-all, where all our live stock comes from.

    -E
     
  7. Dillan

    Dillan

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    All my tanks have sea sand in with no issues, same as RiaanP collected from a beach that has few feet on it under the water line and paid my kids in sweets to carry it to the car, did it over 3 days and put in close to 100kgs in my tank and sump......kept them with a little water and brought it back to Bloemfontein , had a very small cycle.
     
  8. Wes

    Wes

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    is it legal to just go take sand off the beach?
     
  9. BlastoM

    BlastoM

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    I was under the impression that sea sand just just creates silica problems?
     
  10. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    There's nothing in the collection rules, stating that you are not allowed to take sea sand, water or rocks, from the beaches.


    Glass is made of silicate - derived from silica - made from sand? No - sea sand does not create silica problems. Sea sand is inert. It does not dissolve (unless there are small coral pieces, or tiny pieces of sea shells, in it).
     
  11. Wes

    Wes

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    Cool thanks for sharing
     
  12. Dillan

    Dillan

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    And this would cause?
     
  13. Wes

    Wes

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    phosphate
    phosphates would leach a bit
     
  14. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    same are crushed coral substrate.
    At worst, leach calcium - yeah.
     
  15. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Some sea shells can actually leach phosphates as well. But, in the tiny amounts that the very small pieces of broken sea shells leaches into our tanks - it SHOULD NOT make a huge difference.
     
  16. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    BTW - sea shells is actually an interesting subject - google the composition of sea shells a little bit. I know this - because many years back, I started out with a lot of sea shells in my tank - and I was given this advise. I googled it - and found that quite a big'ish % of sea-shell composition, is phosphate.
     
  17. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Shells, along with eggs, snails, and other marine organisms, contain a chemical called calcium carbonate, a common substance found around the world. Common minerals and rocks where calcium carbonate exists is in chalk, limestone, marble, and travertine. It's also the active ingredient that causes hard water conditions in many households.
    Composition of a Shell Science Fair Project
     
  18. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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  19. Wes

    Wes

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    Yes, it is true that coral skeletons leach back phosphates (AND many other substances - some good, some bad...).

    How serious this would be is an open question - it would depend on (amongst others...) the ratio of the coral skeleton vs. volume of tank water, the actual level of PO4 in the skeleton (and that would depend on the specie of coral, and on where it has lived...) and on the level of PO4 export of your system.

    There is nothing one can do to prevent the leaching from occurring (as far as I know). Normal tank "maintenance", such as having a refugium with lots of macro algae growth, skimming whilst dripping Kalk, running an algae scrubber, and especially using a phosphate remover, would be sufficient to prevent a build-up of phosphate from this source. Dosing a carbon source (such as Vodka or vinegar) would also (indirectly) remove PO4.

    In my experience, the amount of PO4 added by dead coral skeletons (be it crushed coral sand, the coral particles in a calcium reactor or live rock...) is substantially less than that added to the tank through feeding, so I would not stress too much about this issue.

    Hennie

    From:

    Coral skeletons leaching phosphates? - Marine Aquariums South Africa
     
  20. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Ok, what could cause CaCO3 to break down to release the Ca. I'm now chemical expert, but I think its the same as carbon reactors, where adding CO2 creating a low PH environment. An environment typically not found in our displays. That would mean that the breakdown in the display, if any, would be a very slow process. Definitely not enough to fulfil our Calcium needs in SPS tanks.

    If sea shells did present problem to our systems, either leaching excessive phosphates or calcium, then I would have a problem with my 98 hermits.
     
  21. Nemeziz_za

    Nemeziz_za

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    Is ^This legal??
     
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