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Play Sand - A Few Questions

Discussion in 'HCRU Crabitat's - Biography's Of Our Crabitats' started by Whistle, Feb 11, 2009.

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  1. Whistle

    Whistle Hi, I'm New Here!

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    With my previous hermit crabs, I've used Eco-Earth, but with my new guy, I'm thinking of using play sand.

    Where can I buy regular play sand but not so much in large bulk? I know Home Depot has those 50 lb bags but I don't want to buy that much. Is there other sizes that are available?

    Also, I've read about keeping the play sand moist but how do I do it? And how can I keep it moist?

    Thanks in advanced! :)
     
  2. Dezzi

    Dezzi "First Molt In Progress"

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    I'm not sure where you can get small bags of playsand. But, the large bags are really cheap, & you can always store the sand for later use. You could wrap it up tight (double bag it) & put it in a plastic storage bin. The sand will be fine, as long as it's not left out, (mites) & it doesn't get wet (mold). & when getting a bag of sand, check to make sure you get a bag that doesn't have any holes in it.

    & all substrate should stay moist, they can't dig or burrow down 2 molt if it's dry. You wet the playsand with non-chlorinized water, until you can make a little mold & it stays. When they burrow down, they make caves & leave themselves air holes, so as long as the sand stays moist, then those won't cave in on them. & you can keep it moist by misting it w/ only NC water if it gets dry. Plus, you can always mix the Eco with playsand. & the Eco helps to hold in moisture.

    Hope that helps:)
     
  3. Mckenny

    Mckenny "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    (you can make a little mold & it stays)

    I think Dezzi meant to say "make a little hole and it stays". :D
     
  4. kissmeimgone

    kissmeimgone (Micro Crab)

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    lol
    its crazy because ive been rearranging my tank ocassionally and after gingo died, i cleaned the whole tank like crazy and piglet [whos name used to be elmo] keeps digging caves everywhere in the tank now..ever since i took the hut out lol
    and if hes not under the substrate, hes in the food dish..go figure..thats why i renamed him piglet lol xD
     
  5. Kupcake

    Kupcake Hi, I'm New Here!

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    I just bought play sand tonight from homedepot for $3.78...its worth to get the big bags.

    At the pet store (Petsmart) the sand for hermits are smaller but they are like $8 (and on bag wouldnt even be enough for half a 10gal.
     
  6. haleye1997

    haleye1997 (Small Crab)

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    it is just best to buy in bulk!
     
  7. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    Can tape the bag up or get a plastic storage bin.
     
  8. haleye1997

    haleye1997 (Small Crab)

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    sorry i meant put it in a trash bag and tie the trash bag then put the trash bag in a trash bag!
     
  9. Donna M

    Donna M "First Molt, A Success"

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    You can get small bags of sand at pet stores, but they are soooo expensive compared to the play sand at Home Depot. I recently got a big bag of sand at Home Depot, and you may have seen my other post a month or so ago, that when the sand dries, it gets very hard. It's the strangest thing. It's mostly in the half of the tank where the heat lamp is, but that's the end that has the deep sand necessary for molting. I just recently mixed in some eco earth, and that really helps. Still gets a little hard and lumpy, but after cleaning the top layer off, I just mix it up real well and keep it moist.

    Take care,
     
  10. Mckenny

    Mckenny "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    I remember too that Hermez says she really likes the sand from Toys R Us.
    I've had good luck with the Eco Earth or Forrest Bedding, so I'll probably stay with that. Although I've been toying with changing when I do my deep clean.
     
  11. Donna M

    Donna M "First Molt, A Success"

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    And good luck finding a bag of "dry" sand at Home Depot. This is the second one I've bought over the years, and it seems they're all damp. And they're sooo daggone heavy, it's not like you can just flip through them like a clearance bin of DVDs at WalMart! LOL! Also, they're so dirty and sandy, I couldn't really tell if there were any holes in the bags. I just picked one and let it sit in my house for a week or so, and it dried out most of the way just from the house being heated.

    Donna M.
     
