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Old 01/06/2008, 12:46 PM
ProHaloSniper ProHaloSniper is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 21
PLaysand for cheap substrate?

Can you use playsand for substrate? I read this on a tutorial and thought it would be cheaper than my Crushed Coral in my 30gal.

I am doing a 55 gallon and live sand is very, very expensive, so this would be a cheap alternative!

Let me know.

--Jim C.
Old 01/06/2008, 12:56 PM
dsn112 dsn112 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 485
no such thing as cheap alternative in this hobby. With that being said you can do it, use at least 10lbs of ls to seed the playsand.
Old 01/06/2008, 01:01 PM
ProHaloSniper ProHaloSniper is offline
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Thanks, that was my exact thought. I know the playsand doesn't contain the correct organisms that LS does. Would you suggest mixing them, or adding live as a first layer and playsand as a secondary layer?

Let me know.

--Jim C.
Old 01/06/2008, 01:03 PM
cardiffgiant cardiffgiant is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Buffalo
Posts: 283
I mixed play sand with LS. It "works" but I don't care for it aesthetically. The live sand has more diversity to the granules, and has more of a white color. The play sand is fairly uniform, and is a slightly darker color.

Your results might be different, but if I had it to do over again, I would buy all LS.
Old 01/06/2008, 04:27 PM
joesfiddy joesfiddy is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Morris IL
Posts: 84
what color play sand do you guys use because i just went to menards and big r and they dont have white play sand just the darker sand
Old 01/06/2008, 04:39 PM
Percula9 Percula9 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: orange county CA
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Mix live sand with dead aragonite sand. Dead sand is not that expensive. This will be better than play sand.
Old 01/06/2008, 05:02 PM
Schwe Schwe is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Clifton Park, NY
Posts: 49
I agree.

I just started my 90 not too long ago and tried to explore as many avenues as possible regarding substrate. I wanted a deep sand bed, so that was going to drive my cost up even more.

The Old Castle/Southdown company does not make aragonite sand anymore, as they no longer have access to the harvesting site.

Aragonite (calcium carbonate) has great buffering capabilities. Also, the oolitic shape of the sand is appropriate for the life in the sand. The various worms and "bugs" in the sand really don't do well with the sharp edges of silica/quartz sand. Also, if you ever plan on having a goby or other sand-sifting fish, the playsand will not be gentle enough for their gills.

An excellent alternative is to buy some CaribSea aragonite (they have many varieties/sizes to choose from) and seed it with a cupful of live sand from a fellow reefer. I wouldn't go so far as using playsand, though.

I live by my father's mantra... pay higher upfront for quality and longevity rather than be cheap and pay for it later.

But believe me, I try to be as thrifty as possible where I can be because this hobby is so expensive! Check out craigslist to see if anyone is breaking down their tank and buy their established LR and LS for a deal.
"[i]The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.[/i]"
-John Powell
Old 01/06/2008, 11:45 PM
Neptune420 Neptune420 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Anderson, IN
Posts: 60
I used some playsand from menards mixed with live aragonite. I dont care for it at all. The play sand is very dense and doesnt offer as much surface area for bacteria to grow on. And it has silica in it. Its way better to go all natural.
Do it right the first time.
Old 01/07/2008, 12:28 AM
drillsar drillsar is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,098
I heard something about you can use limestone, is this true? and is it good for a DSB?

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