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Walstad low-tech 40 B, central FL biotope, creator of Jordanella floridae x Mobula birostris hybrid
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Hi all!

My tank project is proceeding slowly but steadily. I have a bag of play sand that has sat in the carport for a few weeks while I've been otherwise busy (mineralizing the soil, building lights, etc.) The sand bag was a bit damp from the start, and now it has many brown/green algae spots in it (could also be a fungus I guess, but it's definitely that bright green algae color). I know new sand is cheap, but these spots are in the bottom of the bag which leads me to believe there were algae spores lurking in it from the start... so I have no reason to expect a new bag would be free of those.

My question is, can I just soak this sand in 3% H2O2 for a while before using it and expect that to safely and effectively sterilize it from algae and fungus? Do I need to put it in the oven instead?

I'm going to use wild-collected plants and fish (central FL biotope) so I know I'll inevitably bring in some algae anyway, but I'd rather it at least be the same stuff the fish were living with naturally.
 

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The bag environment differs so dramatically from the submerged tank condition, that the algae/fungi will have trouble adjusting. I would not consider a few spots as a reason to disinfect your sand. The soil is so full of spores that a few more spores mixed in with the cleaner sand will make no difference. Also, if it is at the bottom of the bag without light, it probably is fungi and fungi is pretty much aerobic. Most fungi would be unable to thrive in the submerged tank environment.
 

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-Handbook of Fish Diseases, Dieter Untergasser

Yes, you could bake the sand to disinfect it. Hydrogen Peroxide is used to disinfect empty tanks. It can also be used at 3% as a one time emergency dose of Oxygen when dosed 3 ml/20 gallons. Note the Hydrogen Peroxide referred to above is 30% and we use 3%. So multiply by 10 if you're using 3% Hydrogen Peroxide.
 
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