Black gravel--where can you get it?? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-20-2004, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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I was wondering if anyone knew where I could get some black pea-gravel. I would like to use that with my eco-complete but haven't found anywhere down here (southern LA) that has it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 05:23 AM
HBK
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Most pet stores have black gravel, especially Petco and PetSmart, but I'm not sure it's the kind you want. I think it is epoxy coated.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 02:40 PM
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Black gravel will usually be epoxy coated. Estes makes some and most pet shops carry Estes. The epoxy coating can sometimes wear off, though. Black silica sand is a lot more durable, but even harder to find. I eventually found some 20lb bags for $10 at a LFS, though.

- Sam P -
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 05:36 PM
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Whats wrong with epoxy coated?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 06:28 PM
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Nothing, except that the coating can eventually wear off, becoming unsightly and requiring a complete teardown to change it. But the epoxy is durable stuff and lasts many years in most cases (but not all).

- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-21-2004, 06:31 PM
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Ok good, I thought it something more serious like unsuitable for planted tanks.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2004, 02:38 PM
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Is the product made by Estes suitable for planted aquariums...How big are the grains?
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-24-2004, 07:40 PM
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One thing I have been told and was actually able to test it this week is that some of the gravel sold at PetSmart is crushed dolmite. Now it is colored, at least most of it. I found a bag of white gravel that was pure crushed dolmite. But the problem is that it only takes a small piece of the covering to chip off or a small pinhole in the covering to really start causing water chemistry problems.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2004, 05:18 AM
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Before I went planted, I had the cheap black gravel from PetSmart and it didn't take long at all for the epoxy to start chipping/flaking off.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 01-25-2004, 04:54 PM
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I also had a bad experience with the black coated gravel in my very first tank. It would flake off little black chips that would float around in the water. It was frustrating because the more I cleaned and vacuumed the gravel the worse it got. This was thirteen years ago and maybe the technology has improved. However, I will personally NEVER buy this type of substrate again. IMO, you'll save yourself a potential headache going with uncoated.

Brant
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-27-2004, 11:00 PM
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Was looking also

Hi all
I too was looking for some black p gravel to use with my echo. I have not been able to find any locally (high desert S Ca) I purchased some small Arizona river rock from Lowe's and will see how it looks with the echo. It is black, bluegray and red. It looks very natural. It is the size of p gravel, but irregular natural shaped rock with smoothed edges. Tomorrow I will begin the long process of taking down my 55 and re-setting it up with the echo. Will post back and let you know how it looks.
D
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-28-2004, 03:19 PM
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I have been told that all black gravels raise your water's pH ( The ones sold in Australia anyway). So if you do find somewhere that sells it, you may want to ask about that.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-28-2004, 10:31 PM
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Eco complete only temporarily affects the hardness. If you drain the liquid it's packed in, and lightly rinse the gravel, it shouldn't have a noticable effect on your hardness.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-01-2007, 05:16 AM
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I found black gravel (coated) on ebay. $2.00-3.25 per 5 pound bag. I bought one about a month ago for $2.50 and he shipped it out priority super fast. Put it in my shrimp tank with just a few plants for now, but didn't get but one 5 pound bag for a 10g - DUH! Now I'm going back to him for 3 more bags (one more for that shrimp tank, and the other two bags for the next type of shrimp which will likely be here before the dang gravel now - dumb me!). Hope this helps someone.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-04-2007, 04:17 PM
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SeaChem has black Flourite BTW, very nice stuff.

They have a flourite size product and then and nicer fine sand, much like the Onyx, but made from the flourite material and a solid black color.

I like it because it's heavier than the EC, but you have to rinse it

Always a trade off.

Regards,
Tom Barr

Regards,
Tom Barr
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