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Black Arogonite Sand?


Buehler

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I was wondering if anyone has ever used black sand in their tanks? I always see the white sand being used. Thought of this after seeing it at my LFS. Any issues with light since it is dark colored?

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I have tahitian black moon sand in my tank -- only problem is keeping it clean - detrius collects on the surface and is very noticeable.

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black moon sand isnt aragonite so you wont have any buffering capabilities

 

 

I'm sorry..."buffering capabilities"? I'm new to this. Can you please explain?

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Ritsuko Nashida

The sand you are talking about in all probability is Tahitian Moon from CaribSea or Este's, and it is valcanic ash common on many beaches in the Indo-Pacific. Unlike Argonite and Calcium based sands it will not do any thing for you in the way of boosting Calcium levels or maintaining alk in your tank. This will make it a near neccessity to use some sort of supplement to get the levels up and keep them thier. This is usually not much of an issue in tanks with "white sand" becuase of this type of sands ability to "Buffer" the water.

 

The Tahitian Moon does show the build up of crude in the tank though. This can be a good thing every bit as much of a bad thing. Good in that its clearly visiable and can be siphoned off, bad in that this can be a pain to do every few days. Its just depends on if you veiw the glass as Half empty or Half Full.

 

I personally like it and I have used in in the last three tanks I have set up, 75 gallons, 24 and 20. It looks kick a$$ I think. Your SPS corals and clams not to mention your coraline coated live rock will really stand out with this substrate. Alas it doesnt reflect light as well as the "white sand" does and you might need a few more watts extra possibly on your tank in a worst case situation. I personally aint found it to be an issue. Good water flow will keep a lot of the crude in the water suspended so the filter can take care of it and there will be only minimal build up, at least in my experience. I blow my rock work down with a small powerhead to help mitigate this issue. I use a lot of Nassarious and Cerith snails to keep the sand well stirred too. In the Bigger Tank I used a couple of Fighting Conches too. This seems to help a bit. I drip a lot of Kalwasser in my tanks so I havent had much of an issue keeping the water at good alk and Ca levels. Its not as accommadating for maintianing huge Pod populations as is the courser grades of sand but I have quiet a few in my tanks. You can also minimize the lack of "Buffering" of the display tank by adding a refugium with arganite sand in it. Not only will this help buffer the water but it will be a great place for pods to go forth and multiply for you too.

 

Just my thoughts on this substrate...

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travisurfer

I have used it too. It does require more work to look clean but it does look nice. Like said above, it will make your tank look darker than white sand would.

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I have used it too. It does require more work to look clean but it does look nice. Like said above, it will make your tank look darker than white sand would.

 

 

This might be too much to ask, but would either of you have any photos of your black sand? Preferably the 20 gallon, as that's what I'm setting up. Thanks in advance.

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My tank crashed this past weekend but here's what it looked like before

 

100_1903_Medium_.JPG

(yeah I know it's not the 20 - it's only a 3)

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Ritsuko Nashida

I dont think I have any good shot of older tanks but I can get a couple of the newly set up 20 gallon in the next day or two if you can wait that long....

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I dont think I have any good shot of older tanks but I can get a couple of the newly set up 20 gallon in the next day or two if you can wait that long....

 

That'd be great! Thanks.

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here's my 5 gallon that I sold pictured below. I never needed to clean the sand. I would siphon it out once in awhile, but I guess the fact that I had no fish helped that there wasn't any crap on top of the sand.

 

pico_fts.jpg

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My tank was freshwater at the time. It is a 20 though so do you still want pics?

 

 

Hey travisurfer. Thanks for the offer. I think these photos have given me enough of an idea. I won't make you go through the work of posting it! I'm still trying to decide on the sand. I am just beginning, so I am not sure that I want the extra work (cleaning all the time and adding the calcium "supplements" mentioned above) that goes along with the black sand. On the other hand it looks really really nice though!

 

I just want to try to make the right decision because I'm sure its hard to change the sand from white to black once the reef is established and I feel confident/experienced enough to change over to white to black.

 

Decisions decisions...i hate 'em sometimes! haha.

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Hey travisurfer. Thanks for the offer. I think these photos have given me enough of an idea. I won't make you go through the work of posting it! I'm still trying to decide on the sand. I am just beginning, so I am not sure that I want the extra work (cleaning all the time and adding the calcium "supplements" mentioned above) that goes along with the black sand. On the other hand it looks really really nice though!

