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Hi Everyone,

Just looking at sand gardening.

With iAVs, it is very important the sand is inert, with sand gardening, is that as important? i.e. can you have some carbonates with it. Is the pH just as critical as it is with the fish?

Just to clarify the reason for my question. I live in an area where the correct sand to run an iAVs with fish is hard to come by unless you pay big money for it. I'm wondering if I can get some garden variety sand commonly available which is much cheaper to run in a sand garden. 

Cheers.

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Scale has a lot to do with it.

If you're building a commercial sandgarden then my strong advice would be to locate it near a source of iAVs-suitable sand.  End of story.

With a small-table top system containing 40 - 100 litres of sand, you can try anything without the financial consequence being too horrific.  You can go somewhere that they sell washed and graded filter sand and buy it by the bag.

If you're contemplating a backyard-scale system, then the question becomes one of 'how much is too much'?   When you consider that the sand is virtually your entire system  (mechanical/biological filtration and growing medium) all in one...and you compare that against the cost of building the filters for an AP...then the sand cost is no longer quite so prohibitive.

Adelaide Industrial Sands will have something suitable for your needs.

You've been talking about this for a long time now, so let's get you past this stage.  Give me the dimensions of your proposed system...so that we can calculate the volume of sand and water that will be in play.   Once we know how much sand we require, you can enquire of AIS what your washed and graded options are.   They may have something like my sand vendor...a medium-coarse sand that is relatively free of very fine material...and it's much cheaper than the bagged filter sand that may be very similar in composition.

Anyway, get me some numbers and we'll get your system built.

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Thanks for that Gary, I was looking at alternative sand to the kiln dried sand but the more I look into it the more convinced I'm going to have to bite the bullet and but kiln dried sand.

I actually rang up AIS and spoke with one of their sales reps and he was saying the only way to get uniformed clean sand is to kiln dry it. They only supply wholesale and in the bags or bulka bags now so I'm going to have to head over to Adamis sand and metal or someone like that. While I'm there I can look at and get my hands into their cheaper sand. Once I've done that I will decide if it is going to be kiln dried or some other cheaper option. My mate is a pool man so if I decide to go for the kiln dried sand I can use him.

When I've nailed down exactly what I want to do with my iAVs and sand gardens I'll send the measurements through and we can size it up here for all to see.

Cheers.

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Hi Everyone,

I think I'm resigned to the fact I'll have to spend some coin on sand.

Gary,

Your desk top sand garden thread has given me a great idea that I never thought of and it will help immensely on choosing the correct sand for my build.

I'll just grab a bag of AIS filter sand from my mate and make a similar set up to you, I know the bags have grading sizes on them so I can work from there, then I'll know where to go without having to waste any money. I could do with a decent propagating set up.

Cheers.

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Every bit of effort that you make to learn about iAVs-suitable sand, willl be a good use of your time.

So, flush the death adders out of your pocket and get into the good stuff.  Washed and graded filter sand is a good investment.  Unlike almost everything else we own, sand is a true asset...one that grows in value over time.

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