Re: NANFA-L-- Mr. Garden Play sand

Subject: Re: NANFA-L-- Mr. Garden Play sand
From: Crail, Todd (
Date: Mon Aug 30 2004 - 12:13:44 CDT

Hello Andrew,

There's some things I need answered before I can offer "my solution". However, I can walk through some of this without knowing what you're trying to accomplish, and possibly this will answer your questions.

My initial thought is... No. It won't work. I would only use a carbonate based substrate from a reliable company like CaribSea. There are other options for sand... I would check around in the ARCHIVES of some of the marine bulletin boards to see what people are using. It shouldn't be too hard to find because there seems to be one lazy person per week who asks "what sand works?". Don't be that lazy person :) In any case, I would use a fine grain carbonate sand. Period.

What we need to understand is marine systems primary input is sunlight, as opposed to freshwater systems, which is detritus. A quick way to UNENJOY a marine aquarium is to put enriching molecules like phosphate, silica, or anything else that unicellular, colonial marine algaes can utilize quickly.

A lot of "play sand" comes with a fair amount of fine clays inbedded... Great if you're doing a freshwater planted tank... Nightmare if you're doing marine. The iron content is going to make things go nutso if you're supplying enough phosphate (read: you will) to drive it forward with any amount of light.

I'm assuming you mean some type of macrophytic algae like Caulerpa or Sargassum. Right?

That gets me to the final thing... And that's lighting. What kind of lighting are you employing on this? That's usually the missing link when people say "I can't get algae to grow". They don't have enough light. It has nothing to do with the substrate or thier water or anything like that. They just plain don't have enough photostimulation going on, the plants go sexual to "get their genetics elsewhere" in the current and viola... That "elsewhere" condition never shows up for the planktonic kiddos to wanna settle in. So they just die and go out in a protein skimmer or turn "into" unicellular algaes.

Hope this helps,
The Muddy Maumee Madness, Toledo, OH
It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

  ----- Original Message -----
  Sent: Monday, August 30, 2004 11:24 AM
  Subject: NANFA-L-- Mr. Garden Play sand

  I was thinking about using mr.Garden brand sand in my Florida marine tank.
  I have used this sand in numerous freshwater tanks, and cannot get algea
  to grow. And if it is not suitible, can I use river sand? I will have some


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: Wed Sep 29 2004 - 12:24:24 CDT