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Sand attracted to a magnet, a problem?


darrellw
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I just got my Super Nimble Nano glass cleaner (http://www.nimblenano.com/).

 

It is supposed to use very high power magnets, so that it is small but strong.

 

I dropped the inside part into my tank, and after I took it out it was covered in sand, which appeared to be magnetically attracted. I'm using "Nature's Ocean Bio-Active Black Reef Sand". As far as I know, the fact it is attracted to the magnet would imply it is very high in iron. Is that a concern?

 

Thanks

Darrell

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I would be curious to see what others think on this subject. I personally have never used black reef sand and have thought about it but have been hesitant for reasons just like this. I would guess that over time iron and other metals found in the sand would begin to cause a bit of a problem. Then again I have seen some sweet reefs that have used it though I cannot attest to the amount of time they had been established. Nice find and interesting subject.

 

Garrett

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Black sand possibly has some magnetite in it. Off the top of my head, and I could be wrong, it is a mineral that is Fe3O4. It has both iron-2+ and iron-3+ ions in it combined with the oxygen. It would not act like GFO.

 

If it is from volcanic rock (like the black sand beaches in Hawaii) then it is probably mineral rich, which means it has all sorts of elements in there. Probably iron, manganese, and nickel are the most common "black rocks" if I remember right. I will admit that geology is one of my weak points.

 

There are only three elements that have "strong" magnetic characteristics in their elemental state: iron, cobalt, and nickel. But once they start combining there are many that can become magnetic. Sand is most likely a combination of elements (compounds), not pure elements. So the answer is "it is hard to say what it is without further srudy"

 

I am done with my lesson, it is now spring break.

 

dsoz

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You piqued my curiosity Dsoz ;-)

 

http://www.santacruzpl.org/history/work/miner3.shtml

http://ezinearticles.com/?Do-They-Really-Have-Green-and-Black-Sand-Beaches-on-the-Big-Island-of-Hawaii?&id=1422058

 

According to the second article, Hawaiian black sand is basalt (thus not magnetic?)... and extremely rare. The first article discusses Santa Cruz black sand and makes specific mention of magnetite. Good call Dennis! Observation and subsequent research strongly suggests that Darrell's sand is not from Hawaii, but is instead possibly from California. Maybe this'd be a fun exercise for a science class?

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Darrell where you able to clean the sand from the magnet?? We are using the earth magnets to hold our panels up. They are extremely powerful and I was just wondering if you had problems getting the sand cleaned off the scraper after you dropped it. Two of these magnets together are a $%!#$@ to get apart if you let them get together.

 

Shane

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