What's wrong with silica in the Sand


Active Member
It's been a while since I've had my tank running (hurricane Isabell destroyed everything) and I' getting ready to restart it.
I have a sump system ready to go now, Power Compacts, VHO's and want to build a plenum DSB along with my Rock (not quite LR at the moment)
My question is - I want to put in 3-4 in of play sand first and seed with about 10 lbs of LS but can't remember why only certain play sand work and others sand types are bad.
Advice is greatly needed.


Well, Silica is one of those debate questions. Some say okay, and some say nay. It's a chance you take. There are some organisms that thrive on silica. Sponges being one, and Diatoms (brown ugly algae). If silica sand is bought in its pure form (being all white in color) it is do'able. Other variations of silica sand have hamfull metals in the sand. They other problem with silica sand is that it is a sharp material. It can cause gill infections, and some fish just do not like the feel of it. The Other downside to silica sand is, It does not offer the ph buffer that argonite sand does. Just my 2 cents.


Active Member
I agree spend the little extra now for argonite. It will pay off in the long run.


most silica sands have a lot of trace metals in them you can see some with a magnet thats the big pcs
not good
you are right to heed the info it is cheep insurance
good luck