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Old 08-02-2018, 09:04 PM   #1
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Cheaper Sand Options

Hey, everyone! I'm back with more questions!

I've decided on sand substrate for my 20 gallon tank. It's going to be planted and house Endlers, neo. shrimp and cories. I wanted to do black sand for the shrimp, but it's more expensive than I would like to pay. The best price I can find is $13/20 lbs. That's not terrible, but in the scheme of things I'd like to pinch pennies wherever possible.

I did a fair amount of research and have found that many people have tried Black Diamond blasting sand with success. At 8 bucks for 50 lbs, it would be a much better alternative. I wanted to check in here and see if anyone had experience with using it with shrimp and/or cories.

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Old 08-02-2018, 10:31 PM   #2
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No experience with blasting sand but I believe you can get it in small to large grain.
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:38 PM   #3
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That was going to be my next question! I see "fine" and "medium" options. I haven't gone to the store to physically look at it yet to determine what size they actually are.
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Old 08-03-2018, 06:32 AM   #4
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Some guys are getting the medium so they can still vacuum without sucking it up during cleaning and it settles better
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Old 08-03-2018, 08:19 AM   #5
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Black Diamond branded blasting sand is the go-to. Get the largest grain size they have, rinse really well, and let the tank run for a bit to ensure any contaminants leach out. Sift through it a couple times and do a few big water changes while cycling.

You can plant it right away if you are going for a planted tank.
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:06 AM   #6
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Cheaper Sand Options

Black diamond sand is risky. It can contain heavy metals toxic to inverts. Iíve seen the same with Tahitian Moon Sand. Flip Aquatics can back me up on this if you follow them on YouTube.

Look into local suppliers of water filtering media. The media they sell will not leach metals and the garnet sand is beautiful!
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:15 AM   #7
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I'm not able to find anything in Flip's videos about it. Do you happen to have a link? How odd that the CaribSea black sand has the same issue. I'll look into it further.
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:38 AM   #8
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I'm using the fine blasting sand, and it looks great, but I usually end up with some in my bucket. I usualy pour the trash out of the bucket once the sand settles in the bottom. I let it build up a bit in my bucket, then rinse the sand out of the bucket back in the tank.
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:13 AM   #9
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I'm using the fine blasting sand, and it looks great, but I usually end up with some in my bucket. I usualy pour the trash out of the bucket once the sand settles in the bottom. I let it build up a bit in my bucket, then rinse the sand out of the bucket back in the tank.
Aha! What size tank do you have and what do you stock it with? How long have you been using it? Have you run into any issues with the fine size besides the vacuuming issue?
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:19 AM   #10
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Its a 60g, and its obly been set up about 5 weeks. It's just now cycled, so I haven't had it long. I currently havr 3 corydoras, 3 swordtails, and a bristle nosed pleco. I'll probably add about 20 neon tetras next.
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:23 AM   #11
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Also I would recommend a filter sponge on your intake. After seeing how much garbage it collects, is recommend one regardless of substrate.

I haven't seen any issues with it yet. Corys root around in it constantly, and as of yet I don't see any issues with it wearing down their barbells.
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Old 08-03-2018, 11:23 AM   #12
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Good info, thank you! I'll be using an air pump powered sponge filter. Do let me know if you run into any issues with the blasting sand.
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Old 08-03-2018, 11:37 AM   #13
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Good info, thank you! I'll be using an air pump powered sponge filter. Do let me know if you run into any issues with the blasting sand.
I have a sponge filter at one end and a hang on back with sponge on the intake at the other end. I have recently realized how effective sponge filters are dispite seeming primative.

I'll let you know if I see any problems that I can link to the sand, especially with the Corys. that's a concern for alot of people.
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Old 08-03-2018, 01:33 PM   #14
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Good info, thank you! I'll be using an air pump powered sponge filter. Do let me know if you run into any issues with the blasting sand.
I also wanted to include that I'm no expert, so do alot of research on the sand you want to use, and make an educated decision.
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Old 08-03-2018, 03:52 PM   #15
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Here is the link.

https://youtu.be/j3tmLi43qv4
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Old 08-03-2018, 07:51 PM   #16
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Thank you so much, TMaier!

It is very good to know that there can be bad batches. I think I might go ahead and take the risk, but will test it in a quarantine tank first after rinsing the hell out of it.

I'm going to do more research, though, and if I end up going with it, I'll report back any issues.
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Old 08-03-2018, 09:15 PM   #17
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I used pest snail test pilots. It would take anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks for them to show heavy metal poisoning symptoms. Falling over and crawling like they were drunk and canít get up. I think it all depends on how much grazing they do on the substrate as opposed to plants and tank walls.
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