might sound silly..buuuut...sand from the beach? Will it work? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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might sound silly..buuuut...sand from the beach? Will it work?

If I soaked/rinsed/boiled/bleached/primed it?

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 09:13 PM
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I'd never risk that. Sand is already cheap -- it wouldn't be worth it to try your luck IMO

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Well, you ARE quoting steve jobs, ill have to take what you say with a grain of salt

JUST KIDDING. I was already thinking it'd be risky just wanted some opinions.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 09:18 PM
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From a salt water beach a thorough rinsing will get rid of the salt. Diseases or parasites from salt water usually cannot make the transition to fresh water, so I would not worry about that.
From a fresh water beach a thorough rinsing will get rid of organic matter like decomposing leaves. I would also boil it. Stuff from a fresh water source can also bring in disease or parasites to a fresh water tank. Put sand and water on the stove (or do it outside, on a BBQ) and bring it to a boil. Just a short time is OK.

Then I would test the sand to be sure it is not from coral or limestone. Put some fresh water in the bucket with the sand and test GH, KH and pH. Test again in a few days or a week. If there is no change then this sand is good for a soft water tank. If there is a change (GH, KH or pH rises) then this sand is OK for hard water fish like livebearers or Rift Lake Cichlids or certain Rainbows.

Look at what settles, too. If there is a scum of fine stuff I would try to get rid of it, not put that fine stuff in the tank. It can make the water cloudy or it might contribute to the sand packing down and becoming anaerobic.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 09:19 PM
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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From a salt water beach a thorough rinsing will get rid of the salt. Diseases or parasites from salt water usually cannot make the transition to fresh water, so I would not worry about that.
From a fresh water beach a thorough rinsing will get rid of organic matter like decomposing leaves. I would also boil it. Stuff from a fresh water source can also bring in disease or parasites to a fresh water tank. Put sand and water on the stove (or do it outside, on a BBQ) and bring it to a boil. Just a short time is OK.

Then I would test the sand to be sure it is not from coral or limestone. Put some fresh water in the bucket with the sand and test GH, KH and pH. Test again in a few days or a week. If there is no change then this sand is good for a soft water tank. If there is a change (GH, KH or pH rises) then this sand is OK for hard water fish like livebearers or Rift Lake Cichlids or certain Rainbows.

Look at what settles, too. If there is a scum of fine stuff I would try to get rid of it, not put that fine stuff in the tank. It can make the water cloudy or it might contribute to the sand packing down and becoming anaerobic.
Hmm, might go sand collecting then!

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See if you can get your hands on this: http://www.lesliespool.com/Home/Filt...ies/14700.html
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 09:42 PM
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Sometimes it makes a difference in ways we don't think about. I like pool filter sand even though it is more expensive at the start. One big reason is that it is less dirty and doesn't take long to rinse it clean.
The second reason I use PFS is less obvious. Sand from the beach, all purpose sand, or play sand are always a wide range of grain size. This sounds fine but can be very expensive if it gets stirred up and winds up in the filter impeller. I have fish who love to spit sand on filter intakes!!! It has cost me too many impellers to risk using cheap sand again. The pool filter sand is larger grains and settles back to the bottom instead of blowing around in the water.
Just another decision to keep us awake at night??
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 10:27 PM
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Well, you ARE quoting steve jobs, ill have to take what you say with a grain of salt

JUST KIDDING. I was already thinking it'd be risky just wanted some opinions.
Haha, hater

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Well I tossed the beach sand idea in the garbage and went out and bought some sand at home depot. 100lbs for seven bucks.

Should be safe right?

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 11:49 PM
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i brought home some white sand from florida for a multies tank , boiled it for 10 mins ......the 5 fish have generations insid the tank now. No reason to be worried once boiled :-)
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 01:10 AM
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Well I tossed the beach sand idea in the garbage and went out and bought some sand at home depot. 100lbs for seven bucks.

Should be safe right?

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Why should it be safe? It's not sold for fish tanks after all. It might send your pH, kH and GH through the roof, just like sand from the beach. It might contain concrete and whatnot. Pool filter sand should be fairly safe, still a good idea to do some tests. Regular sand is often way too fine, difficult to maintain good-looking, and not ideal for plant roots. Creates a lot of cute gas pockets though.

I have used small amounts of beach sand before. You can find areas with very even grain size (no fines or boulders). It looks nice but isn't really a good planted tank substrate as it lacks in CEC.


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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 01:13 AM
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Sometimes trying to be cheap in the short run can become more costly in the long run.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Why should it be safe? It's not sold for fish tanks after all. It might send your pH, kH and GH through the roof, just like sand from the beach. It might contain concrete and whatnot. Pool filter sand should be fairly safe, still a good idea to do some tests. Regular sand is often way too fine, difficult to maintain good-looking, and not ideal for plant roots. Creates a lot of cute gas pockets though.

I have used small amounts of beach sand before. You can find areas with very even grain size (no fines or boulders). It looks nice but isn't really a good planted tank substrate as it lacks in CEC.

I guess I'll let you know because you seem very unsure.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 01:36 AM
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Wasserpest is not known for being unsure. I think what he was saying is that he does not have a crystal ball to determine precisely what's in the bag you bought, but here are some things for you to consider.

If you don't want to consider those things, then that's your choice. At least you were offered the information, and that's the best anyone can do to help you.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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I did consider it. It's silica sand just like the PFS that was recommended to me. It is very fine grain but I will be introducing snails to help with the gas bubbles. I'll give it a try in my nano bowl first but I'm not just not going to try after buying it. Here's pics of what I have so far.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rgoxwr7z5qlcu9r/DSC02828.JPG
https://www.dropbox.com/s/s5wbknku2rdg279/DSC02829.JPG
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9agl3k7fzuc07ti/DSC02827.JPG

Sorry for them being vertical. I have no idea why it's doing that.

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