View Full Version : Sand

08/16/2009, 09:24 PM
Looking to buy sand for my new tank setup and before i go spend all this money for live sand I was wondering if anyone has ever used play sand in their tank, or mixed some play sand with some live sand and then put that in their tank. Ive heard of people doing it, but wanted to see if it was a good idea or not. Thanks

Mopar Reefer
08/17/2009, 02:22 AM
Play sand has silcate which isn't good. I have never used playsand because of that reason, so be careful.

08/17/2009, 03:35 AM
Bahama Aragonite Sand (http://www.marcorocks.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=44) This stuff don't look too bad. I ordered a sample of it to check it out.

08/17/2009, 05:16 AM
Play sand often contains quartz. Quartz will scratch your glass.

08/17/2009, 09:13 AM
Aragonite sand

08/17/2009, 10:32 AM
i am using quickrete playsand from lowes, it has no warning about silica on it (doesn't mean it doesn't have it tho) and im using argonite live sand mixed....

the marcorocks sand looks really nice and 100 bucks for 160lbs isn't too bad either...i was going to go with that, but money is tight so i had to compromise.

08/17/2009, 02:25 PM
The silicate issue is actually a long debated topic. IMO our tanks really don't run acidic enough to dissolve the silicates so it shouldn't be an issue. Silicate sand does have a more ragged structure than aragonite which makes it a lesser choice for a DSB but even then it's still OK to use.

I researched this for MONTHS and read articles from the "experts" and have come to my own conclusion that there is theoretically nothing wrong with silicate play sand as a substrate. I will say this though...I think silica play sand looks like CRAP in a tank. I have silica sand as the first 4 inches of an RSDB and the rest of the DSB and sand in my tank is all aragonite. Although it's aragonite play sand purchased YEARS ago, but good luck finding aragonite play sand these days.

I did not like the look of silica play sand in my tank ONE BIT. I lucked out and found a reefer leaving the hobby with aragonite sand and enough left over dead stuff from earlier days that I didn't need to use play sand or buy aragonte sand (which is pricey).

Anyway...if you can't buy somebody else's sand (leaving the hobby) I would recommend buying aragonite for your display....play sand just looks like mud..very dark..and very messy.

And IMO don't waste your money on "live sand" from a bag as its benefits are nearly nil. The live stuff you really want in your sand will not survive in a bag. Once you're up and running with dead sand find some people in your area with clean tanks and ask them for a cup of their sand and seed your sand bed with it.

Good luck!

08/17/2009, 04:41 PM
+1 on the play sand looking like crap...lol