Sea Sand

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Tremayn, 11 Apr 2010.

  1. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    Hi guys! Im gonna start my marine tank in the june hol. I was thinking of putting beach sand as substrate in my DT to help cut costs.

    Was wondering if this would be ok, as I can just ask my neighbour to bring me a bag full when he goes on a fishing trip. Will this be live sand or just normal sand? Coz the sand will be in the bag for a good 12hours or so. Also was wondering if he brought some sea water with if it would be ok to add to the tank.. Believe he will go durban side

    Also the LPS said that with fine substrate it tends to get into the sump and stuff. I dont see how the sand could go to the top of the tank into the over flow..? :slayer:
     
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  3. crispin

    crispin

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    treyman, in my personal view i find sea sand in a display tank to be a distraction rather than an ehancement, this is primarily due to the colour of the sand and often the small broken pieces of shell you often find. Personally i dont like it and if its a cost related question i think that playsand is a far better option as its whiter and cheap :)

    id also hesitate to think that there will be that much life left in the sand after a twelve hour trip in the boot of a hot car, id be more concerened with the amount of death and thus causeing issues through the nitrogen cycles. You must also ensure that the sand would be free of pollution and that might make the collection pl;ace difficult for your mate.

    with regards to the LFS saying that sand goes over the overflow and into the sump, i really dont credit that at all. IF (huge if) there is so much internal flow in a tank that causes the sand to be in suspension and thus over the overflow, then there is something very wrong with the planning of the tank as internal flow should not be blowing sand up (against gravity) over 500cm to reach the overflow. Playsand might be moved around in the tank but never over the overflow to the sump.
     
  4. Tremayn

    Tremayn Thread Starter

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    True hey.. I was thinking playsand as the next best thing.. I wanted to get like a nice bag of live argonite for the DSB... Or will it be better to mix the live sand in the DT? Can the play sand become live also?

    I also wanted to know what does good live rock look like when u but it from the shop? The LPS i go to is generally cheaper than the others I went to.. They said their live rock is R55 p/kg.. the other shops said R99 and R120.. WAs thinking maybe the R55 rock could be mostly dead?
     
  5. shane

    shane

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    Hi Tremayn,
    Another option is to use swimming pool filter sand or silica sand.When it is washed it is whiter than sea sand.This option does have some debate around it's use.
    I am sure that Crispin will know more about this.
    Cheers
     
  6. Tremayn

    Tremayn Thread Starter

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    i will check that out shane.. Im gonna go shopping around.. The LPS has crushed coral thats like R450 for a 20kg bag but I just dont like the look of it.. Also I read that some creatures can get hurt on the sharp bits of the crushed coral
     
  7. shane

    shane

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    Crushed coral is to coarse and will act as a detritus trap.
    Which could lead to bad water quality.
    I also have a big bag of that standing in my garage from the previous setup.
    cheers
     
  8. Dane

    Dane

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    Hey Tremayn,

    I personally think natural sea sand is by far the best option! :) I think it looks the most natural, and it has other benefits too. The grains are much smaller and more importantly - rounder - than playsand, aragonite etc. This means a much larger surface area for bacteria. If you collect fine natural sea sand you won't get a lot of shells etc. But make sure you're collecting from a clean source...

    Just my 2c!
     
  9. Tremayn

    Tremayn Thread Starter

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    The dry sand further up the beach should be clean? unless someone took a leak on it :p lol ...
     
  10. shane

    shane

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    It is best to collect the sand from below the low water mark. This way you may collect some benifical organism in with the sand.
    Cheers
     
  11. crispin

    crispin

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    i must confess i disagree with most of that, certainly the part about it looking natural, i find beach sand to look rather unnatural in a reef tank. But then its personal opinions to the look you want.

    as to the shape and size of the particle in beach sand you get a massive difference, indeed one of the prime advatanges of aragonite is the uniformity one can get from buying the size and shape particle that best suites your needs, which is very difficult to get from beach sand. And depending on the make up of the beach and the reef and wave action before it will depend on the shell particle size, you certainly do get alot of shell particles in natural sea sand.

    ive also found that the yellowish/golden color often found (note often, not always) in sea sand doesnt reflect light off the substrate as much as white aragonite or well washed play sand. the whiter substrates definately bounce light up off their surface which is benificial to corals and makes for great colours off fish.

    personally i would use play sand well before i used sea sand, especially if you are up in JHB and that sand has a trip of note to get to you before you can use it. Without finacial cronstraints id definatley go for aragonite too, but thats not the case here.


    i definatley would NOT go for crushed coral, leave that at the LFS :)
     
  12. Tremayn

    Tremayn Thread Starter

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    If aragonite is the best then i think I should just save up for that... Its worth getting a good thing the first time.. how much is the white aragonite though? like 1k for a 4ft tank?
     
  13. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    If its only a kilo you are looking for I am sure a reefer in your area could help you out but a kilo really isnt much.
     
  14. Tremayn

    Tremayn Thread Starter

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    no lol Brent.. 1k as in R1000 for 20kg? I dont really know how much aragonite costs but I know everyone says its expensive.. :whistling: .. Im assuming 20kg will be enough for a 4ft tank?
     
  15. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    18kg for about R900
     
  16. crispin

    crispin

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    if costs are a major concern, save the bucks and go for reggies play sand :)
     
  17. Tremayn

    Tremayn Thread Starter

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    Ye lol il rather go for play sand :lol: .. Think ill get like a 3kg bag of live aragonite for the DSB.. If i mix some live aragonite with the play sand, will it get some life?
     
  18. Tremayn

    Tremayn Thread Starter

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    hye, on the dorry pets site they have 1.00 - 2.00mmCaribSea Dry Aragonite-Seaflor Special Grade Reef 18.1kg for R596
     
  19. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    Good price, good stuff.
     
  20. crispin

    crispin

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    lovely particle size, and good price :)
     
  21. Tremayn

    Tremayn Thread Starter

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    now if i can find that here in jhb :whistling: .. if its good i can get my LFS to order it for me. they say they can get anything :whistling: haha
     
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