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Old 06-09-2012, 10:36 AM   #1
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How many kinds of sand substrate are there?

I've seen the normal types like play sand, pool sand, black beauty, etc, but are there any types that are really unique, pretty, or otherwise? Looking for a freshwater, tropical tank. What are your thoughts on sand, and how easy it is? What are your favorites?
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:25 AM   #2
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I used the Petco brand black sand in my aquarium and love it! Is very clean to start with and cleaning it was breeze. Looks very nice in my aquarium, I have multies and a pair of dwarf sumbu comps. and the fish colors really stand out with the back sand.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:34 AM   #3
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I use playsand it's a pain at first to clean but extremely cheap and play sand has red clay in it so excellent for planted tanks and it's not that bad looking in the tank I'm working on a sand box type look for a new tank but won't get to start on it till I get back
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyA View Post
I use playsand it's a pain at first to clean but extremely cheap and play sand has red clay in it so excellent for planted tanks and it's not that bad looking in the tank I'm working on a sand box type look for a new tank but won't get to start on it till I get back
That's what I was thinking. Either that or the black equivalent, Black Beauty. Doesn't it take hours with a bucket to clean?
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Old 06-09-2012, 03:25 PM   #5
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I use Petco Brand White Sand. I absolutely love it. The grain size, color, etc. Great sand over all. I tried PFS but I don't really like it, it is cheap though.
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Old 06-09-2012, 03:36 PM   #6
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I use petco sand in both my tanks it's better than playsand IMO playsand is just too mushy for me.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:22 PM   #7
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Wow, I'm hearing a lot about Petco sand.. That's actually the closest big-named pet store nearby. I'll have to go one day and take a look at some of it. Maybe tomorrow? And do they have a few different types/colors?
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:30 PM   #8
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Black beauty is not the black equivalent of playsand. Play sand is quartz sand and black beauty is coal slag.

The 'aquarium' sands you find at pet stores are good but can get expensive for bigger tanks.

Other good options for colored sand is 3m Colorquartz (no longer being made but still in stock in some places), spectraquartz, or estes. Estes is often the stuff in LFS being labeled as aquarium sand and you can buy this in 50lb bags through an industrial supply company.

A company local to me carries this stuff in 50lb increments at about $25 per with 2 different grain sizes and a multitude of colors.

With all sand you'll need to wash thoroughly or you will have clouding issues from all of the dust.

And no, there is no clay in basic play sand.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:30 PM   #9
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Petco in my city has different colors but only black and white in the twenty pounds bags. They were out of the black twenty pound bags when I bought my sand but sold me four five pound bags for the same price as a twenty pound bag. Saved a few bucks!
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetajockey
Black beauty is not the black equivalent of playsand. Play sand is quartz sand and black beauty is coal slag.

The 'aquarium' sands you find at pet stores are good but can get expensive for bigger tanks.

Other good options for colored sand is 3m Colorquartz (no longer being made but still in stock in some places), spectraquartz, or estes. Estes is often the stuff in LFS being labeled as aquarium sand and you can buy this in 50lb bags through an industrial supply company.

A company local to me carries this stuff in 50lb increments at about $25 per with 2 different grain sizes and a multitude of colors.

With all sand you'll need to wash thoroughly or you will have clouding issues from all of the dust.

And no, there is no clay in basic play sand.
This is such a treasure trove of information. Wow.

I know, for the tank I want I'm going to be posed over a hose/tub for hours. Completely worth it, though, I'm really bored of gravel/rock substrate.

I'll take a look at some of the local non-monster retailer fish stores and see if they have any of these, or check companies nearby, etc. I know there's a huge industrial company that sells pool sand and a few others I can't identify by the ton. Thank you for all these names, definitely a great post.

And I wasn't aware of black beauty. I was told they had the same consistency,etc. Does that affect the water quality at all?

Also, since the support is overwhelming, I'm going to go to Petco, too. Even if it's a little expensive, if I find one I think will suit the tank, and I can't find another alternative like it, it'll be worth the price.
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