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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will go for vacation to a resort near shores of caspian sea, near the seaside there is a lots of pure white sand. Is it safe and possible for me to use it instead of dark gravel that currently I have in my tanks? I plann after collecting the sand to steep it and wash in a large tub. Is it enough or should I boil it or should I use a chemical?
 

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I would boil and use some bleach.

I don't think the OP is anywhere near NJ - he's in Iran. :)

However, I have no idea what the water near Iran is like (cleanliness wise).
 

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Glaneon said:
I would boil and use some bleach.

I don't think the OP is anywhere near NJ - he's in Iran. :)

However, I have no idea what the water near Iran is like (cleanliness wise).
Your right I didnt see that. Thanks.
 

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I'd probably either boil it, bake it, or bleach it. The bleaching is probably the easiest to do, but also the most dangerous if you don't rinse out and neutralize the bleach after. If you bleach it use less than 5% bleach, then rinse it at least 4 times with fresh water, then add dechlorinator and let the mixture of sand, water, and dechlorinator sit with the occasional mixing for about an hour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
excuse me for the ignorance but what is the bleach? And what is the recepie for baking sand? Should I put it in a container and heat it? If it is, for how long?
 

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a water/chlorine mixture. Primarily used in cleaning/laundry functions here.
 

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Agree with everyone about bleaching.

In one of my tanks I used large pieces coral fragments (found near tidal pools) and bleached them because that was the only way to kill everything. -Believe me, I tried other options too, lol!

I know it's a bit excessive but I did a 24-hour soak in bleach solution followed by a 24-hour soak in water.
 

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Oxygen is the key to getting rid of the chlorine.

Rinse & repeat, let sit in air.
 

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Bleach. Usually sold commercially as NaClO (Sodium hypochlorite).
 

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Glaneon said:
Oxygen is the key to getting rid of the chlorine.

Rinse & repeat, let sit in air.
Kinda hard to let a bucket of sand sit and dry out in the sun though.

I'd be very careful after bleaching, probably go through the whole rinsing process again mixing in dechlor and making sure to stir it around very thoroughly.

I might not even bleach the sand to be honest. I'd rinse thoroughly for sure, but how many of us bleach our play sands or whatever before putting them in the tank? I don't. I'd imagine there'd be much more potential for something harmful out of a bagged industrial product thats come into contact with god knows what, rather than something that came out of the ocean/sea.
 

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Who knows what kind of micro organisms will be in beach sand? I would rather buy some sand than spend the rest of my life cleaning beach sand. Just my opinion.....
 

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m1aman said:
Who knows what kind of micro organisms will be in beach sand? I would rather buy some sand than spend the rest of my life cleaning beach sand. Just my opinion.....
What makes you think sand out of a bag is safer?
 

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m1aman said:
Who knows what kind of micro organisms will be in beach sand? I would rather buy some sand than spend the rest of my life cleaning beach sand. Just my opinion.....
The OP plans to get his sand from the shore of the Caspian Sea, an inland salt water body located in Asia. If my memory serves me correctly, water in the Caspian Sea has a higher salt content than ocean water.

My point being that any micro-organisms present in the sand would be those that thrive in water with high salt content, and would likely die if immersed in fresh water.
 

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or have a very bad effect on any non-marine aquatic life.
 

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I'm bustin out my tin foil hat you guys are too much for me...

I kid I kid :D :D :D

but yeah, lots of paranoia ITT next time you all open up your bag of playsand maybe you should wonder if the machines that loaded it into the bag were maybe leaking some gasoline, oil, hydraulic fluid, etc that day and what about the microorganisms that could be livin in it why don't none of you guys worry about that and recommend bleaching all sand?? :-?

Not to mention, chance are the guy can grab a bucket of sand from high up away from the water that would already be dry thus no aquatic organisms? Personally though I'd put my money on the sand right out of the surf being cleaner, just rinse the salt out of it and good to go. Try some cheap test fish to be sure if you're worried.
 

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Hah.. true. However, I still wouldn't use NJ beach sand. I lived there long enough to know better. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Currently I have four tanks, a 150 US tank housing a community of mbunas, another 150 US gallons housing a community of brackish watter fish, a 50 gal housing a community of barbs and danios and a 80 gal planted tank with a huge number of tetras. I plan to change the gravel of this tanks to sand (maybe except the planted tank) I think I need a huge amount of sand and bleaching it is a very difficult process. Do you think heating the sand in a container can reduce the biological risk?
 

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Baking it (at a temperature abovwe 100 degrees for more than an hour) will kill anything alive, and accelerate the breakdown of certain chemicals. It won't remove salt. It won't remove biological material. It won't remove muck.
Boiling it will do the same (adding that the one hour plus guideline is followed), plus remove some of the above, since you can't really boil it without rinsing it.
Best would be (if you're not going to bleach) one of the above, plus a serious rinse.
Remember that an instant boil does not kill all organisms. Many take quite a long time to die at boiling point.

Adding bleach as part of your rinse won't make the work more, since (speaking for myself) I'd still want an intense rinse, and adding first bleach, then dechlorinator to the rinse won't really increase the work.

To my mind, any substrate is a lot of work to get ready. I use a 'natural look' gravel, which I get from my LFS. I get it, bucket it, bleach it and rinse it until the water runs clear. Then it dries completely, and gets rinsed again. Somehow there's always more much at this point. I don't boil it, because it has apparently already been 'steam cleaned', and the bleach does what the boil does. New rocks and ornaments from a river get boiled between the complete dry and the second rinse. It takes a few days. Paranoid maybe, but then it's fish safe. Fish safe, and my water is clear.

Anyway, like most people here, I can't see why beach sand would not work, as long as you treat it like any new substrate.
 
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