Old Sand; Can it be use in my New Refugium???


Premium Member
I have (3) 5-gallon buckets filled with 2+ year old sand from a previous 150-gallon tank. I would like to know if I can use it for a new refugium that I just put online?

I have a couple of bags of new sand in the basement that I could easily use as well, but did not know the viable use of the sand I have hanging around in my 5-gallon buckets?

If you do recommend using the new sand should I rinse it or simply/carefully install in the refugium as is? I have heard that rinsing it with tap water causes nitrates and phosphates to leach out, or something like that???

Any help would be greatly appreciate. Trying to stock my new refugium and I am excited to get it up and going. Been water tested now for over I week and flow is great and no leaks.:)

Thank you and I look froward to all replies.


Team RC
If you use it just make sure you wash and rinse it real well to get all the old organics out of it. I would rinse it real well the spread it out on a flat surface and let the sun bleach it for a day or so to cook off any residuals, then rinse again. After you rinse; check for scum on the top surface of the water, if you're still getting some scum you're not finished cleaning it. You want clean water and no surface scum or dirt visible after rinsing.

If it doesn't clean up with the sun and water, I would have no issues using bleach. But you have to do extra rinsing and soak in a declorinate for a few days before use.


New member
i would just use the new sand since you do have it readily available to use. Alot less work, then rinsing off, and cleaning the old sand possibly mulitply times