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Thread: Using Play Sand

  1. #1
    Grand Master Reefer wwest's Avatar
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    Using Play Sand

    In this how-to I will be explaining what sand to look for and how to test the sand to make sure it wont create any problems later in your tank. First off you want to find sand that is manufactured by Old Castle or Southdown. This may be a hard task depending on your location. A lot of different places carry these types of sand such as Home depot, Lowes, Wal-Mart and many other hardware stores, however not all of there locations carry the same products and it might take some time and driving around before you find a location that does. Quick Crete sand will not be manufactured by old castle or Southdown so avoid there products. If your local Wal-Mart store carries sand I would suggest starting there. The sand you are looking for is Garden Basics Play Sand. Its Bright white in color and liked by many fellow reefers. The way to test non-aquatic sand is called the vinegar test. The vinegar test has been applied to garden basics and passed, however I would suggest testing the sand you purchased to make sure its ok.

    Here is how you test sand with vinegar:
    Simply place a teaspoonful of sand into a pint of vinegar, put the lid on tight and shake for about 2 minutes, most, if not all should dissolve. Allow the vinegar to sit for a few hours and recheck, if all of the sand is dissolved, then the sand is ready for your tank..

    Keep in mind that sand made for Aquariums is the safest way to go, however its not cheap. If you plan on using non-aquatic sand, I would recommend purchasing live sand as well and mixing the two types. Some reefers prefer to place the play sand in the tank first and then add the live sand on top, that way the play sand is making up the depth in the tank.

    When using play sand here one thing to keep in mind:
    Play sand is a lot finer then live sand and can cause a really wild sand storm that can last for a while, so what a lot of people do is the trash bag and bowl trick. You simply place the sand into the tank then lay a trash bag onto the top of the sand, then you want to place a bowl into the center of your tank and pour the water into that bowl. The higher the water level gets the harder it will be to aim for the bowl but you can usually aim with the air bubble from the water being poured in. This will cause a very minimum sand storm.
    Last edited by wwest; 09-17-2006 at 10:56 PM.

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  2. #2
    Apprentice Reefer0513's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Louisville, Ky
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    what about pool filter sand? Is it safe to use in a refugium?

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