Sand From Lake Michigan

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by Piaelliott, May 20, 2018.

  1. PiaelliottWell Known MemberMember

    Just coming back from a rainy weekend at Lake Michigan wondering if the sand would work in an aquarium. I like how it is more beige than white when wet.
    Also, does anybody know if driftwood from the lake would be okay too?
  2. GoldiemomWell Known MemberMember

    I was scolded before for using driftwood from a lake. However, it never did hurt my fish or tank. I have a piece soaking right now from Douglas Lake in Tennessee. I boil it also. The sand concerns me a little more because you never know what may be in it and not sure how to treat the sand. Anyone else have experience with sand?
  3. finnipper59Well Known MemberMember

    I've used wild sand that wasn't store bought. What I did was put in a bucket covered with water with 1/2 cup of bleach and mixed it all up with my hand. Let it sit for about 30 minutes. Of course I then rinced it 16 times to get rid of the bleach and small pieces of debris. If and minute thaces of bleach remaining min the sand, it will be gotten rid of by your chlorine removing water conditioner. The driftwood can be used too, but it should be rapidly boiled for a good 1/2 hour and left on the pot of hot water until everything has cooled to room temperature.
  4. PiaelliottWell Known MemberMember

    If the sand is not directly from the lake but a bit farther away (dunes), what could be in it? I looked at it closely and it was rather beautiful, nothing visible in it. I had looked at playsand before and it looked dirty. Where does playsand even come from? I assume it comes from the outside as well.
    I am not being confrontational, just trying to figure things out.
    As for boiling wood, I read that boiling destroys the structure of the wood and it will disintegrate faster.
  5. finnipper59Well Known MemberMember

    You can destroy the impurities in the wood by boiling it, or allow them to break down in your tank water...which do you prefer?
  6. alauruinValued MemberMember

    Re: bleaching sand, bleach is rapidly denatured (deactivated) in the presence of organic materials, so I would not trust it to render a product straight from nature to be safe. Sand should be washed first, preferably boiled, and only bleached later, especially if you seek to alter its colour.
  7. chromedome52Fishlore VIPMember

    The sand in a bag of play sand probably came from the shores of Lake Michigan. We have several large dune areas on the eastern shore, and one of the largest shippers of bagged sand. It is often used as blasting sand, because it is so fine. BTW, it is illegal to take sand from the dunes/shoreline areas without a permit in the state of Michigan; be careful in the future.

    I would give it a normal washing, which is rinse, rinse, rinse until it starts to come clear, then rinse again. If you use hot water, organics will come out and float away. Last rinse is cold. I put it in the tank at that point, then fill the tank with water. Use a shallow bowl or a plate to keep the water from stirring the substrate, you will have little or no clouding that way.
  8. finnipper59Well Known MemberMember

    Sounds perfect. Good luck

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