Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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sweetwaterarabians 11-25-2006 05:30 PM

Beach sand for substrate
I've just set up a second aquarium and I'm using beach sand that I collected myself as the substrate for my freshwater tank. This will be an extra guppy tank for me. Has anyone else used beach sand? If they have did they have any problems with it? I washed this sand really, really good and I've had the tank set up for about a week now and just added two of my zebra danios as test fish. So far they are doing great and the water is testing good. I just wanted to check to see if there are problems with beach sand that I may not know about. I've used creek gravel before that I've collected around my house but since we live out in the boonies I would think that is much more free of impurities than beach sand. I will try and get a photo of it soon.

Lupin 11-26-2006 05:07 PM

I just remembered I also used that before. I just wash it thoroughly and the fish I tried like bettas and danios never had problems with the sand.

fish_4_all 11-26-2006 05:57 PM

There are a couple things you might run into. Beach sand may contain a lot of silicates and there you will fit with diatoms for a while until the protective cotaing stocks the leeching. Anyhintg will be that there is possibly a lot of shells and such that may increase your KH and pH. I would have boiled it or at l;east done a bleech treatment just to make sure that all the little "critters" and their eggs were dead but it may not be a problem.

Let us know how it works and if you ever have "odd" things show up so we know for the future. Would like to use it myself in the future.

girlofgod 11-26-2006 06:21 PM

surely you mean fw sand? not ocean sand? right? cuz wouldnt that be bad for a freshwater aquarium? i dont know, i'm just wondering...


sweetwaterarabians 11-26-2006 06:48 PM

ocean sand
This is actual ocean sand that I collected at the beach. I have noticed that is has made the PH go up a little.

girlofgod 11-26-2006 07:13 PM

yea, it will do it safe for freshwater aquariums?


sweetwaterarabians 11-26-2006 07:25 PM

don't know
That's what I'm trying to find out. I'm trying to see if others have ever used it successfully. So far the 2 danios I have in there are doing fine.

Lupin 11-26-2006 10:15 PM

Re: don't know

Originally Posted by sweetwaterarabians
That's what I'm trying to find out. I'm trying to see if others have ever used it successfully. So far the 2 danios I have in there are doing fine.

I did try it successfully.:thumbsup: I just washed it thoroughly and the occupants never had problems but those fish were quite hardy when I tried that sand. Bettas are not that hardy nowadays though.:roll:

crazie.eddie 11-26-2006 10:46 PM

Some sands contain silicates. I would put in a water in a tank with a powerhead and test the pH after a day or 2. This lets the CO2 gass out. Otherwise, if you test your water immediately, you may get a different reading compared to waiting a day or 2 later. After the 2 days, pour the sand in there and test the pH again after a couple of days. If the pH rises, then there's a possibility that the sand does contain silicates that could cause your pH to rise. If it doesn't or you like the high pH, then make sure you pour some bleach in the water and let the water circulate to make sure you kill any other nasties in the sand.

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