Should I reuse my flourite black sand? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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Should I reuse my flourite black sand?

My tank has been shut down for the last 2 months while I spend the summer in FL. Meanwhile, my plants are outside growing out in a bucket. I am looking forward to getting back to Chicago next month to start my tank back up but I plan on going a different direction with the tank this semester. It's a 30c that used to be a high-light, high-tech setup and I used flourite black sand. Now I want to do a low-light, low-tech setup with only epiphytes like java fern and bolbitis and some java moss. I worry that with the high CEC of flourite sand that there will be too many nutrients locked into the old substrate not to mention the thousands of MTS that probably died in the sand when I took it out last May. Since there will be no root feeders in the new setup I was wondering if I would be better off using an new inert sand to avoid an algae outbreak when I start up the tank next month. Petco has a nice light gray sand for $1/lb I was thinking of using.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 01:37 PM
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you can use your old fluorite if you "prep" it. Wash it a few times, then let it "cure" with circulation/airation. You want to prevent anaerobic digestion while letting aerobic digestion remove excess nutrients.


but new cheap sand is cheap and easy :-D


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 03:46 PM
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Should you reuse your flourite black sand? No. You're under no obligation to use it if you don't want to. Can you reuse your flourite black sand? Sure! If that's what you want.

I've reused old substrate (eco complete) without any problems. In one case, my husband dumped a bunch in the yard, not knowing what it was. I was able to wash it and reuse it.

If you're worried about the MTS snails, you can bleach the substrate. Just be sure to dechlorinate it when you're done. Bleach won't destroy it or harm anything in the long run.

As far as any nutrients in the substrate, I wouldn't worry about that. Root tabs usually have to be replaced every month. So it's unlikely the substrate would holding a substantial amount of nutrients, especially if you rinse it before using it.

I think you should just do whatever you want to do. Your post sounded as if you didn't want to use it. If that's the case, then don't. Let it go. Get new substrate and enjoy it. That's the whole point of this hobby, isn't it? To enjoy ourselves. So do whatever you want to do and don't worry about what you should or should not do.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-25-2012, 02:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slavecorps View Post
I worry that with the high CEC of flourite sand that there will be too many nutrients locked into the old substrate not to mention the thousands of MTS that probably died in the sand when I took it out last May. Since there will be no root feeders in the new setup I was wondering if I would be better off using an new inert sand to avoid an algae outbreak when I start up the tank next month.
You underestimate the MTS's will to survive. After 2 months in damp sand, Id be surprised if more then a third of them were dead. They just close their trap doors and hibernated. Ive heard stories of them living years in buckets of mostly dry sand.

Also, the nutrients that are locked up in the fluorite, are just that, locked up. Theyre not going to start leaching out as soon as you add water to them. Im pretty sure they wont cause an algae outbreak If it was me, Id reuse the fluorite sand.

But if you want a change, nothing wrong with that, get something. But I dont see any problems from reusing the fluorite if thats what you want to do.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-25-2012, 03:38 AM
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Try a new substrate to make your effort worth it. Dump the fluorite in the compost heap.


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