This is the sand that I've been using over the last year. So far, I bought red, black, and peach colored sand. They also have different substrate size. I would like to show you why I prefer this sand over other types of sand (maybe I'd use aragonite sand for saltwater tanks).
This is what the tank looks like before I added the sand (yes I almost forgot to post about the Spectra sand):
This is me adding sand:
Spectra Quartz Sand - YouTube
Some sand float at the surface:
Some sand form into a ball at the bottom:
Overview of tank:
Eventually all the sand will settle, the balls will break apart, and everything floating will sink in 1-2 days. Best of all, you could see that I just poured the sand from the manufacturer's bag into the tank. No rinsing required and no clouding at all. If you have ever rinsed other types of sand, then you know how time consuming it can be. PITA IMO
and not worth my time.
When I siphon with an Aqueon water changer, I do not hover over the sand. I siphon directly into the sand (stirring to prevent any theoretical gas pockets). I only lose a pinch of sand.
Spectra come in 50lb bags and cost ~$25 in my area. This sand is especially useful in large tanks. The common pool filter sand only cost $5-$10. Its up to you if its worth it.
I am not certain if this sand will be good for a planted tank since I do not use plants in my tanks.
SpectraQuartz® Colored Aggregate - high purity quartz, silica, UV Resistant
- if you are interested, then you can contact the company and ask for the closest supplier to your area.
This little sample pallet is what the supplier gave me to take home (free):