Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Portland Oregon
In August I was researching a tank upgrade, from my 20 gallon with Eco complete, some plants and a few platies and corydoras. To a 55 gallon and more plants and fish. I figured the cory's would like some sand so I chose to split my tank between eco compete and sand. My research lead me to Tahitian moon sand, but some of the reviews on amazon said it was killing fish.
I googled this and came upon this thread, where the logic here convinced me to purchase the sand, I think I followed the right steps in setting this up.
1) I carefully moved the 20 gallon to my counter top so there was room for the new tank, I did this by putting the fish in a bucket and draining the tank completely, moving and filling it, using the correct prime dosage, and put the fish back as soon as water temp was fine, I did this a week before the new tank showed up.
2) I carefully cleaned the new tank using bleach then letting it dry then using a few rinses with prime and water.
3) I rinsed the sand very well using a bucket and many washes until the water was clear.
4) I added the substrate and planted the tank
5) I seeded the new canister filter with media from the hob and added a bit of fish food to the tank
5) I let the tank chill for a week with the fish happy in the 20 and the plants happy in the new tank, at this point I bought a bunch more plants, and added them to the tank, My daily testing showed an amonia spike then 3 days of no amonia, no nitrite, and increasing nitrate. I decided the tank was cycled and ready.
6) I added my cory and platy, both tanks had identical PH and temp, but I used a bucket of the 20 gallon water and added water from the new tank every 5 minutes to acclimate anyhow.
7) within 2 days all 3 fish were dead, an amonia spike the day they died convinced me I was doing something wrong, the tank also had a bloom of brown diatome algae.
at this point I was devastated by my failure, but Confident you all were experts and I was the noob.
I went to the local fish store the "wet spot" and asked for advice, I was sent home with more fish, more plants (floating frogbits) and a bottle of stability.
I did an 80% water change, then followed the directions on the bottle, added the plants and the new fish, this time a few ottos to eat the algae and some white cloud minnows, and a few MTS as I enjoyed them in my previous tank.
within a week they all died.
I then tried antibiotics to restart the tank, along with 100 % water change, and new fish and another bottle of bacteria, and again all the fish and snails died.
The wet spot then had me go through and list every single thing in my tank, and when they got to the Tahitian moon sand they told me it was bad and they don't sell it anymore because it kills fish.... I argued but these guys on the forum and reddit and such say that can't be, Surely I am doing something wrong!
at this point I called Carib Sea to get some evidence, and got a call back from Judd Mcracken their head of sales. He told me that Tahitian moon sand is discontinued and that they had a large shipment 2 years ago kill fish, and any still being sold in the last 2 years, AKA late 2016, all 2017 to present are suspect and may be bad.
Carib Sea replaced my substrate with Eco Complete which they shipped to me at no cost, I spent a whole day cleaning out my tank, and now I have a happy tank with happy fish.
So yes, You guys may have been wrong, and the OP may really have had sand kill his fish, and your arguments caused me to buy sand that killed my fish.