Can I Use Beach Sand For My Aquarium?

moonyRox

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Hi, a bit of background first.

I have a 10g aquarium with five platies and two zebra snails

Ammonia: 0.0
Nitrite: 0.0
Nitrate: 40.0
P.H: 7.5
My gravel is very coarse, about 7mm wide and all different shapes

So my question is, can I use sand from a beach for my aquarium if I wash it properly and remove all the salt? Is it a good choice to use sand instead of gravel in a tropical aquarium? Will it clog the filter? And is it easy to vacuum?

Thank you
 

Fashooga

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You don’t know what other stuff might be in the sand, chemicals and all the salt. It might be easier to just buy a bag of sand vs. doing all the work for something that might not work out.
 
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moonyRox

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You don’t know what other stuff might be in the sand, chemicals and all the salt. It might be easier to just buy a bag of sand vs. doing all the work for something that might not work out.
Ok thank you, but I have heard you can boil it and all the chemicals and salt will be removed?
 

Dunk2

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Hi, a bit of background first.

I have a 10g aquarium with five platies and two zebra snails

Ammonia: 0.0
Nitrite: 0.0
Nitrate: 40.0
P.H: 7.5
My gravel is very coarse, about 7mm wide and all different shapes

So my question is, can I use sand from a beach for my aquarium if I wash it properly and remove all the salt? Is it a good choice to use sand instead of gravel in a tropical aquarium? Will it clog the filter? And is it easy to vacuum?

Thank you
Beach sand could change your water parameters (ph).
 

Marinus

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Aside from the other possible downfalls of taking beach sand to use you might also check and make sure that it is legal to do so in the first place. Seems like a simple thing but you'd be surprised how many places have laws against taking sand.
 

mattgirl

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You can try but I think you will have trouble with beach sand. It may be too fine. If you want to switch to sand you may want to look into pool filter sand. You can buy a 50 pound bag of it for somewhere around $5.00. Just be sure to rinse it very well BEFORE putting it in your tank. When you think it is rinsed well enough, rinse it some more.

It is best if you can do this outside with a garden hose. Put it in a bucket of some kind. Fill the bucket with water while stirring the sand. Instead of stirring with my hand I let the force of the water do the stirring for me. Pour that water off and repeat as many times as it takes to get to nothing but clear water being poured off. It took me about 30 minutes to clean a 50# bag of it.

While rinsing it may seem like you are losing sand but what is being poured off is the stuff that will not settle once in the tank so your filter will have to work harder to remove it. It is best to get it out of the sand before putting it in your tank.
 

Ferretlady

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I totally agree with Mattgirl -- if your sand is as "fine as flour", I think you're very likely to have troubles with it. It's probably going to kick up in clouds & leave your water murky for some time, every time you do a water change, & all those teeny-tiny super-fine grains floating around in the water could get sucked into your filter. Not to mention the possible contaminants or unknown 'stuff' that you might be bringing into the tank w/ sand from the beach. Myself personally, I would never put super-fine powder-sand like that into my tank, even if it were guaranteed to be 100% 'clean'.

Pool filter sand is absolutely fantastic! It's heavy-grained enough that it doesn't fly around & cloud up in a mess during water changes even if you're running water at a strong flow right over it. I've never ever had any problems with it getting into my filters at all, it's easy to vacuum and it's still plenty 'soft' enough that my cories love rooting around & digging in it. And IMO, it has a wonderfully natural appearance - not harsh bleached-white, but just a nice very-pale-tan/off-white appearance. A large 50 lb bag costs around $10 here in my area at Ace Hardware - not sure about other stores. It was quick & simple to rinse it in a bucket outside with the garden hose & I had a good bit left over after setting up my 29gal tank.

Check a recent thread about the issues someone had with play sand & how much work they went through to try to clean up the massively cloudy murky water they got that didn't 'settle down' on it's own - even after they had washed the sand well - and they'll possibly have to baffle their water every time they do a water change, to keep it from kicking up the sand & getting cloudy again, even if only temporarily. If your local beach sand is as fine-grained "like flour" as you say, it sounds like it's much finer than play sand & likely to be even more troublesome.
 
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