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Re: play sand ok for tanks?

Hi Tsuh Yang Chen,

Play sand is perfectly safe for aquarium use...  I have used it for 5 years
now in my aquariums, and some of my fish are much happier in the tanks with
sand rather than gravel.  (my loaches love the sand).  I have tried two
other types of sand...  I bought some expensive sand for marine aquaria,
which was like the playsand, except finer (probably too fine for plants),
and a lot more expensive!  I bought some sand for concrete mixing...  And I
use this in my plant tank because it is a bit coarser grain.  Anyway, I wash
ALL my sand very throughly...  so that no cloudy water runs out of it when I
wash it.  Sometimes that takes 15-30 minutes for the playsand, depending on
how the bag is.  I used to boil the sand, but I'm no longer that worrisome.
In general with sands, you want to make sure they are not going to make your
pH go up by leeching out calcium, magnesium etc.  (check this by dropping a
few drops of HCl AKA Muriatic acid on a sample of the sand.  If it
bubbles/fizzes, don't use it).  I have never noticed the playsand to have a
high pH.  Also, do not get a sand with granules that are too sharp, as the
shards will cut scavenger's whiskers (like Cories).  You'll also need some
MTS if you don't have them...otherwise you will get anaerobic bacteria
growing in your tank bottom (yuk!!).

I don't know how good playsand is in planted aquaria, as I just setup my
planted tank recently, and it has sand for concrete mixing.  I've heard a
lot of people condemn playsand, while other people say playsand works just
fine.  I personally think it would work just fine.

just my $.02

>Date: Tue, 9 Mar 1999 14:43:55 EST
>From: Piabinha at aol_com
>Subject: play sand ok for tanks?
>hi, yall,
>i wanted to get some gravel or sand for my new 55 gallon tank.  the
>stores sell something they call "play sand" for children's playgrounds.  is
>this safe for aquarium use?  a friend said it's too fine for plants roots,
>it will compact.  is this true?  what should i look for instead?
>thanks for all your help.
>tsuh yang chen, nyc