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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-03-2013 09:10 PM
CrypticLifeStyle Wont fix arsenic, and other non-metals, though part of me feels water conditioners are limited to an extent on how much they can remove, and exactly what, but thats another question. Another forum member MSG i know got a oily water surface film when rinsing it. Thats concerning as well. My father has been a forensic scientist, and chemical engineer for over 30 years now. I was going to see if he could study a sample for me to answer my skepticism, and give the results on here for a better answer.
06-29-2013 02:55 PM
Originally Posted by CrypticLifeStyle View Post
I'm more worried about any leaching effects it could have.

"Abrasive blasting media from coal slag will typically contain nickel and vanadium and a variety of other metals depending on the source of the coal used to make the slag"
Remember, most water conditioners remove heavy metals from the water, so "if" it were to leech into the water the conditioner would get rid of it, well the harmful ones anyways, maybe someone with more info will chime in but I am willing to bet a good water conditioner will fix it
06-29-2013 12:59 PM
CrypticLifeStyle I'm more worried about any leaching effects it could have.

"Abrasive blasting media from coal slag will typically contain nickel and vanadium and a variety of other metals depending on the source of the coal used to make the slag"

A friend of mine who i had a talk about it with said people have used for it forever without any issues, but i say how would they know if any problems they might of had was pinpointed to the blasting grit, and think it was something else, or just unexplained. It's like the great carbon debate, where everyone takes it as safe, but as the years go by it's become more suspect, and more studied to actually cause health issues in fish, one being HITH.

This stuff is suspect to me. Just a advisory to make a mental note on it :-)
06-28-2013 08:32 PM
Sake Coal slag is a byproduct, there really isn't any cause to recycle it. It's just a waste product they can make money on that is why it's so cheap, probably cost more to gather it up and ship it than it would to buy a new bag.
06-28-2013 08:25 PM
lochaber I haven't used the coal slag myself, but I remember reading about it being used 15-20 years ago, so it's not exactly a new thing as far as aquarium substrates go.

Granted, I don't want to be entirely dismissive, but looking through those publications, the main concern is with stripping paint, rust, etc. off of ships and such. As Sake pointed out, that's quite a bit different from our use of the stuff.

I would also think that any potential danger is mainly due from the smallest particles (dust sized), entering the lungs. After a thorough rinsing of the media, much of the dust should be removed, and once it's in the tank being used as a substrate, I don't think there would be much risk.

It is probably worth checking to make sure the coal slag being bought is not recycled - as then there would be bits of paint, metal, etc. in it that could be potentially dangerous.
06-28-2013 06:48 AM
peachii I love the black diamond sand. We are fairly new to tanks and in the last 6 months we have gone trial and error on the caps I use. Finally have settled with black diamond 30/60 and it's beautiful! I have it capped over soil and over ecocomplete/floramax in some tanks. So far have had no issues. I took my time and spent a good bit of time washing it until the layer of water washing it with had absolutely no floaters and no sign of any residue on the water surface. The fish, especially my cories love it.

We tried aquarium gravel, pea gravel, pool filter sand, quickcrete sand and regular creme colored aquarium sand. Prefer the black diamond over all of this.

On topic- your soil will start to stick together after it is aged and the gunk from your tank gets into it to seal it together. The first few months are kind of messy if you move things around but after that it shouldn't be an issue.

We did put the plastic mesh craft cloth as a liner around the edges of the tank above the soil - we had a large pleco who liked to get in the corner of the tank and swish his tail back and forth in the substrate, after waking up to brown muddy stirred up water a few times, we had to cage the soil off around the edges of the tank so it wouldn't happen again.
06-28-2013 12:58 AM
Sake There is a big difference in opening it up and dumping it in a tank, and blasting it against a metal surface at high speeds. Once again, totally common sand would have negative effects.

I bet if you took fluval shrimp stratum or many other substrates, blasted it against metal at a high rate of speed you'd get some of the same results. A decent dose of caution is good, too much and we're left with bare bottom tanks, with no decorations because we're afraid.
06-27-2013 09:50 PM
CrypticLifeStyle Inhalation side effects would be the last of my worry's using the stuff. Did anyone spend more then a few minutes reading the hazards of the stuff lol, and i trust what the company says like i trust a sex offender out on parole lol. Just dosnt seem worth the risk to save a few bucks. Secondly from other reading the company by law dosnt have to list the real hazards to their product. It's one of those sneaky things, but whats new.

