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Old 04-06-2006, 02:31 PM   #1
Bennie
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Pool Filter Sand


Hi,

I was wondering if anyone with pass experience could tell me a specific brand of pool filter sand that is clean and didn't cloud your tank and/or does need to be rinsed before adding it to your aquarium. I planning on converting my 10 gallon Dwarf Puffer tank to a sand substrate semi planted low tech tank. Also for the future I'm planning on starting up a small Shell Dweller tank also that would use the same sand substrate. I would like to use pool filter sand because I've heard that it is heavier so I will have less problems with it effecting my filter and sucking to much sand up when I do water changes. Any help would be appreciated!

Thank you,
Ben
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Old 04-06-2006, 04:56 PM   #2
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I've used the regular play sand from Home Depot and use to clean it with no problems. The vac I had would lift all the debri up but the sand would just sink back down. But IMO I would not use sand again. It's not going to stay white for ever. And it will look messy later on. Unless you don't mind cleaning it often or replacing the top part with newer sand then go for it. But if I were you I would get some good fertilizing substrate like Flourite, Eco-Complete or what not. Especially if you need those nutrients for the plants to feed off from their roots.

Save yourself the headache.

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Old 04-06-2006, 06:27 PM   #3
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Actually in my right now in my dwarf puffer tank I'm using Eco Complete. I'm actually not a big fan of the look of it. I'm trying to stay away from black and maybe even white (does pool filter sand only come as white). Plus when I first put Eco Complete in my tank it was solid white to the point that I couldn't even see anything past the front glass of the tank for the better part of 4 days, and that was with at least 2 or 3 30%+ water changes a day. Then for months after that everytime I up rooted a plant or did a water change more white escaped from the substrate again. I've heard great things about Eco Complete and that is why I tried it. But I've also heard of people getting "bad batches" and maybe that is what happened to me. Either way it was enough for me to steer clear of it from here on out. As for florite I don't really favor the look of that either and I've heard that it is very dirty and has to be rinsed over and over.

I am thinking about using root tabs for the plants the need nutrients from the substrate. I don't plan on using very high lighting on this tank. Currently it is running at 4 wpg with CO2 and weekly ferts, but I'm probably going to take that down to 2.5 wpg with no CO2 and very low ferting. I was looking planting Java Ferns, dwarf Sag grass, and maybe even some type of anubius.

I've started to read a bit on this forum about Soilmaster. Is that a heavier substrate? Would anyone mind maybe posting a picture of what it looks like in a tank? I was also looking into that 3M Crystal colored stuff, but I haven't really gotten that far in researching that yet though.

Thank you for the reply deeplove. I know I don't need sand so much for my dwarf puffer tank, but I know my Khuli loaches in that tank would appreciate it. For the future shell dweller tank I'm planning I'd pretty much need sand for sure. Since the shellies I'm looking at (N. Brevis) pretty much require it for a substrate. Any further comments or thoughts would be gladly considered!

Thanks,
Ben
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Old 04-06-2006, 07:15 PM   #4
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Hey Bennie,

I have never tried pool filter sand, but I know sandblasting sand / grit works very well. Tahitian Moon (sp?) black sand is freakin' beautiful too.

The Soilmaster is this stuff: http://www.lesco.com/?PageID=27&ItemNumber=083365

A few threads about it:
http://www.circlecityaqclub.org/modu...er=asc&start=0
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...-charcoal.html
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Old 04-06-2006, 07:21 PM   #5
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Pool filter sand should be rinsed, just to get stray particles out of there. I don't remember the brand I used, but I got it at my local pool and spa shop.

At first the sand was so bright white that it was kind of blinding, and now it's much, much dirtier as deeplove suggested. I have a 29g that is 1/2 pool filter sand, and my 10 gal shrimp tank is 100% PFS. I like it, and don't mind the look of mulm sitting on top of sand. My shrimp love it, and I have 3 khulis that do too!
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Old 04-07-2006, 05:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bennie
Hi,

I was wondering if anyone with pass experience could tell me a specific brand of pool filter sand that is clean and didn't cloud your tank and/or does need to be rinsed before adding it to your aquarium. I planning on converting my 10 gallon Dwarf Puffer tank to a sand substrate semi planted low tech tank. Also for the future I'm planning on starting up a small Shell Dweller tank also that would use the same sand substrate. I would like to use pool filter sand because I've heard that it is heavier so I will have less problems with it effecting my filter and sucking to much sand up when I do water changes. Any help would be appreciated!

Thank you,
Ben
Use flourite or eco-complete, you only need 1 bag for a 10 gallon tank....DC
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Old 04-07-2006, 05:22 AM   #7
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Ben, someone mentioned something about this at our aquarium club meeting tonight. The talk was on corys and he said that pool sand would tear up his corys' barbels. This might also hold true for your kuhlis as well. He suggested "play sand" instead and said it worked very well for him. If you're doing it planted, I would add root tabs or laterite.
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Old 04-07-2006, 11:59 AM   #8
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Problem with play sand is that the grain sizes are so small that if you have more than 1" you will probably get compaction and anaerobic spots.

