Silica Sand - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-22-2008, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Silica Sand

I can get course white silica sandblasting sand locally, $6 for 100 lbs. The guy at my local fish store is trying to sell me his, he says silica sand will grow alge. Any truth to this?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-22-2008, 09:54 PM
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Yes it will,and it will build up gas pockets if not agitated from time to time,which could kill the fish.I had it before in an African tank,what a pain in the butt
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-22-2008, 10:20 PM
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I've had ordinary small grain play sand in my 10 gallon hospital tank for well over a year without any issues.

All normally encountered sand, unless limestone-based aragonite, will be silica based. Quartz = SiO2. You certainly wouldn't want aragonite, and your local quarry isn't very likely to have volcanic sands.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-22-2008, 10:28 PM
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I'm a sand lover too, wouldn't use anything else in my tanks. Mine doesn't grow algae, though not much of it sees light due to plant density.


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-22-2008, 10:37 PM
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Most sand; unless it is calcium carbonate based is going to have silicates; even volcanic (basaltic) sand which is considered low silicate is still 45-55% SiO2.

I too use sand in my substrates. I think the clay additives/substrates (which are often in the 35%+ SiO2 range) may have more water soluble silica than the sands.

I mix sand with something a little larger particle size for my substrates; but the largest single size fraction is plain jane cheap sand.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 03:13 PM
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Dont worry about silicates in the sand. having an aquarium made from glass probably has more potential to have algae than the sand. And if I am not mistaken the only algae that would even benefit from silicates is diatom, and thats usually one of the easiest algae’s to deal with. now having stark white sand might encourage algae growth in an of itself, but thats a separate issue, and probably not much to worry about either.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for you help. I'm off the the store to get a bag.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 12:38 AM
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I use PFS (pool filter sand) which is pure Silica sand. No issues whatsoever.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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I put the course white sand blasting sand in my tank. i really like it.

Last edited by Birdman; 03-11-2008 at 03:05 AM.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 01:09 AM
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Silica sand seems fine to me. Brown diatoms are supposed to grow more readily in the presence of silica sand, but I don't see any major problems. Otos love brown diatoms.

The only problems I see with using silica sand is that it gets dirty easily, poop shows up against it's tan/white colour very well. Also, you don't want a too deep of sand bed to avoid dead anaerobic zones that might cause hydrogen sulfide pockets. When they rupture they are potentially hazardous to your fish. It smells like rotten eggs. They use deep sand beds in marine tanks though.

The grain size might to small and compact--crushing finer roots in plants. But I haven't had a problem with a 1.5" sand bed and trumpet snails to aerate the substrate.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dekstr View Post
Silica sand seems fine to me. Brown diatoms are supposed to grow more readily in the presence of silica sand, but I don't see any major problems. Otos love brown diatoms.

The only problems I see with using silica sand is that it gets dirty easily, poop shows up against it's tan/white colour very well. Also, you don't want a too deep of sand bed to avoid dead anaerobic zones that might cause hydrogen sulfide pockets. When they rupture they are potentially hazardous to your fish. It smells like rotten eggs. They use deep sand beds in marine tanks though.

The grain size might to small and compact--crushing finer roots in plants. But I haven't had a problem with a 1.5" sand bed and trumpet snails to aerate the substrate.
This stuff is very course, #16. i only put a very fine layer down for now. So far it seams pretty easy to just syphen the poop off the top. Time will tell I guess. One thein, the goldfish like it. They like diggen around in ti.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 06:44 AM
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I was on another goldfish forum, and the more experienced goldfish hobbyists said sand isn't that good for goldfish as it will irritate their gill lining when they try to eat it... or dig in it. Goldfish like to eat anything they can put in their mouth.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 03:46 PM
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isn't silica glass?? so having a glass aquarium will grow algae?? I have silica sand and it's great, get some cory's and they'll keep the sand sifted just fine!
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2008, 06:22 PM
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I used play sand with no problem at all. I have 3in deep sand and no air pocket thanks to my cory.
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