Potential Air Contaminants

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, use of coal slag raises the possibility of the following potential air contaminants: arsenic, beryllium, amorphous silica, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, crystalline silica, lead, manganese, nickel, silver, titanium and vanadium. Particles such as lead and cadmium have been detected with coal slag use.

Neurological Effects

One contaminant listed by OSHA is lead. According to the New York State Department of Health, exposure to lead dust, such as would be present in coal slag blasting, causes several neurological side effects. Fatigue, irritability and impaired concentration all result from exposure. In addition, peripheral neuropathy, or damage to the nerves, presents itself, primarily in the feet and legs with numbness and weakness. Further exposure could lead to seizures.

Respiratory Effects

Exposure to cadmium produced by coal slag can produce pulmonary problems such as bronchitis and flu-like symptoms that evolve into lung damage. Such lung damage might be permanent if the exposure level is high enough.

Granted a lot of it would come from using the product for it's true purpose, but who knows how it is in a water environment.
06-26-2013 09:30 PM
Monster Fish I've used coal slag with shrimp and bichirs (in seperate tanks of course) and they are fine. Of course you should rinse it a couple of times before using it and avoid inhaling any dust while working with it.
06-26-2013 09:26 PM
FuelingFire Coal slag is safe for kuhli's and corys. as i have both and they seem fine. black diamond is environmentally safe, check out their website it will give a good explanation of what it is.. My loaches still burrow in the substrate and i don't notice any cuts or abrasion of any sort.

I am very pleased with Black diamond blasting sand. and I plan on using it as a cap for my first dirt tank.
06-21-2013 08:54 PM
CrypticLifeStyle I'm on my phone in a Dr. Office waiting on someone then heading to my kids graduation so a faster follow up as I won't be home til late is Google " coal slag health issues ". Lots of discussion on the topic. Hope it will be informative.

I wouldn't say Cory barbel is debunked as a cause hasn't even been found. For me its simple logic. Drag a body part of yours over substrate 24/7 and see if any of your skin is missing lol I'm sure there will be some.
06-21-2013 07:18 PM
aaronbrown ive used black diamond in my 75 with root tabs and never had any real problem with it other then grain size and weight had a horseface loach that used to love to burrow down in the sand and my cories loved to cruise all over the place
06-21-2013 06:05 PM
wheatiesl337 I, too, would like to see proof rather than speculation and ancedote. People used to blame the blasting grit for causing barbel loss, but that seems to have been debunked. Otherwise, it seems lots of people use it and dirt without issue.

I agree though that it would not likely be feasible to switch out caps. Are you still having issues with dirt coming through the sand? Or just algea now?
06-21-2013 04:59 PM
Thats exactly the stuff i was referring to, and exactly where i bought it from. It's coal slag. Though they say it's inert, i've also read about the many hazards to human health it can cause too which i was reading on yesterday. Some well known LFS owners i've spoken to about the stuff are wary of it as well, and refuse to use it.
Can you post links to what you've read. So far all of the msds sheets I've read says silicosis, but heck you can get that from sand even.
06-21-2013 04:49 PM
Originally Posted by tattooedfool83 View Post
I love black diamond. 20/40 grit. All fish seem fine with it. The corys sift it. And its easy to keep clean. And $8 a bag at trac tor supply

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I777 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
Thats exactly the stuff i was referring to, and exactly where i bought it from. It's coal slag. Though they say it's inert, i've also read about the many hazards to human health it can cause too which i was reading on yesterday. Some well known LFS owners i've spoken to about the stuff are wary of it as well, and refuse to use it.

Just something maybe worth looking into. Not to raise myself, but i never have issues with fish, but this one tank, and the fish in it ever since i put it in the tank, nothing but health issues as well as a death recently has me concerned, and i've been slowly trying to suck it out as it's mixed with 3 bags of eco i'd hate to just toss out.
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