View Full Version : reusing old aragonite

01/12/2006, 12:30 PM
i am in the process of tearing down an old tank and setting up a new one. i understand that aragonite sand has the ability to actually ABSORB phosphate and other pollutants. i would like to reuse some of this old sand, but i presume that simply washing it will not remove the unwanted PO4 that it contains.

so, do you have any suggestions for other treatments that i might apply to clean up this sand?

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/12/2006, 12:43 PM
How old?

It was in a reef tank, right, not a FO?

If you want to reuse it, I'd rinse it well to remove all organic particulates. But many bound materials may remain.

I replaced mine when I recently replaced a 90 with a 120. One concern was that the old sand would get all mixed up and organisms would die sinc ethey would end up in different environments than they preferred.

01/12/2006, 03:55 PM
it came from a tank that was just a year old, but i was learning on that system and it had big nutrient management issues.

i was planning on rinsing it thoroughly with tapwater because it has a big detritus load.

what about ethanol? i have heard its use mentioned for reconditioning sand beds, but i don't know exactly what it does.

would vinegar do anything to phosphates?

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/13/2006, 06:07 AM
Vinegar will partially dissolve the sand, and that might help remove phosphate. I wouldn't count on ethanol doing anything useful.

01/13/2006, 02:22 PM
What if the sand in the tank is only but 2 months old in a reef tank, can all of it be used in a tank transfer and add more sand along with all the water and LR from the old tank? It would be an immediate transfer ( out one tank and directly into a new tank).

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/13/2006, 02:26 PM
It can be moved, yes, but there is the risk of organisms ending up in the wrong parts of the sand and dieing.

01/13/2006, 02:51 PM
Ok, if that happens what will the affect be? Will it be a cycling process or something other than that? and if it is a cycling affect would it be a long cycling as when your starting a new tank or just a mini cycle?

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/13/2006, 03:41 PM
Maybe some hydrogen sulfide formation down in the sand. If you give the sand a rinse in salt water, that is a lot less likely.

01/13/2006, 04:29 PM
By rinsing it i will have to do a complete cycle right? Is there a way to do a transfer from one tank to the next and not have to have t he livestock in a rubber tub for more than a week. i ask because I traded my 35 hex (2 feet high) for a tank 4" s smaller (55) the guy is picking it up the 35 and dropping off the 55. I was going to put all the stock in a 16 gal rubbermaid and transfer all the LR,LS, and water to the 55. By washing rinsing the sand in the saltwater how long would it be before I could put the stock back in the tank?

01/13/2006, 11:54 PM
i bet that it wopuld just go through a mini-cycle. what kind of animals do you have? maybe you could just do the transfer and watch them and the H2O params--maybe also have plenty of mixed water on hand.

it would probably also help to try to transfer the bottom layer of sand to the bottom of the tank and vice-versa with the top layer.

01/14/2006, 12:29 AM
I have 1-LM Blenny,3-Blue/Green Chromis, some shrooms, some zoa's, 2 peppermint shrimp, 1-coral banded shrimp, 1- skunk cleanr shrimp, a bunch of snails, 2 emerald crabs, cap snails, tube worms.

01/14/2006, 12:30 AM
oh about 3 mini serpent stars and 3 micro stars

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/14/2006, 06:51 AM
There may be a small cycle no matter what you do. Assuming that you have polentyof live rock, I doubt it will be significant. A quick rinse in salt water won't kill all the bacteria on the sand.

01/14/2006, 10:32 AM
Ok, thank you very much randy and everyone else that gave there input.

Randy Holmes-Farley
01/14/2006, 11:50 AM
You're welcome.

Good luck and let us know how things turn out. :)

01/14/2006, 12:41 PM
I surely will.