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Old 03-02-2003, 07:59 AM   #1
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All you EVER wanted to know about Southdown

The following is from an 8 page thread of the same title I found at:

The full thread (once you've joined) is:

The thread starts in June 2001 and continues through today.

First, the latest information of Southdown (quoting):


I spoke with the company that produces Southdown Sand and there have been some changes....I apologize if this is repetition from earlier posts because I haven't read all 7 pages !!
Anyway, The lady I spoke with said that the bags may have the name "old castle stone products" on the bag now as they have changed their name to that. Going forward it will be important to note this change when looking for SD.
Also, for those in Illinois, she said that they do ship to illinois, but not this time of year, so try in summer maybe.....

You might already be aware of this, but SouthDown and YardRight are the same thing.



I just got off the phone with "Audrey" from Old Castle Stone Products and she assured me that their playsand is EXACLTY the same as Southdown...because they ARE Southdown.

I got the number from my HD garden dept. ordering representative. He told me that Southdown is no more, and that they were 'bought out" by "OldCastle". He said that all the OldCastle products they get are packaged IDENTICAL to their old Southdown packing, but with the new name on it.

I called the company and asked if their source for the sand was the same as before and she said "yes, they are the exact same products, with a different name on them."

My HD is gearing up for spring now (which is funny because it's snowing outside right now, here in PA), and he said that their first order will be here in two weeks. I'll check it out when it arrives, and see what the bag says.

If anybody is interested, their (Oldcastle) phone number is 610-923-8805, which is actually Southdown's old number. You can order over the phone, but I didn't inquire as to how much you have to order, or if you need to be a business or something like that...why bother when I can get it from HD in 2 weeks. The company is located in Easton, PA.

Something else interesting that I found. I found a reference for Southdown/Cemex in Easton PA and the web address was: http://www.yardright.com. Their playsand is also listed with the same words as Southdown (and others): "Ideal for sandboxes, white Tropical Play Sand from the Caribbean is sterilized and silica-free." I don't know if the reference is a mistake or what, but I'm tired of digging..."


This sand is shipped to southdown from Marcona Ocean Industries which is out of Ft. Pierce Florida. They sell to both Southdown, AND Carib-Sea. (they also sell to Martin Marrieta in jacksonville, among others). Marcona Ocean Industries, the company that mines the stuff, does so in the carribean, and has a special agreement with carib-sea. They have a sort of "noncompete" agreement that says that they will not sell sand to anyone doing reefs. Kinda like panasonic selling its 36" pc bulbs only to custom sealife. Same type deal. anyways, marcona sells to Southdown, Inc. and I am sure that they have told Southdown what the scoop is. (and Southdown probably told HD).

How do I know this? I spent ALOT of time researching it last year, and actually talked to the plant manager at Marcona. Nice guy, I talked to him for a while, and he eventually asked what it was for.,.. I said...."uh.... not for fishtanks???" and he said "right answer" and then proceded to tell me all this stuff. The one thing that he did warn about was to NEVER EVER mention that you would be using it for aquarium use. Glad I had been thru this already with panasonic trying to get cheap PCs.

I contacted Marcona, and the deal is that they usually only sell in bulk. What is bulk you may ask? 100tons. I have worked out a deal with the plant supervisor at marcona to get a truckload (pickup truck - about 1 ton) of oolithic sand (washed dried and sifted) for about $20.00 I have also worked it out to get a truckload from jacksonville of the non strained variety (full of shells and stuff).

All of this comes from a cay in the bahamas where Marcona has a 24/7 mining operation and fills a boat that has a 3000ton/hr conveyer! (big boat) anyways, they WILL NOT SELL IT TO YOU if you even mention the words: fish, aquarium, tank, reef, saltwater, etc. They WILL sell it to you if you tell them its for your shrubs in your front yard and that you have used it before lots of times and that you are sure that this what you want. The key here is that you have to make a trip to either Ft. Pierce or Jacksonville, FL Monday - Friday 7am-4pm. Thats it, no alternatives. I am thinking about doing it soon, but have to take time off work... i will try and post here if i do get it, just to fill everyone in.

Give them a call - tell them you want it for your bushes. They will sell it to you.. but you have to shovel it yourself.. (the smallest front end loader they have carries 5 yards )

Marcona Ocean Industries
20 Avenue M
Fort Pierce, FL 34952

4018 Retford Dr
Jacksonville, FL 32225

There are actually three bag types.

1) The Blue with red lettering:
- [b]Southdown Tropical Play Sand From the Carribean

2) Dark Blue with white or clear lettering:
- [b]Yardright Select Tropical Play Sand from the Carribean

3) Light Blue with white or clear lettering:
- [b]Yardright Select Tropical Play Sand from the Carribean

Some Home Depots will consider doing transfers of this product. I made some calls and found that they will charge a customer $35 for a "stock transfer" regardless of 2 bags or 1 skid. The problem is getting them to make good on this or getting them to actually get it done. I have read several threads where getting HD to actually do the transfer was an exercise in futility. To my knowledge it has not been done successfully yet. This is probably due to the managers getting paid on turn and earn (low inventory) and the lack of profit from a bag of sand.

I had a pallet transferred into Nashville by the local HD. I am there a lot and one of the sales reps did it for me. It took about an hour to get the Paperwork done and the local store made nothing on the sand. It cost me $100 plus delivery plus the std. price per bag."

End of thread quote. There are several pictures in that thread of the Southdown and YardRight bags so you can be sure you are getting the right stuff.

Hope that helps. I'm out the door to pick up about 8 bags.[/img][/quote]

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Old 06-12-2003, 02:24 PM   #2
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*touch* *bump* *poke* people keep stating they can't find southdown sand anywhere, this is why I couldn't find it! My HD has Pallets FULL of Oldcastle sand with "NOT RECOMMENDED FOR AQUARIUM USE" on it so i didn't buy it.

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Old 06-12-2003, 06:20 PM   #3
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You read the above about the fact that there is an argreement that HD and OldCastle/Southdown have between them and carib-sea that basicly states that they are not to sell it to hobbists for fish tanks. But carib-sea and OldCastle/Southdown have the exact same supplier of the raw materals and thus its the exact same sand.

Thus the packaging must say not recommended for aquarium use even though you get the exact same stuff from carib-sea.
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