Hello ! Newbie here ! Newbie alert. ha ha

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by AngelLeah1981, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. AngelLeah1981

    AngelLeah1981

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    I read this article and have a couple questions. I will also post the location just in case.
    Silica Sand/Aragonite Mix in a Reef? - 10/10/06
    Hey.
    <<Hey>>
    I wanted to get your opinion on using play box sand for a reef tank.
    <<Is doable>>
    I have done a lot of reading on this and have gotten contradicting opinions, as with many issues in this hobby.
    <<Indeed>>
    I found sand called Kolorscape which is distributed by Oldcastle (same company that once distributed the famous but impossible to find Southdown).
    <<I've heard some about this sand before...supposedly aragonite based>>
    This sand is supposedly mined in a different area and is not purely aragonite.
    <<Easy enough to test>>
    From my understanding the sand passes the "vinegar test" but not all of the sand dissolves meaning it's mixed with at least some silica type sand.
    <<Hmm, maybe so...still...better than "all" silica. Not that using silica sand is necessarily bad, it just doesn't offer any buffer capacity/earth elements to the system>>
    It also clearly states on the bag that it may contain silica.
    <<Ah, I see...>>
    Is this really that big of a deal?
    <<Not in my opinion>>
    I read that silica sand is inert and won't release anything into the water.
    <<I don't think that is entirely true, but I think the concern for silica sand to foster huge diatom blooms or other maladies in our marine tanks is mostly overrated...and even less of an issue in the case of this "mixed" sand. I've used 100-percent silica sand in a couple marine systems over the years and can't attribute any deleterious effects to the use of the sand>>
    The source stated that it's only a rumor that won't die.
    <<As with so many of them>>
    In your opinion/experience have you found this to be true?
    <<As stated>>
    Should I spend the big bucks for aquarium sand or take a chance and save a bundle?
    <<Considering the Kolorscape does contain aragonite...I would use it>>
    I have read forums where people stated that they used Kolorscape and loved it, but the opinion was based on only a few months of use. Any thoughts?
    <<Perhaps you will let us know/write a piece on its performance>>
    By the way, I already have aragonite that will be used for the deep sand bed in the refugium so buffering won't be an issue.
    <<Likely wouldn't anyway...but very good>>
    I want to use the Kolorscape as a 1/2 inch deep sand in the display
    and am only concerned about the safety/silica issues.
    MarSubstSel3

    I1. s it better to have argonite sand?
    2. How do you test to see if it's argonite?
    3. Is it true - if you put vinegar in the sand and it bubbles it is safe to use in your aquarium and you don't have to worry about anything else. (from another forum)
    4. Does it matter if the sand you use contains silica?
    5. Are maladies diseases? Do you think you need to get argonite so you won't get this?

    The only thing I know about sand is live, and not live and how to seed it. I'm pretty sure I either want white sand or Indo-Pacific Black (click on "arig-alive" to see the indo pacific black if you want) 6. I need advice and information about what to look out for when buying sand and if I choose to buy white sand what kinds are bad 7. or can I just buy any ol white sand and just seed it with my rock? Thanks.
     
    AngelLeah1981, Dec 3, 2007
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  2. AngelLeah1981

    reeffreak

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    Is it better to use aragonite sand?
    Whole heartedly yes,I've read several articles in FAMA magazine that aragonite sand was far superior to crush coral and dolomite,let alone what people call ''play sand''.I have no idea if vinegar is a way to test if its aragonite or not.I've always bought the packages kind from the LFS.Its always written on the bag if its aragonite or something else.

    Does it matter if the sand contain silica?
    Everything I read and heard is silica causes nuisance algae.Never heard of causing diseases though.

