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Re: sand as a substrate

Damon writes:

> I am not sure why sand has been suggested as a substrate in a
>  fresh-water fish tank. However, for a planted tank it is common to see
>  suggestions of sand-fluorite-gravel from bottom to top. It may be of
>  value to point out that some species of algae and diatoms utilize
>  silica. hence, by adding sand one might contribute to algification of
>  one's tank when trying your best to prevent it with other measures
>  (phosphate free fertilizer and buffers).

It would seem to me that these critters could pull silica out of the aquarium 
glass as easily as the sand in the substrate.  I have a natural quartz gravel 
covering the PMAS substrate in my 55-gallon tank.  There are silicates at the 
level of 41ppm in my tap water.  This tank has been my least algae-infested 
tank to date.  Most clays, including the infamous laterites aquatic gardeners 
seem addicted to, are heavy in aluminum silicate.  I don't think, from my 
personal experience, that silica in the substrate is going to be an 
algae-related issue.

Bob Dixon