Help with Estes' Ultra Reef sand. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Help with Estes' Ultra Reef sand.

Hey i'm new to this forum, so sorry if this has already been asked.
I'm trying to set up a 10g species tank for a pair of bolivian rams. Today i purchased Estes' Ultra Reef marine sand and although it says it is safe for fresh or salt water fish, the people at my LFS said that it would raise my PH and therefore told me to buy some PH down called Acid Buffer by Seachem.
i have a couple of questions.

1. the sand keeps clumping into little balls and theres sand on the surface of the water, how do i prevent this?

2. does this sand acctually make the PH high? or would it be just fine for a pair of bolivian rams.

3. how does the PH down thing work, it looks like somewhat large grains of sand


again this is my first time doing this so thank you for your patience and sorry if there's already a thread about this. any tips on how to set up a ram tank would also be very much appreciated.
thank you sirs, and gentle ladies.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 12:39 AM
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10g is kinda small for rams.

I dont know if it will raise ph but if it does acid buffer will only work for a couple days and then ph will raise again.

Acid buffer is dangerous stuff.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 12:46 AM
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They should have helped you better and sold you the correct substrate for your fish..
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 01:41 AM
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Your LFS sold you possibly the worst possible substrate for Rams and for plants... you'll need to get an inert substrate or go with one that will lower your pH and hardness like ADA AquaSoil. Trying to dump chemicals in there to counteract your substrate will be futile and you'll just end up tossing more $$ down the drain and probably also kill the fish in the process.





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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 02:33 AM
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This species prefers soft, neutral to slightly acid water, but will do well under conditions of moderate hardness (up to 10.0 degrees hardness) and alkalinity (pH 7.4). So I don't think they sold you the right thing. You should have listen to your friend, and just not gotten it. (:
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 03:53 AM
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i dont know how if it affects ph, but just keep washing the sand until most of it sinks. i've used it before and the sand is very light. it floats easily and the sand that goes the bottom gets kicked up easily. i just skimmed whatever came to the top.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 04:12 AM
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This sand is designed to raise and buffer pH and hardness- like to around 8.0

Rams prefer water that is soft and acidic, 5.0 - 7.0 range (that's a guesstimate, without looking it up)





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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 05:43 AM
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This sand has no buffing properties that I'm aware of and it's not silica based . I have some of this mixed in with some Floredepot in my current tank and I love it. And the clumping happens when the sand isn't rinsed enough.

Edit -Forgot to mention that though I do like the sand, Bolivian Rams look terrible on it; completely washed out.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 09:12 AM
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I have used this sand for years, in fact..it is presently in every one of my tanks. Now I put it in a bucket with water for several days, swishing my hand through it several times a day until it gets some bacteria/oils from my hands...then it begins to all sink and stay in place. My PH stays low,{6.5 on average} so I don't know about it raising PH. I use it alongside regular substrate, as 'paths'. I love this sand and how white and fine it is.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-06-2008, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
This sand is designed to raise and buffer pH and hardness- like to around 8.0

Rams prefer water that is soft and acidic, 5.0 - 7.0 range (that's a guesstimate, without looking it up)
\

no, it isnt. I looked it up and it is a non buffering substrate.

it will work fine. But you need to find another way to get your ph down.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2008, 01:40 AM
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If you guys say so... I must have looked up the wrong sand?





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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2008, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lauraleellbp View Post
If you guys say so... I must have looked up the wrong sand?
yeah I am sure there are a lot of buffering reef substrates...

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2008, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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thank you for your replies i know its really late/
i decided to go with caribsea sand and i got 2 gbr although one died :'(
now i just have a female who is sharing the tank with 5 white clouds
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2010, 04:46 PM
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It doesn't raise PH what so ever. It's safe for freshwater and marine aquariums. I've used it in my South American tank with no raise in PH. Just because it says Ultra Reef does not mean it has buffering properties. The package also says: "Safe for Fresh or Saltwater" and "Safe and Non-Toxic for a Variety of Uses: Marine Aquariums, Terrariums, and Other Exotics."
It gorgeous, pure white, and uniform in size and I absolutely love it. My LFS sells it and also has it in ALL their tanks, YES even the Discus ones!
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