    All the Caribsea aragonite sand is good rather you choose live or dry.All pre-package sand will stateif its aragonite or another type.Don't go cheap and risk it,get aragonite sand.
     
    reeffreak, Dec 3, 2007
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  3. AngelLeah1981

    kimoy CERTIFIED BUM

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    i am against silica in a reef. for me silica sand = algae.
     
    kimoy, Dec 3, 2007
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  4. AngelLeah1981

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I wouldn't use play sand either. It doesn't have the buffering capacity of aragonite.
     
    Bifferwine, Dec 3, 2007
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  5. AngelLeah1981

    hotimportknight New! Big Tank Club!

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    From what you guys are saying, If im taking this the right way, is silica sand cause cause algae problems? Is that just by the sand in the display not having the buffering capabilities that regular aragonite sand has? Or is there something about the silica sand that causes the problems? Im questioning my sand I got for my sump now... I want to go into the LFS and see what it said. Cause live sand only came in the big 20 lb bags for like 35$ and I only needed about 5 lbs for my fuge. So the LFS guy had this small bag of crappy sand that seemed "fake" to me, but I figured it would seed its self and grow some bacteria in time, Ive got some small chunks of live rock in with it as well. Whats your guys thoughts on this? Next time I go into the LFS i wanna look at the bag now and see what it says.
     
    hotimportknight, Dec 3, 2007
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  6. AngelLeah1981

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Silicates cause diatom outbreaks. Diatoms construct their "shells" out of silicates, and without silicates, they can't grow and reproduce.
     
    Bifferwine, Dec 3, 2007
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  7. AngelLeah1981

    Doc I don't work for anybody

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    this is the kind of hobby you want to be sure you do things right. Trying to find short cuts until you are experienced is a recipe for disaster. Go with quality sand

    -Doc
     
    Doc, Dec 3, 2007
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  8. AngelLeah1981

    kimoy CERTIFIED BUM

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    if you want to save some money, just get the dry sand. they are cheape than the LS. and you can buy the 10 lbs bag from petco.
     
    kimoy, Dec 3, 2007
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  9. AngelLeah1981

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    The one and only time I tryed the "play sand" I took it right back out of my tank before I ever put salt in the water.Even though it may look white while its dry,it didnt look so good with water.
    I dont know that the silicate sand would actually cause problems"the glass is made from silicate sand"But why risk it.Just get enough of the aragonite sand for your tank.You'll be happy you did.
     
    yote, Dec 3, 2007
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  10. AngelLeah1981

    Doc I don't work for anybody

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    good point Yote. the color of the sand really makes or breaks your tank. I used crushed coral for my 125 and it always has kind of a brownish color to it and I cannot ever seem to get it to go white.

    My 90, I used argonite live sand and it is just ghost white sand. beautiful

    -Doc
     
    Doc, Dec 4, 2007
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  11. AngelLeah1981

    AngelLeah1981

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    What is buffering? I don't think I'm google-ing it correctly.

    Diatoms are bad, right? ...or at least a diatom outbreak

    Thank you all so much for the informative answers.
    Leah
    :bowdown:I'm not worthy. I'm not worthy. LOL ha ha.:bowdown: sorry I had a old saturday nite live wayne's world flashback when I saw these smileys. jk.
    Thanks you guys.
     
    AngelLeah1981, Dec 6, 2007
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  12. AngelLeah1981

    Doc I don't work for anybody

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    diatoms are totally normal at the start of a tank. they go away after your tank starts to mature. You can get sifting snails, gobies or starfish to keep them under control.

    -Doc
     
    Doc, Dec 6, 2007
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  13. AngelLeah1981

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Diatoms are normal for a new tank, but yes, they are bad, because they are ugly. Just like my dog Bixler.

    Buffering capacity is the ability of your system to resist pH swings (which are bad).
     
    Bifferwine, Dec 6, 2007
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  14. AngelLeah1981

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Your going to have diatoms,thats a given.But they will come and go.You'll even have cyano,hair algae.As much as we all hate those outbreaks.99.9% of us get them every so often.
     
    yote, Dec 6, 2007
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