 

I just want to try to make the right decision because I'm sure its hard to change the sand from white to black once the reef is established and I feel confident/experienced enough to change over to white to black.

 

Decisions decisions...i hate 'em sometimes! haha.

 

Don't worry about calcium buffering because doing the regular water changes will be sufficient, or if you have a high demand of calcium then even with aragonite sand, buffering won't be enough so you'd go for a calcium reactor. Also the pH in our tanks are too high to dissolve the aragonite, so it won't buffer anyway! Which is why Calcium reactors have co2 injected which leads to low pH which then dissolves the calcium reactor media. Our reef tanks will never reach that low of a pH without killing everything first.

 

Make your decision purely upon aesthetics:

1. Black is more contrasty than white with your colorful corals

2. Black is more unique

3. Black is harder to take care of because of detritus

4. Black doesn't reflect light upwards as much as white sand leading to less reflected light onto corals. This doesn't matter if you have sufficient lighting coming from above already, and even though it's black it's not 100% black so it will still reflect.

 

 

If you go black, I recommend CaribSea Tahitian Moon sand. Rinse it off really well and sift it around, the top layer will contain strange beige colored grains and even some red ones, get rid of the top layer, sift again, repeat a few times, and you'll get the blackest sand ever ;)

 

goodluck

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SuperPuffer

I really want black sand two, it looks sick! But there are sooo many draw backs... i think i'll start a poll...

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4. Black doesn't reflect light upwards as much as white sand leading to less reflected light onto corals. This doesn't matter if you have sufficient lighting coming from above already, and even though it's black it's not 100% black so it will still reflect.

 

 

Yeah, I will be using a Current USA Dual Satellite with Lunar Light (2x65 watt). Might that be sufficient for fish, live rock, and soft corals in general?

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The only way aragonite sand would offer it's buffering capability is if the pH dropped way down enough to disolve it into the water. This is pretty unlikely in a healthy tank, and if it does happen, then you have a hell of a lot more to worry about than just sand type.

 

 

The Tahitian moon stuff is nice, but petsmart also has sold some other cheapo brand that I'm not even sure WHAT it is. It floats freely and is deffinately not the same as the tahitian moon.

 

 

To clean it, siphon off whatever detrius is settled on top of the sand with a small hose.

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i love the look of tahitian moon sand, but we have trouble keeping sand-sifting and burrowing fish, particularly any sort of watchman goby, alive with it, and the same for a few of our customers that have it. the silica sand sticks to their gills and causes problems. i've heard of freshwater bottom dwellers dying from it as well. i'd just use carib sea's black/white aragonite mix (commonly known around here as oreo sand, i plan on using some myself for my next tank).

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I beleive thats mainly due to it being a sharper sand. For example, many FW people recommend not to use it with loaches or any sand-sifting fish as it will hurt their gills.

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If you want black sand with some buffering to it check out seachem's grey coast sand. It is calcite though which overall doesn't buffer as well as aragonite but seachem's webpage says something about it buffering better than aragonite. I saw it in a coworkers 30g oceanic maple cube and it looked awesome with the contast of the light finish of the tank and the rockwork. Some petsmarts sell it (those with a small saltwater section). I think i read in a thread on reef central that it doesn't blow around like an aragonite sand. I'm going to set up a new nano of some sort here soon and I'm totally going to use it.

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So this might be a stupid question...but here goes.

 

Since I don't really know anything about the black sand---will it support life just as the white arogonite sand will? What I plan on doing is purchasing black sand and allowing the bacteria and such transfer from my live rock to the sand, in a sense creating my own live sand. The black will support the "live sand" growth even though it's a different composition than the white arogonite---correct?

 

Thanks and sorry if the question's stupid!

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If you want black sand with some buffering to it check out seachem's grey coast sand. It is calcite though which overall doesn't buffer as well as aragonite but seachem's webpage says something about it buffering better than aragonite. I saw it in a coworkers 30g oceanic maple cube and it looked awesome with the contast of the light finish of the tank and the rockwork. Some petsmarts sell it (those with a small saltwater section). I think i read in a thread on reef central that it doesn't blow around like an aragonite sand. I'm going to set up a new nano of some sort here soon and I'm totally going to use it.

 

 

Has anyone else heard of this sand or used it? Is anyone else able to verify that it's quality is better than tahitian moon and that it doesn't float quite like the tahitian moon? Any thoughts on the effect of burying fish?

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