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Which sand...and why?


OllieJazz

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I have decided to replace my sand while I do not have any fish or coral in the tank. What is your favorite sand, and why?

 

PS - I may only keep fish and live rock, not coral. But would like the option in the future if that matters.

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Deleted User 3

I like the natures ocean aragonite. It's not crushed coral sized but it's not sand sand either, i have both in my tank and like the aragonite better. It seems like anytime i have to move something the sand stirs, and it's always stuck to the snails !

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no sand because it cool see my tank :)

I like bare-botton, too, and have done it in the past but the last time I saw the ocean floor it was sandy sooooo...

 

I'd use aragonite.

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Here's the way I see it. There are 3 major groups of substrates.

 

1. Crushed coral - It works, but the coarseness of it tends to trap a lot of debris, which often leads to elevated nitrates. Sand sifting organisms do not do well in this substrate.

 

2. Special grade reef sand (aka aragonite) - Small enough that it has a sandy appearance, but heavy enough that it doesn't blow around as bad as small grain sand. Because it doesn't blow around as bad, you can keep the flow in your tank high which will help prevent debris from settling and getting trapped in the substrate. For that reason, it is my substrate of choice. It is still small enough in grain size too that you can have sand sifting organisms w/ no issue. It is the best of all worlds in my opinion.

 

3. Sugar Sand (like you'd find at the beach) - Tends to blow around with too much flow, so it is hard to keep debris off the sand bed, and in some cases, that provides a great opportunity for slime algae to grow. When it blows around, sometimes it gets on your corals polyps and can irritate them.

 

There are some other grain sizes that are between sugar sand and special grade reef sand that aren't too bad too if the special grade doesn't look sandy enough for you.

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no sand because its cool ; see my tank :)

 

Hi Marc - where can I see your tank? Sorry, I am new and am not sure how to get around that well yet?

 

Thanks!

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Here's the way I see it. There are 3 major groups of substrates.

 

1. Crushed coral - It works, but the coarseness of it tends to trap a lot of debris, which often leads to elevated nitrates. Sand sifting organisms do not do well in this substrate.

 

2. Special grade reef sand (aka aragonite) - Small enough that it has a sandy appearance, but heavy enough that it doesn't blow around as bad as small grain sand. Because it doesn't blow around as bad, you can keep the flow in your tank high which will help prevent debris from settling and getting trapped in the substrate. For that reason, it is my substrate of choice. It is still small enough in grain size too that you can have sand sifting organisms w/ no issue. It is the best of all worlds in my opinion.

 

3. Sugar Sand (like you'd find at the beach) - Tends to blow around with too much flow, so it is hard to keep debris off the sand bed, and in some cases, that provides a great opportunity for slime algae to grow. When it blows around, sometimes it gets on your corals polyps and can irritate them.

 

There are some other grain sizes that are between sugar sand and special grade reef sand that aren't too bad too if the special grade doesn't look sandy enough for you.

 

Thank you for breaking this down for me. I do like the look of sand, so I am leaning towards the aragonite at this point. Will any brand do?

 

Many thanks!

 

Cheers!

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Thank you for breaking this down for me. I do like the look of sand, so I am leaning towards the aragonite at this point. Will any brand do?

 

Many thanks!

 

Cheers!

 

Caribsea and Nature's Ocean will be the primary brands in which you find this grain size.

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I had caribsea fiji pink and currently using tropic marin reefflakes. I like the reefflakes a bit better. It's a little bigger and the size isn't as uniform.

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Special grade. Looks great in the tank. I think it looks a little weird if it was like beach sand. Its too smooth looking. Plus it stays put on the bottom and not blown around. All my snails go in and out of it just fine

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I have used all types of sand across my tank and just recently tried black sand. I have to say that personally I love it and its fair worth the few cons it has such as a little extra surface cleaning and being super careful with magnets. +1 for it making colors pop

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update - I went with just regular Aragonite. Did the whole replacement on Saturday. It was a lot of work (never again), but the hermits and snails are fine. Tank looks SO much cleaner!

 

So now I wait to see if I get a cycle.......

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Deleted User 3

I have natures ocean brand, I have one thicker version, and one fine sand, i like the thicker morel ike ccrushed CRUSHED coral lol. it doesn't stick to the snails or blow around like the fine sand does.

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Reef grade aragonite (ie Carib Seas aragonite). In a brand new tank I also add either a turkey baster of the junk off the bottom of a LFSs live rock tank or a cup of sand from every reefer that will give me one. This size of sand is great for bacteria. The more I can jump start it with a bunch of cultures the better my system will be in the end.

 

 

I LOVE the look of oolitic aragonite (super fine) but can't stand the junk blowing around my tank and closing everything up.

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