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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I went out and got the Tahitian Moon Sand today, I thought that the 4 bags I acquired were not going to be nearly enough based on what everyone was saying about quantity needed but I was PLEASANTLY surprised by the result!

The tank dimensions are 24"x24"x24" inside measurements.

Here is the tank empty



Here is the tank with 1- 20lb bag in it, got worried at this point, didn't think I had enough.



Then I got the other 3 bags in and smoothed out, and had a sigh of releif.



I have nothing to measure with at the new apartment yet so I grabbed a pack of cigarettes for a quick size comparison. Notice the tank trim is below the border of the tank stand and the sand still is nearly a full pack of cigarettes tall (I think they're 4.5" tall)





Conclusions, Tahitian Moon Sand (TMS) goes a long way. I wanted to fill 4sq.ft. of tank bottom with it much like a 40long or a 55gal, average sizes for most people to have and I only needed 80lbs of the stuff. After contemplating using Eco-Complete and discovering that I would need 110lbs to cover the tank to the same deapth and based on the price difference its a no brainer. 80lbs of TMS is enough to cover 4sq.ft. to a deapth of 3.5"-4".

Hope this helps someone out a little bit!

EDIT: I would also like to note that the substrate calculator was WAY off on this one. If Tahitian Moon Sand is the same as Silica Sand, like I believe it to be (albeit a really uninformed guess at this point), then had I bought enough to fill the tank to this deapth per the substrate calculator, I would have 60lbs of unused Sand. The substrate would have easily been over 6" deep. Granted I have a full 24" of height to work with but that would be juuuust alittle ridiculous.
 

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Is this product actually black - or is it "died" black?

I was at a LFS (not so local - but I was in the neighborhood) and I looked at their Black Marine sand ("for fresh or salt water according to the package) and from the verbage I got the distinct impression that the product wasn't actually black, but dyed somehow or another.

Just curioius.

Scott
Sanford, Maine
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Scott, I will go retreive the packaging from the trash and have a look at it for you....

It clearly states that there are no coatings on it. I actually believe it to be the black volcanic sands found on the Tahitian beaches (maybe thats why there is a hefty pricetag!) My conviction is that this is the natural color of the sand.
 

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TMS is black.

Also I think you might have too much sand going there..... get some sticks or skewers and poke at the substrate every now and then to release any anerobic gas pockets built up in the sand. I had TMS when I first started with planted tanks and it worked great but towards the end of it's life(6months) a lot of the plants would rot from the roots up and after digging through the sand I quickly found out why!(P-U)

There was a horrible sulfur smell from all the gas pockets that formed in the sand. What helped me with such great growth from the sand was Seachem's Flourish root tabs along with there ferts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
TMS is black.

Also I think you might have too much sand going there..... get some sticks or skewers and poke at the substrate every now and then to release any anerobic gas pockets built up in the sand. I had TMS when I first started with planted tanks and it worked great but towards the end of it's life(6months) a lot of the plants would rot from the roots up and after digging through the sand I quickly found out why!(P-U)

There was a horrible sulfur smell from all the gas pockets that formed in the sand. What helped me with such great growth from the sand was Seachem's Flourish root tabs along with there ferts.
Duely noted! Thanks for the advice.
 

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Really! I have TMS in my tank which was running over a year before I turned it into a planted tank. What are the first signs?

I have not noticed any problem with my stems so far.

And you say poking the sand releases the gas pockets?
 

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just so happen the bad smell happened to me really bad in my white (lizard) sand tank... i think it happens when detritus or other biodegradable thing gets under the sand.. otherwise it probably won't happen.

i love TMS though, 3bags to fill my 55gal bowfront, not as deep as redirocz but i still have a bag left over :) after a thorough washing, this thing doesn't cloud at all! my only complaint is it's not black enough. pictures always make it look so black but in person you notice non black particles here and there.. or maybe i just was unlucky and got 4 defective bags.. eitherway i love it and i can't wait to see the progress of this tank


one last thing... i hope you washed that before hand because if you put water in there if it's fresh out of the bag, it will be a disaster:icon_twis
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
just so happen the bad smell happened to me really bad in my white (lizard) sand tank... i think it happens when detritus or other biodegradable thing gets under the sand.. otherwise it probably won't happen.

i love TMS though, 3bags to fill my 55gal bowfront, not as deep as redirocz but i still have a bag left over :) after a thorough washing, this thing doesn't cloud at all! my only complaint is it's not black enough. pictures always make it look so black but in person you notice non black particles here and there.. or maybe i just was unlucky and got 4 defective bags.. eitherway i love it and i can't wait to see the progress of this tank


one last thing... i hope you washed that before hand because if you put water in there if it's fresh out of the bag, it will be a disaster:icon_twis
I also noticed the non black particles in it. You can take a pinch and see a lot of normal sand in it. Perhaps they do it to kind of "cut it" if you know what I mean.

Did I wash it? No, I have absolutely no way to do so here at the new apartment. I don't plan on having anything in there for at least 3 weeks though, the water should uncloud by that point. Right? *crosses fingers*

I did note that there was actually... surprisingly... very little dust as I dumped it in the tank. I am a veteran of having sand tanks, I have had one set up for about 8 months now and I know that it took almost 2 weeks to become clear of silt like particles aloft in the water column.


I will be posting a photo journal in the next week probably. This tank has had a LOOOONG journey thus far with building a tank stand in the garage in sub freezing Michigan weather, having to move out of the house due to the parents splitting up, and finally here it sits almost ready to be set up nearly 3 months after I got it. Its kind of a cool moment for me knowing that after 3 months of planning that it'll be up and running by next Monday! :)
 

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yeh it's wierd how it has low dust, but once water is added.. the water surface is completely blackened and becomes so filmy that giant bubbles can form from escaping air. and if you stick your arm in, it will be coated black and will have to be scrubbed off..

i let 2 bags of it initially sit in a white bucket for weeks, it actually does settle quite well!! but the sides of the bucket are colored gray with dust. i don't think you want that happening to your tank. could just be my bad luck since i'm not a sand veteran. try putting some of the TMS in a large cup and add water and see what happens. that should give you an inkling of what you'll be dealing with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
try putting some of the TMS in a large cup and add water and see what happens. that should give you an inkling of what you'll be dealing with.

Good idea, I think I'll do that actually...

EDIT: There was a very fine dispersion of ultra small crystals in the glass. I really wish I had a way to wash this stuff but I'll have to make due.
 
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