Can I collect sand from a local river?

Sarpijk

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11 Jan 2015
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Hi, I am planning to set a river scape tank to house hillstream loaches and white cloud mountain minnows.

I have found a small stream from were I have previously collected stones and I would like to also get sand from there. My only concern is how to.make sure I don't transfer anything bad to my tank. I read of someone getting some leeches in the sand they had collected.

Any advice?
 
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I don’t see why not provided it’s not prohibited in your area. A very thorough wash and then letting it dry in the sun should get rid of any pests. Possible pollution though is another matter. Not sure how you’d check for that but running carbon in the filter may help long term?
 

Keith GH

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Sarpijk
Possibly yes if it's permitted and you wash and clean it (you might even have to boil it to kill any nasties) and dry it in the sun for a few days.

In the end why bother just get it from your local LFS then you will know its perfectly safe.

Keith:wave::wave:
 

Tim Harrison

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I suppose there are three main considerations...

1. Is it legal ? Apparently in the UK, legally the water itself is not owned, but ownership of the lands include stream bed ownership. Under common law, the presence of water does not provide a right to use the space occupied by, or immediately above the water. This is a civil offence, and may incur a fine or possibly a court injunction to prevent further trespassing. This applies to any member of the public, be they canoeists, rowers, swimmers, or anglers or aquascapers...

2. Could it potentially disturb a fragile ecosystem ? Lotic systems by their nature are in a state of constant physical change and can be subject to large modification during floods. But many insects time their life events around flood or drought conditions for instance, so taking sand from a river bed will always have potential to cause ecosystem disturbance and damage.

3. Will it contain toxic or harmful substances ? While a pollution event into a water body is often transitory, the effects of the pollutants may be long-lived due to their tendency to be absorbed in the sediments. So it could potentially be a source of problems later.

Personally, all things considered I'd follow Keith's advice and just buy the sand.
 

Sarpijk

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I live in Greece which according to one's point of view laws are not that strict, personally I wish the laws were implemented. Having said that I have already collected stones in the past and all I did was to pour some hot water on them before placing in the tank.

I will definitely have a look at the lfs and if I find sth that suits me I will not fiddle with the natural habitat.
 

alto

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Sediment layer from natural waters houses very different levels of potential pathogens than stone from the same waterway

The more I read, the less I want to harvest :lol:

In contrast, sand from ocean water tends to contain life forms that are less resilient in freshwater environs
 
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From an ecological point how much damage is done harvesting the sand we buy from the LFS? What about the rocks and the pebbles? They all have to come from somewhere. In some rivers they may dredge literally hundreds of tons of sand and sediment and dump it somewhere else to actually “improve” the waterway. So in some cases they may actually be happy for folks to take the odd bucket of sand away. In the scheme of things if you’re sensible one bucket of sand is unlikely to make a difference. Of course if we had a million members on here and 50% read this thread and took 50kg of “special” sand from a sensitive environment then yes it could be a problem.
Ultimately it all depends on Local circumstances and we don’t know that.
 

zozo

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From an ecological point how much damage is done harvesting the sand we buy from the LFS?
Matter a fact, scientist worry about sand very much... Since it is one of the most used natural sources in a vast industrial complex. Next to the ecological impact of sand mining on its invironement. It is estimated that one day we might just run out of it. :)
 

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