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Old 10-02-2012, 10:15 AM   #1
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Sand

So finding sand for my tank is proving to be a major pain in my back side. I haven't found a single place that carries PFS.

So I'm on to sand blasting sand. I've found Silica sand, will this allow me to do a little bit of planting? Also how is this as far as cleaning goes? I'm going to be filling a 30 gallon tank and it's pretty darn chilly up here right now. Am I going to spend a few hours sitting outside with the cold water from the hose rinsing this stuff out?

How about black beauty? I know this is said to be sharper, what fish will this be a problem for? All bottom dwellers? I don't think I will be able to use this because I'm going to have some sort of bottom dweller.. small cat, pleco, corys, something but want to be sure before I rule it out.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:52 AM   #2
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Pfs is silica sand. I have not personally used the black blasting sand brands but I know quite a few people on here do. I dont know if its sharper than other silica sands but hopefully someone who uses this stuff will chime in! No matter what type of silica sand you are using, it will need to be well rinsed first. Sand is fine for plants & mine seem to do better in sand than gravel, so this isnt a concern. Hope this helps a bit!
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:22 AM   #3
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I have a lot of low light plants that are doing very well in PFS, as long as I remember to use root tabs.

I think for any type of sand, it's best to rinse until you are done and then rinse some more. I prefer to put about 4 cups of sand in a bunch of one gallon buckets and then stir the sand a lot, dump, rinse, repeat. Less sand in the bucket seems to get the sand cleaner sooner.

I was afraid to use blasting sand, as it seemed fairly abrasive to my fingers and I thought it would damage my cory cats' barbels (sp). I found a lot of conflicting information about blasting sand in aquariums, so maybe it depends on the grit/size/abrasiveness of the sand.

I ended up using petco's black sand instead in the tanks I wanted a black substrate. I think it's smaller grain than blasting sand but not abrasive at all.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:55 AM   #4
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When i couldnt find any pool filter sand i used play sand it did take a bit to rinse and still got alittle messy but i like the look of it an the grain size seems perfect for my corys and its also not hard to clean because you can see the poop on the bottom.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlk View Post
Pfs is silica sand. I have not personally used the black blasting sand brands but I know quite a few people on here do. I dont know if its sharper than other silica sands but hopefully someone who uses this stuff will chime in! No matter what type of silica sand you are using, it will need to be well rinsed first. Sand is fine for plants & mine seem to do better in sand than gravel, so this isnt a concern. Hope this helps a bit!
ahhh, that makes so much more sense. I called/looked at all the local hardware stores trying to find PFS and everyone said no. Called a pool specialty store and he said he got his from this auto parts store and when I called there he said he had Silica sand. I thought it would be fine but wasn't sure where no one else seemed to have anything.

I know it's going to take a lot of rinsing but wasn't sure a general time line. Hopefully I can get enough decent temps outside to get it done.

I saw the black blasting sand listed on a cichlid site I was reading on and was curious as it says it's more like a powder and rather sharp, I'll prob just forgo it and go with the regular Silica since I know it's cheap and maybe a black background with black substrate will be too much.

Thank a lot!
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbarb27 View Post
I have a lot of low light plants that are doing very well in PFS, as long as I remember to use root tabs.

I think for any type of sand, it's best to rinse until you are done and then rinse some more. I prefer to put about 4 cups of sand in a bunch of one gallon buckets and then stir the sand a lot, dump, rinse, repeat. Less sand in the bucket seems to get the sand cleaner sooner.

I was afraid to use blasting sand, as it seemed fairly abrasive to my fingers and I thought it would damage my cory cats' barbels (sp). I found a lot of conflicting information about blasting sand in aquariums, so maybe it depends on the grit/size/abrasiveness of the sand.

I ended up using petco's black sand instead in the tanks I wanted a black substrate. I think it's smaller grain than blasting sand but not abrasive at all.
Thanks. guess I should start looking for a few buckets to use. I'll take anything that saves me some time. There is a couple nice hours outside through the day but fall has hit pretty fast here it's maybe 50-55F here today, which isn't really bad but once I've got my hands in cold water from the hose I'm sure my view will change. lol. Just want to get it in my tank before winter hits and I loose my chance until spring
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:48 PM   #7
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Black blasting sand (the stuff from Tractor Supply, I forget the name, Black Diamond or something) is perfectly fine for bottom dwellers and diggers. I have had it in my 75g for a long time. I actually just "rescued" a couple of Cories that had major barbel damage (nearly completely gone) and after a month they have been healing nicely.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blert View Post
Black blasting sand (the stuff from Tractor Supply, I forget the name, Black Diamond or something) is perfectly fine for bottom dwellers and diggers. I have had it in my 75g for a long time. I actually just "rescued" a couple of Cories that had major barbel damage (nearly completely gone) and after a month they have been healing nicely.
good to know. Is it really more fine than Silica sand? How well does it rinse? I would think something being very fine would be a challenge to rinse
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamtam

good to know. Is it really more fine than Silica sand? How well does it rinse? I would think something being very fine would be a challenge to rinse
It is finer than PFS but not near as fine as play sand. If you are looking for something that is easy to clean before it goes into the tank it is NOT the way to go (go EcoComplete for that, open bag and dump in with no rinsing). It is has a sort of oily film on it. When I rinsed mine I had the good fortune of having a pool that had been neglected for some time at my disposal. I used a pillow case and rinsed the sand in the pool. What a mess it was but when I was done and put it in my tank it did not cloud up one little bit.

Cleaning, as far as weekly maintenance, is no harder than any other sand which is way easier than gravel.
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:38 PM   #10
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thanks! I went with Silica sand and got a bit rinsed tonight, should be warm enough to finish up tomorrow. Hopefully I Will have it in the tank and settling by tomorrow night.
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