Another Where to buy Sand thread


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Hey all. I have been searching for hours here and have just come back from a visit to Cap Bay. I will hopefully be setting up my tank soon, (Hint-Hint Tony), and am now in the process of looking for sand.

I am planning to do a 1 1/2" - 2" sandbed. All that I could see that Cap Bay had available was the Caribsea live sand. It looked great, but I don't want to be spending $25 for a 20lb bag.

I would like to get dry sand and then just seed it either with some sand from someone else's tank, or buy 1 bag of the live sand.

I haven't had a chance to check out my local HD's to see if they have any of the elusive Southdown or whatever they are called now. (Yes, Tony, I said I didn't want Southdown, but I was under the assumption that Southdown was smaller than the normal LFS aragonite sand). Nor have I been to any other LFS yet.

So I am looking for Southdown or the equivalent brand now, or decent priced aragonite sand from a LFS or from someone that might have extra.

I have a 120g tank and probably need about 100lbs or so to get to 2", or at least that's what a calculator told me I needed.

Can anyone recommend a good LFS or equivalent to buy the sand I need for a good price? How about online? Any other leads?

Thanks for the help all.
I got permission from my friend Dick to post his experience with Southdown:

Southdown <span style="color: #3366ff;">sand</span>, Old Castle Tropical Play <span style="color: #3366ff;">Sand</span>, YardRight Tropical Play <span style="color: #3366ff;">Sand</span>, Oolitic <span style="color: #3366ff;">sand</span>, Carid Sea"><span style="color: #016798;">[B]Aragonite[/B]</span></a>[B] <span style="color: #3366ff;">sand</span>[/B] are all one in the same and originate from the same location. They are silica free because thay are not silica based <span style="color: #3366ff;">sand</span>. All originate in the Caribbean and shipped by barge to the Atlantic coast. To my knowledge (and I have lead/followed this story for five years) it is landed in only two ports of entry. One in Miami and the other in Ft Pierce FL, where I live. All the of the [IMG]"><span style="color: #016798;">Aragonite</span></a> <span style="color: #3366ff;">sand</span> that comes to Ft. Pierce is purchased by Carib Sea. There isn't any one else importing the <span style="color: #3366ff;">sand</span> here. This picture was taken by me last December of a barge coming into our port......

[IMG]" alt="" />

I immediately went to the Dockmaster and attempted to purchase 20 ton of this <span style="color: #3366ff;">sand</span>. His response was, sorry, this belongs to Carib Sea. You'll have to contact them. I already know what Carib Sea's answer would be. I can buy it wholesale bagged but that puts the cost to my customers at [IMG]"><span style="color: #016798;">LFS</span></a> prices. Too expensive in my humble opinion.

Five years ago when I was looking for property in Ft. Pierce I discovered a huge pile of [IMG]"><span style="color: #016798;">Aragonite</span></a> <span style="color: #3366ff;">sand</span>. A friend drove his pickup over and we loaded it full. He drove onto the scales to weigh and pay, [B]Weight = 3980 lbs, cost $39.80.[/B] You got it, one penny per pound. This company, Marconi Aggregates, was making money at 1 cent per lb. Carib Sea buys it for less and charges an arm and a leg for it. Carib Sea has/had an exclusive contract with the importer at the time. They could not sell it to anyone that was going to use it for aquariums. We had to tell the yard manager we needed it for [B]landscaping[/B]. Technically, we didn't lie. We just failed to tell him we were [B]landscaping our aquariums[/B].

I have used Southdown Tropical play <span style="color: #3366ff;">Sand</span> bought at Home Depot for the last 10 years. Three years ago the company, Southdown, sold out and their <span style="color: #3366ff;">sand</span> product was no longer available. I immediately went to my local [IMG]"><span style="color: #016798;">HD</span></a> and bought all they had, 22 bags. I hauled that to FL because my source in FL, Marconi, ie, Southdown, was sold and the pile gone. It can still be purchased in Miami by the dump truck load for a penny a pound plus delivery unless you happen to have a DT.

If you find Yard Right Tropical <span style="color: #3366ff;">Sand</span>, ignore the "Not suitable for aquarium system" and use it. It's the stuff you're looking for. Top it off with LS and you are in business. The warning label is to cover their butt against law suits from idiots. My bags of "Southdown" say the same thing and I've been using it for years.

I hope this helps to clear any confusion about Aragoniote <span style="color: #3366ff;">sand</span> for [IMG]"><span style="color: #016798;">DSBs</span></a>.[/QUOTE][/B]
Interesting read Gwen...

...and Mitch, YOU told ME that you didnt want Southdown. I know where you can get some if you want it. Let me know and you can have it withn a couple days.
I have a bunch of Live Sand for sale that I just took out of my 75 gal and refugium. Not sure of the exact weight but it is enough to fill up a 5 gal bucket and 3/4 of a 7 gal bucket. Just took it out of my tank a few days ago so it is still really fresh. Let me know if you are interested.
I have about 100lbs of sand that I took out from my tank about 2 months ago. It is dead now. But if you want to take a chance to wash and reuse it, it's yours for free.
Alright, well I just got a look at some Southdown sand and I don't care for it. I personally think it is too small for my liking. I liked the sizes of the Caribsea Western Caribbean and Fiji Pink sand. I also don't want used sand, due to the time and energy I would need to put into it to try and clean it and all.

So where do you all recommend me go to get some dry sand at?

ljuhl, thanks for the offer, I appreciate it, but I would rather go with new sand to eliminate any possibility of disease and contamination in my tank.

I used pulverized limestone by DECO at HD here in the ATL area. I've seen it in both woodstock and roswell. I checked with Dr. Shimek, and he said the stuff should be fine. I tested a small batch in SW for ph and Ca changes, but the cup w/ SW anb DECO and the SW w/out it tested the same for ph.

I put about 140# of it in my 65g. It is very, very white. I've also noticed some shiney flecks in it. Not sure what they are, my guess is some type of silicate often found in limestone, are but i've seen the same thing in the silica playsand i used before.

however, this is likely too fine a substrate if you don't like the southdown. For what it's worth, DSBs fair better w/ a fine substrate with particles ranging between .125 to 1mm in size where the majority of particles are on the .125 end. Of course, this is very fine and powdery and means your tank will be cloudy for a while initially (mine was for about a week).