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Old 06-12-2014, 10:31 PM   #1
Oceangirl
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ESTES Brand Sand


I am trying to get a cheap black sand, I have a local supplier and I want to make sure I get the correct sand and grade before ordering.

Here is what I plan on ordering
Estes brand CermaQuartz in Black Which grade is finer? The Available grades are S and T. It doesn't say in the brochure and the samples they sent me aren't really Cermaquartz.

I asked for Samples of Cermaquartz and they sent me HP Permaquartz color samples. They look REALLY NICE.

I want a fine grade, I was wondering if anybody uses Permaquartz instead of Cermaquartz. It even says on the website Cermaquartz is the replacement for the discontinued product 3M Quartz.

Please help me! I should be setting this up in the next 2 weeks and need to order soon. Thank you

PS I will be putting 30 lbs of Ecocomplete, Floramax or Flourite on the bottom for planted substrate. Then topping it with Estes sand for my cories. Thanks a bunch!
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:07 AM   #2
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What a pity no one responded to this. I am also interested in the Estes range of colorquartz, as I don't like the available pool filter sand colors. It would be fun to mix one's own color.

So, did you buy Ceramaquartz or HP quartz ? From what I understand, the T grade is #20 mesh, while the S grade is #30 mesh. I was also wondering about the form of the grains, are they round or edged/sharp ?
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:16 PM   #3
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I did a little more googling and asked a fellow Aquarium club member here locally in Jacksonville Florida. He has a VERY LARGE tank, and he used Cermaquartz. I read the paper he got when he ordered it, and it read T grade. He got 3 bags of it and mixed colors, I think a tan color, lighter tan/beige and I can't remember the last color. It was VERY pretty.
I also found that the ceramic coating makes it inert, the large grade makes it good for planting and fish that like to throw sand. Its heavy and doesn't float as easy. I read that permacolor has some type of coating. I looked at the tech sheet and it doesn't look completely inert. Just goolge ESTES sand and it comes up. I also read people having trouble with Trowelrite grade and its TOO fine and gets kicked up and ruins filters. People said its like sugar. Most pick Cermaquartz because it stable, inert and is the replacement for 3M colorquartz.
I am placing an order for Cermaquartz S grade, its smaller, finer grade. In black. I am doing a CORY feature tank, with lots of cories in a 55 gallon with a sprinkle of tetras or something colorful. If you find a local pool place or call estes themselves they will send you a free sample of their sand. My sample the S grade is nice and rounded, and looks to hold its color better than Petco brand sand which lost its color after a year in my tank. It still continues to give off black dust every time I do a good vacuuming.

here is the link to a Sand comparison.
http://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/fr...-blasting.html

I used this to look, but I REALLY wanted to feel this sand.
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:59 PM   #4
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Hi Oceangirl...nice to hear from you :-)
Oh, I've googled it all, looked at mixes/blends, grains and sizes. I would also like to try the Ceramaquartz S grade, it looks good for cories. My new tank is also a cory tank :-) And I have bought a Finnex Planted+ for it, and Eheim filter.
My problem is that I'm in Norway, and there are no suppliers here. So, I would somehow need to source it from the US. Just not sure how/where...
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:24 PM   #5
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Opps! Sorry, I didn't notice you weren't stateside! Hmm, Might want to try posting in a european site. I know there are a couple shrimp and fish Facebooks, but I am unfamiliar with any Aquarium sites from there. Hopefully someone will chime in!
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:03 PM   #6
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I know I'm late to the discussion but here is my experience.

I have 3M Colorquartz S-grade, Fairmount Minerals Spectraquartz F-grade and Estes Permacolor Quartz Trowel-Rite grade in the majority of my aquariums. All of them perform satisfactorily for me as both substrate and the ability to allow fish to easily move the substrate without damage to them.

I find the 3M Colorquartz S-grade is smaller and slightly rounder than the Estes Permacolor TR grade.

I don't know if it matters but all three of the above products are easily passed through a regular wire mesh kitchen strainer.

The only problem I see with your plan on using it to top the planted substrate is that it will get mixed in with the larger grain size eventually.
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:13 PM   #7
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I would love to get the 3M Colorquartz but it has been discontinued. I know they will eventually get mixed all together, I plan on Cories in this tank and Malaysian trumpet snails(don't know if I can help the snails).
Is there anyway I could have you post a Picture of the Trowel Rite? I read in a few places that is causes problems, but no one really mentions what they are! Is it too fine and gets kicked up into the filter (using a canister! Brand new) is TR too hard to plan in? Can bottom dwellers not sift properly?
I know that Cermaquartz is supposed to be the 3M replacement. Some even say they Estes bought the quarry and now produces the same thing under a new name. I was planning on buying Cermaquartz S grade, but if trowel rite is better I'll get that. I want a Very fine sand, that my cories can throw, sift, and just plan make a mess.

Tank will now have a HUGE herd of Cories, 6 Sterbais and 30ish Pandas. I plan on only doing stem plants and some crypts and maybe a couple swords/hygro. I want this to have lots of room to swim!
What is a large group of Cories called? I say we call it a Laugh!
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Old 06-28-2014, 03:51 PM   #8
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I've tried to get some clear pics to show for comparison but my camera skills are poor.

Any fine substrate can be ingested by power or canister filters and damage the impeller/shaft, I just keep my intakes the appropriate distance from the substrate to reduce the chance though sand spitting fish can defeat the plan.

I have no experience with Estes Ceramaquartz S-grade but if it is the exact replacement for 3M Colorquartz S-grade, it is smaller than Estes PermaColor Trowel-Rite.

I keep mostly Tanganyika shell dwellers and they have no problems moving or sifting any of the 3 products I listed.
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:12 PM   #9
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Trowl Rite is mostly 20-30 mesh (45% and 49%), that is 0.6-0.8 mm. A small 6% is 40 mesh. Looks fine for cories. The spec sheet is here : Estes
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:04 PM   #10
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I actually think I am going with Cermaquartz, I was just reading the Material data Safety sheet for PermaQuartz and it says handling and storage AVOID Contact with moisture LOL!

I don't really understand the mesh sizes, the smaller the mesh the finer the sand?


Thank Deed for trying! I am going with Cermaquartz! I will post a picture once I get it in the tank!


I can also get an intake cover, I already have a 2nd tank in the works for the rest of the sand. I plan on doing a lot of foreground plants.
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceangirl View Post
I actually think I am going with Cermaquartz, I was just reading the Material data Safety sheet for PermaQuartz and it says handling and storage AVOID Contact with moisture LOL!
It probably states that because the product is meant to be used dry for its original purpose as a flooring additive for architectural purposes.

Mine has been underwater for a few years, no problems or issues.

#20 mesh sand is larger than #70 mesh sand.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:07 PM   #12
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I use black quartz sand from them. I forget what model it is but if you call the company they should be able to help you out. Just ask for the product intended as a replacement for the 3M quartz sand.
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