experience with Southdown? Advise me, please

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experience with Southdown? Advise me, please

Postby Studioksr on Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:01 am

I bought some Southdown sand at Home Depot for my new 75 gallon reef that I am about to set up with a 4" DSB. I have been reading a lot on the net about this sand, and like with everything else, have found contrary opinions on whether to wash this sand, and also whether it is really ok to use.

please share your opinions on:

1. Should I wash/rinse, and why?

2. How long have you had your tank with the Southdown sand, any regrets?

thanks!
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Postby SaltyMad on Wed Nov 03, 2004 4:36 pm

Some people say wash it so you don’t have big sandstorm when you fill the tank but from what I’ve read it’s better not to because it gives you more surface area for the bacteria to grow on. I didn’t wash mine. The best trick I’ve heard to minimize the sandstorm is to add the sand to the tank first and lay a garbage bag on top of the sand and then add the water to about the half way point, remove the bag, add the LR and then top off the tank.
My tank has been up and running for about 7 months, my only regret is two nights ago I repositioned one of my power heads and didn’t reattach it well enough and it fell to the bottom, now that will create one big sandstorm, luckily I caught it right away before things really got ugly.
Did you get the sand in Madison?
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Postby SilverSurfer on Wed Nov 03, 2004 4:42 pm

I use it in one of my FW tanks, you wanna wash it, as you will get a dirty foam on top really bad if you don't. I've had it in there since April, I plan on removing it, I have noticed that a film appears on the glass way more then with other sands i have used, and the black sand brings out the colors of my fish more then the white sand.
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Postby Studioksr on Wed Nov 03, 2004 8:21 pm

I bought it at Home Depot on Verona Road a couple of weeks ago.

How deep is your sand bed?
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Sand Bed (Oh No here we go)

Postby Toddah on Wed Nov 03, 2004 10:11 pm

I have a 5"DSB in my 110 gallon tank and it has been operational for about 9 months. In my first 65 gallon tank started bare bottom and after fighting Nitrates and phosphate levels for months I went to a 3" sand bed. I washed the sand and spent hours trying to clean it and the end result was a milkshake for 2 days after I added it. In my 110 I did not wash it at all I added it to the dry tank and then placed 2 lids from salt containers on it and added the water. no pumps or water movement for 12 hours and it was fairly clear I then added about 1/2 to 1" of coral sea special sea floor to top it off. I then added the rock and topped it off. I have great pod content and the worms are really starting to burrow through the sand levels. I would do it again the same way. The corse level keeps the fine sugar type in place and it seems to work pretty well. I only have 4 fish and about 25 corals and I feed 2 times each week and it seems to be working.
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Southdown

Postby Studioksr on Thu Nov 04, 2004 7:38 am

So would the general consensus be that it isn't neccessary to worry about rinsing in order to clean out toxins or other impurities from the Southdown. Rather its about keeping the finest "mud" particles from clouding the water?

thanks
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Southdown Identification

Postby Toddah on Thu Nov 04, 2004 11:07 am

Be sure you are using ONLY this kind of sand from Home Depot. They have different kinds of white fine sand that they sell some is silicone based and will create a diatom heaven, thus the scum and blooms on the glass.
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adding sand, step by step -- can you check if it sounds safe

Postby Studioksr on Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:10 pm

I am. I found photos on the net of the exact packaging, and specs. In case others are reading this and wondering, the sand I have is:

Tropical Play Sand from the Carribean, Silica Free, Soft Texture Sterilized, and is in a blue and red package with a drawing of a child on it. This is what Southdown sand is called currently.

Well, what a relief not to have to wash the sand in this weather!!! thanks very much for all your help everyone.

So here is my sand plan:

set up Tank in position, add sand to bottom of tank, (may put a layer of slightly larger particles on top to prevent disturbance later on) put lids or plastic bag over sand and add premixed water carefully. No pumps for a day or two until settled -- this means I won't be running sump yet either.

I will fill only about 1/2 to 2/3 of the new tank, so that I can add some of the aged water from the main tank -- but will need some of that temporarily to keep my rock and corals from the old tank in the quarantine tank and a rubber maid container until I can safely transfer them .

After water is clear, how soon can I add live sand & rock from my old tank and then the corals from my old tank?

How soon can I put the corals (frogspawn, peppermint corals) in? I only have a few right now. I also need to add snails, hermits etc. How soon.
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tank exchange

Postby Toddah on Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:40 pm

I think your plan sounds like it should work, One thing I should mention is I would try and do as much as you can all at once because after you turn you pumps on you WILL get cloudy water again and after you start mucking around in the sand with live rock and live sand transplants you will get cloudy water AGAIN so do as much as you can right away and live with one sand storm. the muck will settle out on it own after a while

Live rock supports

I would also consider placing 1" or 1.5" PVC stubs with holes drilled in the sides into your sand and placing your live rock on them to keep it up off the sand. you will not collect crap around the base of the rock and your sandbed will have more surface area to do it's job. just cut stubs to about 1/2 higher than your planned sand depth and drill a few holes in the sides to allow water to flow thru them and push them into the sand where your rock will sit down. I did this on my tank and really like the added area of sandbed. After awhile the PVC gets covered with coralline and you wont even notice it.
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