Woah, you got a big thumb. Haha only playing.
Hi Kehy. Another Washingtonian I see haha. If you are just looking for cheap sand, you can get a 100lb bag from Home Depot for $8.88 (that's really the price). It's a fine-grain, beige sand (not the regular quik-rete play sand or pool filter sand, just another all purpose silica sand. yes silica sand is fine. one of the LFS even sells it by the lb.).
I've used 200lbs (2 bags, lots of tanks) of it with a bunch of different species of fish. It does compact some, but I think all sand does if you let it sit long enough. I've noticed in higher bio-load tanks (overstocked) it compacts quicker and can turn dark in color when nitrogen gas builds up under it (normal), just got to stir it once in awhile. Definitely a cheap sand to try out. Even though it is a fine-grain, I don't siphon much sand out at all during vaccing, and it's clean sand, practically no clouding at all, settles very fast and no debris, but I still rinse before adding just in case.
Anyways, I can't really comment on the sand you have. But do be cautious, you never know what the sand is made of and what other potentially dangerous stuff it might have on/in it. That velociraptor might also leach harmful stuff as well. Then again, they both might be completely safe, but just giving word of caution.
Whereabouts in WA do you hail from? haha
And you've got some good points. It would be a much safer route to go with store bought sands, and the prices for them aren't bad at all (where to store 100 pounds of sand is another issue entirely
). This was a spur of the moment type thing, and I did happen to need a separate tank for the angry bitey fish.
Mostly I just want to see how well this might work as a free resource. As it happens, I do like the color of the sand, and I'm fairly certain that the worst that might come from it could be algae issues from too many nutrients. The dirt I get the sand from comes directly from the family veggie garden, so I know pest/herbicides aren't a major issue. The organics that are inevitably still in there, I can deal with.
The raptor though, I've got my eye on her. She should be fine, given that she was in the children's toys section, and the only warning that came with her was a choking hazard (her mouth opens). I was tempted to upgrade to the T-rex and put it in a larger tank, but I'll see how the raptor does for now.