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badboy403
04-25-2011, 08:45 AM
im bought a bag of silica sand to put in my aquarium, before i does anyone have any tips that would come in handy like should i rinse out the sand first or how should i syphon it because its so fine and im afraid the tube would just suck it up, any advice would be appreciated thanks

abcha0s
04-25-2011, 03:32 PM
I guess my question would by why? Why would you want to deviate from commonalities?

I think I've read here and there that it can be done, but that doesn't make it a good idea. At best, your sand bed will be unpredictable.

Silica sand will limit your options somewhat. I've heard that it is "sharp", so I don't think sand sifters will like it very much. If it's as fine as you describe, you may have issues with powerheads blowing it around?

At the end of the day, there are lots of people using it without major issues, but it's not for me.

Google is your friend...

http://www.reefs.org/library/article/r_toonen9.html

paddyob
04-25-2011, 03:53 PM
I thought silica was common for sand blasting. I know it causes major health issues if inhaled.

Not sure about tanks. Sand is cheap. Why not use it as normal?

Ross
04-25-2011, 04:23 PM
I switched from normal gravel to silica sand years ago, and my tank has been alot more stable and plant growth exceptional since.

Food falls on the sand and can easily be picked up completly by my loaches.
The food doesnt settle into cracks only to rot so fish have a chance to keep the tank clean.
Especially slow eaters like discus.

Plants can easily spread there roots throught the sand to seek nutrients.

As for vacuming the sand, it's heavier than you would think.
I have a gravel vac for my water changes and it normally doesnt pull up any sand unless you hold the tube in the same spot for an extended period of time.
If it does suck up sand, pull the end from the sand and it will fall back out.

Just make sure that you pre rinse the sand.
I bought mine from Totem and it had very little dust to it.
Fill a 5 gallon pail half full and stuff a hose into the bottom of it and let the water flow...
Move the hose around slowly and all the dust will float away in short order.

A buddy of mine bought pool filter sand and it was alot worse for dust and contaminants.

cale262
04-25-2011, 04:43 PM
I've tried sil9 in a few of my tanks, I thought it was great in my african bio tanks but had terrible results (as compared to Flourite) in my high tech planted sytems, it doesn't retain the nutients the same way the porous substrates do.

b_james
12-07-2011, 05:33 PM
I switched from normal gravel to silica sand years ago, and my tank has been alot more stable and plant growth exceptional since.

Food falls on the sand and can easily be picked up completly by my loaches.
The food doesnt settle into cracks only to rot so fish have a chance to keep the tank clean.
Especially slow eaters like discus.

Plants can easily spread there roots throught the sand to seek nutrients.

As for vacuming the sand, it's heavier than you would think.
I have a gravel vac for my water changes and it normally doesnt pull up any sand unless you hold the tube in the same spot for an extended period of time.
If it does suck up sand, pull the end from the sand and it will fall back out.

Just make sure that you pre rinse the sand.
I bought mine from Totem and it had very little dust to it.
Fill a 5 gallon pail half full and stuff a hose into the bottom of it and let the water flow...
Move the hose around slowly and all the dust will float away in short order.

A buddy of mine bought pool filter sand and it was alot worse for dust and contaminants.

Although I dont use silica, my sand is super fine (purchased as freshwater live sand). First off I love the looks of the fine white sand bottom, second as mentioned above by Ross, cleaning is much easier. I just gentally wiggle the syphon tube above the sand surface and it sucks up the crap and does not settle into the sand. Also fine sand will looks more natural due to the sand dumes that are created by water flow. The only thing you have to be aware of is you may have to dust off the leaves every now and then.:mrgreen:

Leon71
12-07-2011, 07:13 PM
FYI. Silica sand is a health hazard, but only when inhaled. The process of sandblasting basically pulverizes the sand into dust. That's when it is bad. No dust when its wet. I have course sand (Sil#9) in all of my freshwater tanks and no problems.