My cories enjoy the pool filter sand WAAAY more than the fluorite!
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Old 04-07-2006, 01:05 PM   #9
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I have cories that have been happil living with pool filter sand for 4 years now. They have beautiful barbels too. All pool filter sand is not created equal though. I just got a bag from local orange box store to set up the 10g tanks and the ph is consistently high in those tanks. So I put a small amount of sand in a container and some water in another container. The one with sand stays higher. so as soon as I can I'll be getting another bag from the pool supply store and changing these tanks out.
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Old 04-07-2006, 02:28 PM   #10
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Thank you for all of the input and replies!

I already meantioned why I don't really want to jump into buying Eco Complete right away, and also said somethings about why not Flourite either.

I've thought about regular play sand. I'm not to worried about getting anaerobic spots cause I'll also purposely stock this tank with ramshorn and Malaysian snails. I know the ramshorn's wont help that much but the Malaysians burrow in the sand in the day and come out and feed at night which will help prevent anaerobic spots. Plus during my weekly water changes I will get some movement of it. But I am worried about it being too light and getting into my filter and getting little

This is the first time I've heard that pool filter sand was corse or sharp enough damaged the inhabitants. I hope that if I do go with PFS I don't end up with a type that will do this, cause yes I'm sure if it could hurt a cory it could do the same to my kuhli's.

Today after work I'm planning on running to a few places around town to check out what I have available locally and get some general prices. I'm not sure if I'm going to make a decision from that today or not because I'm still going to keep in mind what is available online and what not. I appreciate all of the help and point of views you guys have provided. If you have anymore ideas please post them and let me know what you think.

Thank you all,
Ben
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Old 04-07-2006, 03:38 PM   #11
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Another thread that drives me nuts.

If you study the issue you will find that there are no categories in industrial supply houses that are labeled "play sand" and "pool filter sand"

That's what's on the bag. What's in the bag can vary greatly.

Here's the example.

I go to the local BORG. I buy a bag of sand labeled "play sand". Then I go to Toys R Us and buy a bag of "play sand".

The sand from the BORG is a ugly gray powder with a grain size ranging from that of powdered sugar to granulated sugar. The sand from the Toy store is very similar to what I illustrate in my guide.

Now both these bags are labeled "play sand" One will work the other won't. Unfortunately the BORGs in this area don't carry bags labeled "pool filter sand" and pool supply stores are pretty scarce. Seems there is not a lot of call for pools in the Pacific Northwest. So I can't do a comparison of "pool filter sand". How ever I do know what the local industrial supply store carries. They carry 7 different grades of sand. And guess what. They are all labeled sand.

The use of generic terms like "pool filter sand" and "play sand" causes confusion. I had a local person who read that "play sand" worked fine. So he went to the local BORG and bought two bags of the stuff labeled "play sand". Had no end of problems. Made the mistake of not rinsing it either.

Scratched the hell out of his tank trying to get the crud out.

Just my two cents worth in the sand wars.
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Old 04-07-2006, 04:11 PM   #12
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I dunno Rex, when I say "pool filter sand" I intend it to be understood as sand used for the purpose of filtering pools. Of course the bag doesn't say, in bold black letters, "POOL FILTER SAND", but it did indicate that the sand was intended to be used in pool filtration.

I can see how the play sand will vary greatly in grain size and composition. It's for a sandbox, right? Who cares what's in it?
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Old 04-07-2006, 05:31 PM   #13
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I'm betting though that the same thing can happen with sand sold for filtering pools. Ponds are quite common here and I see several grades of sand being sold to filter ponds.

Also in some areas I have no doubt that "pool filter sand" is going to contain bicarbonates and carbonates.
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Old 04-07-2006, 05:49 PM   #14
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Pools are kept in a limited PH range, so carbonate sand would be a problem for a pool filter. I think you will find that the sand sold for those filters is always a quartz sand, and with a limited size range. That won't help if there are no pool supply places near you, or if the pools that are there are traditionally filtered with other than sand filters.
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Old 04-26-2006, 05:54 PM   #15
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I have a sand tank set up for my corys. I had considered pool sand and play sand when setting it up but was concerned about what was in the sand (whether it would raise my ph), impurities in the sand (the play sand at my local stores was outside where rain and what not could soak into it thru tiny holes in the bags) etc. I think pool and play sand can vary by brand and area of the country you live in. Anyways I ended up using Estes ultra reef marine sand. It says on the back of the package that is is safe for fresh water tanks. (it never changed my ph or anything) It is very fine and uniform in color. When I stir it up in the tank, to clean and eliminate anaerobic spots it sinks back down so quickly as to not bother my hob filter or cloud the water. It's a 10 gal tank and I've had it set up for probably a year with no problems.
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