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Most sand is made of crushed coral and clamshell, which obvioulsly makes the water more alkaline. The other problem with sand is that it easily compacts together, eventually getting to be as hard as a rock, and plant roots have a hard time growing in it, and it looses all oxygen in spots that can create methane gas in the worst scenario. A very course sand works better, but there is still a chance of compacting. Give your sand the acid test to find out how alkaline it is.
 
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