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Re:Sand in substrate

Roger wrote:
1)  With the exception of some initial settling there should be no
long-term compaction.  Sand doesn't compact anymore than gravel.  If you
tried contouring the substrate and didn't use something to keep the sand
in place then the sand will gradually shift from areas with thick
substrate to areas that initially had thin substrate.  Eventually you'll
have a flat substrate.<<

I have to disagree with you Roger. I have seen sand compacted. Someone gave
me a 20 gallon tank with sand still in it and enough water still in it to
cover the sand. The tank was a year old and the sand was so compacted I
couldnt poke my finger through it. I have never seen gravel do this. I also
had a problem with a sand and gravel substrate last year, but I suppose
there could have been other factors involved. When there is a foul smell,
black roots, and fish dieing, I dont see how it can be a good thing!

One thing about sand I am curious about, sand that is mostly silica, would
that have any affect on diatomes? I also found that most of the sand at
least what is available around here is actually made of crushed coral and
clamshell, and even mixed with silica sand, even if it makes no mention of
it on the bag. I called the manufacturer of a common blasting sand that is
sold in many aquarium stores around here, (the name escapes me) and was told
that almost all sand sold commercially for blasting or pools actually
contains at least some seashell. (he didnt mention "play" sand) This along
with problems I experienced made me turn away from sand.

Robert Paul H