Tahitian moon sand vs. Black Beauty
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Old 02-18-2004, 02:49 AM   #1
Urkevitz
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Is Tahitian moon sand the same as black beauty sandblasting sand?
They look like they are made from the same substance. The only differance I see is the Black Beauty has less dust. I am pissed because I bought the Tahitian moon sand, but I could have gotten the Black Beauty for free from work. Does the moon sand irritate Cory's?
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Old 02-18-2004, 12:55 PM   #2
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Black beauty sand is actually Metallic Slag from the manufacturing
of copper. It is described as 32-45% SiO2; 25-33% Cao + Mg0; 24-35% Fe0.
The FeO might be a problem. Someone from APD put about a teaspoon in a very small jar with some water, shook it up, then tested the Iron content using a seachem test kit. The results of the first test was 1.0 ppm. They repeated the test and got 2.0 ppm. This is about 10 to 20 times as much as it should be.
Another experience with Black Beauty came from the Krib:
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I used a black sand called something like Marvel black beauty. It was very high in Fe and was highly magnetic. It was also very sharp. A little piece stuck to a magnetic scraper would scratch the glass. It also found its way into small crevices in plants and damaged them. I finally quit using it after an autopsy showed it had shredded the inside of a fish. Other than the sharpness and magnetism, it was great.
It seems like you could use some of it to supplement iron but I was afraid to use it as a sole substrate, and given its sharp structure, I decided to go with black silica sand instead.
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Old 02-18-2004, 04:25 PM   #3
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What sort of place stocks black silica sand, Sam?
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Old 02-18-2004, 05:43 PM   #4
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Some landscapers carry it for paver bricks, but all the landscaping places I called just had regular "tan" silica sand. I managed to find some at my local fish store. If they don't have any in stock, they should be able to order it. It was $10 for a 20lb bag.
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Old 02-18-2004, 06:42 PM   #5
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I'll check and see what I can find. The gardening places around here don't even order anything until Spring because of the climate. They aren't going to carry that kind of stock until at least some ground thaw occurs.
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Old 02-18-2004, 07:10 PM   #6
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I have used the black beauty slag in my 10 gal tank, over a layer of kitty litter.

Pros:
Very good plant growth. Easy to plant in it. Cheaper than the hi-tech substrates. Dark glossy black... looks interesting... at least for a while. Not toxic... at least from what I can tell.

Cons:
It is very sharp, almost like glass broken in small pieces. It will not be good for heavier bottom dwellers. Otos, shrimps, etc, will be okay.

Interesting: Things were going too well, so I took it all out, and replaced it with Flourite. Since then I have major algae problems. Nothing else has changed, only the substrate (and I added some rocks). Plant growth is lousy, algae growth excellent. Still waiting for it to balance out.
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