Live sand
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Live sand

This is a discussion on Live sand within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> We just purchased a 220 gal. tank, I hope someone can help us with this question. We live close to the ocean. Can we ...

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Old 12-29-2008, 06:48 PM   #1
 
Live sand

We just purchased a 220 gal. tank, I hope someone can help us with this question. We live close to the ocean. Can we use sand out of the ocean as live sand? If so will it have to be treated or is the Ocean sand something we should not use at all. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:28 PM   #2
 
I wouldn't. Generally the sand on most beaches and in oceans are polluted. Unless you can visit a wild reef where it would probably be illegal to take sand, I would just buy some.

Last edited by Cody; 12-29-2008 at 07:46 PM..
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:39 PM   #3
 
the sand you refer to is indeed mostly sand, pulverized rock, silica, silacates, shells & various other bits & pieces of debris. this is not at all suited for aquarium substrate. what is needed is an aragonite, it contains all of the needed elements of the sea, is a natural nitritifer & buffer. it was/is a part of reefs. regular beach sand will quickly do in your setup. crushed coral skeletons and shells are another good option ,but none are as good as agragonite.
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:41 PM   #4
 
does your tank come with a diving board & life rafts?
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:47 PM   #5
 
Actually, you don't even need live sand. It can just be regular sand (like Tahitian Moon Sand or the like), or even play sand. If you just stuff a few pieces of LR rubble into the sand, it will become live within a matter of weeks and will be better than store bought LS.
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:31 PM   #6
 
If i use play sand is there any thing i need to look out for?
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:49 PM   #7
 
for a saltwater tank only aragonite,crushed coral or crushed shell can be used, regular sand will quickly destroy your setup. please do not take ill advice on substrate. you can not turn regular sand into live sand with a few pieces of liverock rubble. if you are having a problem deciding, be patient, other knowledgable members will respond. (bare bottom is an option, but it has some drawbacks.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:00 AM   #8
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rugie View Post
for a saltwater tank only aragonite,crushed coral or crushed shell can be used, regular sand will quickly destroy your setup. please do not take ill advice on substrate. you can not turn regular sand into live sand with a few pieces of liverock rubble. if you are having a problem deciding, be patient, other knowledgable members will respond. (bare bottom is an option, but it has some drawbacks.
I have done it, and many others have done it. All sand will turn live when live rock is present, and will get seeded with pods and beneficial bacteria.

As to using play sand, you would *really* need to rinse it out. I have seen a few tanks that use play sand, but many others that use regular aquarium sand. And make sure the play sand is not open when you buy it already, just to make sure it is not contaminated.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:06 PM   #9
 
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Cody is absolutely right, clean the sand out very well and get as much live rock as you can afford that's CURED. If you are going to get uncured LR then you should only put a little bit because it's going to smell bad. I know many reefers that use play sand and i plan on doing it on my next set-up.

Using ocean water is fine. I know many reefer that do this and they have no isses, but always pay attention to your area. If you live in Galviston, TX and you can't see your hand 1ft below the surface, you shouldn't use it.

Don't use crushed coral, or shells. It traps detritus in and causes issues. Normally old tank syndrom settles in quicker if you use it, and that's never good.
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:36 PM   #10
 
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I also agree with Cody & Kell.
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