  12. kikee

    kikee (Micro Crab)

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    Im also going to ues play sand.
    Here in Melb I can get a 20kg bag for $8 (aus)
    Should I wash, dry and bake the sand before it goes in the tank.
     
  13. clover

    clover "Preparing For Second Molt"

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    only if it is open and it has a chemical or deisel like smell. or if it is discolored dont use that part
     
  14. crabbyjo

    crabbyjo Suspended Crab

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    Kylie,
    From what I understand there's a playsand in Australia that is made from silica. This should definitely be washed, but be careful as the silica dust is harmful to inhale, so can be harmful to you and your hermies.
    Some play sands are also full of metal shavings.
    I ran a magnet through some I had and got quite a lot. I was very glad to get them out of it quickly.
    There are some problems with playsand as well. Here are some pictures comparing sands:
    Crabby Wiki : Photomicrographs of Sands & other Substrates

    I personally use Carib Sea Aragonite sand: CaribSea Dry Aragonite | Aragamax Sugar Sized Sand | Aragamax Select | Seaflor Special Grade Reef Sand | Fiji Pink Reef Sand | Flamingo Reef Sand | Bermuda Pink | Grand Bahamas Biome | Super Reef

    The sugar grain and select grain are ideal for hermit crabs. You really don't want grains any larger than that or the caves and tunnels your crabs need to dig will not hold up. The advantage to this sand is also that it is Oolitic, which means the grains are rounded so they will not scratch or irritate your crab's tender abdomen if it gets into their shell.
    It costs a bit more, but it can be re-used for several years of deep cleanings, rather than throwing it out like other substrates and buying new.
    you also have the peace of mind of knowing that your crabs are in safe sand, not play sand that may have harmful substances in it.

    Also, the sand from the pet store mentioned in this thread sounds like the Calci sand, which is absolutely terrible for crab substrate. When wet it tends to develop a horrible smell, will mold, and will harden in clumps. It is NOT created for hermit crabs as advertised, but for reptiles, and even then has been shown to be sometimes deadly to them when they eat it as it clumps and impacts in their digestive system.

    the only time I've heard of it being used successfully is when a very small amount is mixed in with Cocohusk substrate.
     
  15. clover

    clover "Preparing For Second Molt"

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    crap! i use playsand is it harmful or can i cotinue using it? i dont wash since bag was closed
     
  16. crabbyjo

    crabbyjo Suspended Crab

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    Clover,
    even though the bag was closed, you don't know where the sand originated from. There can be all kinds of contaminants in it. If you can afford it, I'd recommend visiting an aquarium or reef store and purchasing some aragonite sand from Carib Sea. Make sure it is sugar grain size or select grain size if you do.
    I used play sand until I could get some aragonite sand myself. After I took it out, I ran a magnet through it, and it was full of metal filaments.
    Since I can't afford aragonite for my iso tanks and I prefer to use substrate I can throw out, I use Eco Earth.

    If you have to use playsand, you have to use playsand, but it's not the best thing.
     
  17. HERMEZ

    HERMEZ Moderator

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    OK lets clear some things up- there are many threads on sand but it always comes up.

    If anyone could afford aragonite sand that is the way to go- I would have to be on lifestyles of the rich n famous for my tanks.........that being said

    ALL SAND HAS SILICA its a component of sand- even beach sand. The homedepot and lowes are OK not great and the particles in these sands is larger and possibly more harmful (HUGE dust content also) and yes when you breathe it in its not good for you. I always recomend Toys R Us brand- very clean- low dust and not yucky things in it...........just overall a better sand (might even be beach cleaned) but it also costs $6 for a 50# so your paying double..........I usually get dry sand from Toys but Lowes its usually wet but when wet it keeps down the dust issue.
     
  18. clover

    clover "Preparing For Second Molt"

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    am i ok to still use playsand? and can someone give me instructions for baking sand? and how do you was hermie poop out? i hear you guys say that you can wash sand for years!
     
  19. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    I use playsand. Never had a problem with it. I don't wash it, just toss it out after every deep clean.
     
  20. cococrisp

    cococrisp "PM Jason For Custom Title"

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    When I got Kiwi his name was Bert from Sesame street but yeah. I did not really like that name...
     
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