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Old 07-30-2006, 12:29 AM   #1
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sandblasting sand is bad stuff?

I'm confused. I put black sandblasting sand in my snail tank and all of my snails are dying. Someone said maybe it's copper in the sand that is causing the problem. 8O

I've read here that sandblasting sand is great for freshwater tanks -- looks cool and very cheap as in this thread.

Then there is this thread that says that it's bad.

What's the skinny on this sand? I feel just awful that my ignorance has caused the death of my snails in my snail tank. Should I pull the sand from my tropicals and goldfish tanks too? Why didn't I see this before?

I've tried so hard to read up on various parts of aquarium keeping and get myself informed and then I end up blowing it big time. Poor snails. I didn't know I was putting them into a death tank.
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Old 07-30-2006, 12:58 AM   #2
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I tried to do a google on the components of sand blasting sand and it seems that there are various types - ie: there is no "standard". PFS on the other hand is supposedly standardized and 100% silica. Unless it listed the contents on the bag you used it would be hard for you to foresee what might happen.
It really makes me think that we're all better off just sticking to items listed as "for aquariums" - we may pay a little more but in the long run it might be worth it in terms of potential pain and suffering (for both us and our aquarium inhabitants).

Have you checked your tank parameters ? snails are very suseptable to ammonia and nitrite poisoning.
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Old 07-30-2006, 01:38 PM   #3
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Another thing with sandblasting sand is it can be very sharp. I did some research before choosing pool filter sand and chose not to use the sandblasting sand. I don't trust the components that are in the stuff I can get around here and it was all very sharp sand.

How long have you had it in the fish tanks as well?
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Old 07-30-2006, 03:17 PM   #4
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Most sand blasting sand is silica sand, of varying grain size. Most PFS is silica sand of a certain grain size, but not all. A much more attractive version is available from Red Flint, that is more natural looking. It, nad their aquarium sand appear to be the same product, as the grain sizes and description are the same. It's availability might depend on where you live. You can view it here http://www.redflint.com/products.htm .
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Old 07-30-2006, 11:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Have you checked your tank parameters ? snails are very suseptable to ammonia and nitrite poisoning.
As far as the water parameters for my snail tank, I've kept it at good levels (ammonia=0, nitrite=0, nitrate=5-10, pH=8.0). I changed the water multiple times, I used softened water from the tap, hard water from the outdoor spigot, half & half water. The water couldn't be the problem with these snails. Right now I have the last 3 survivors in a 3 gallon bucket complete with heater and filter. I'm certain that no black sand is in there. The snails are still tightly shut in their shells.

Quote:
How long have you had it in the fish tanks as well?
The fish have been in the black sandblasting tank for maybe 8 months. About half of my fish population have died in this tank. I attributed to my hard water (KH & GH = 300ppm) but maybe there is too much copper causing problems? I know fish can tolerate copper, but maybe there's too much?

Thanks for the help guys. I really appreciate it.
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:43 AM   #6
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The only thing I can suggest is to take the sand completely out of one tank and replace it with some pfs and see if that makes a difference. Perhaps the copper or some other additive to the sandblasting sand is causing the deaths.
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Old 07-31-2006, 06:08 AM   #7
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I know fish can tolerate copper
Who told you that? The oxide (read equivelant:Rust) that forms on copper is VERY poisonous to anyone let alone fish.
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Old 07-31-2006, 06:20 AM   #8
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Many sandblasting sands are great, but I suppose it depend on your source...I get mine from a sandblasting supply...it is not sharp, is of excellent consistency (and bagged by grain size), very clean, and 100% silica. I would not trust any black sand personally.
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:14 AM   #9
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There's a water test for copper - call your LFS and see if they can test a sample of your water for you.
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:43 PM   #10
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Small amounts are not really toxic to fish but are for snails

IMO, you should change it out and go with PFS. It will put your mind at ease. I dont know if I would trust this black sand
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