Weight of sand

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FairyDefender
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Location: Indiana

Weight of sand

Post by FairyDefender » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:57 am

Has anyone had any problems with the weight of substrate? I'm setting up an exo-terra xl terrarium. It's 36x36x16. It's going to take 300-350 lbs of sand. I have it on a sturdy table but I'm not sure about the glass. I can't find any weight specifications on the tank.

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wodesorel
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Re: Weight of sand

Post by wodesorel » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:24 am

Moist sand is about double the weight of water at roughly 16 pounds per gallon. That tends to work out okay for aquariums as they are rarely over half full of substrate

Dry reptile tanks are more iffy and most aren't made to handle all that extra weight. They are designed only for some decorative rocks and a smattering of lightweight bedding. Tanks with thin glass will labeled that they are not for use with water.

Waterproof bottomed tanks that are made as palidariums are safer but aren't made with that much weight in mind. I believe most front opening tanks fall into this category. The companies have started coming out with deeper bases for deeper water which seem to be built really well.

That said, I've never heard of someone breaking an exoterra with the weight of sand before. It's not something I would worry about too much. I would however recommend making sure it's set up on a sturdy base, and to never move it or shift it unless it was empty, for safety.
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Topic author
FairyDefender
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri May 24, 2019 9:54 am
Location: Indiana

Re: Weight of sand

Post by FairyDefender » Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:34 pm

Thanks! It does have a deep base, about 10".

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VickieG
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Re: Weight of sand

Post by VickieG » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:04 pm

If you're concerned and want to lighten the load, replace a bag or two of sand with the EE. I used sand exclusively for years until a few weeks ago when I ordered a brick of EE from Amazon for $5 to raise the volume of sand in my new 75 gal tank. The weight issue for me is more about having to move the stand/tank for making improvements/ adjustments to my setup.

Volume-wise, the ee was equivalent to a 50# bag of sand, but virtually weightless, even wet. My crabs seem to really enjoy digging in it too. They actually keep digging it out of a planter of red veined sorrel in the tank. I've replaced the soil 3 times so far and the plant is nearly dead from their digging and snacking on the leaves!

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