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Old 07-09-2014, 08:37 AM   #1
tharealmb
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Black Diamond / Colorquartz alternative


Hello everyone!

Currently i have a 260 liter (70 gallon) tank, and i want to change the sand. i want a dark sand that is not very sharp for my cories.

I saw some great examples of Black Diamond blasting sand, and 3M colorquartz. Problem is: they don't sell outside the US. i have found some alternatives here, but im not sure what info to look at to make sure it's safe.

http://www.sandblastingsupplies.eu/i...intershot.html

Is this safe to use? On the supllier website it says it contains no free metals and does not react with water
http://www.eurogrit.nl/uk_us/product...ves/sintershot

On the website of Eurogrit there are also other sand blasting materials. I prefet the Sintershot, because of the round pebbles, which definitely won't be sharp.....

anyone have any idea? it would help me, and probably the dutch aquarium community a lot.
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Old 07-09-2014, 01:37 PM   #2
Ghia
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I would not put artificial grit that is 78% Aluminium in my tank, no matter if they say it doen't react with water. This is blasting grit, and it is not meant to be constantly under water for years. If you have an acidic enviroment, it could still leak metals, maybe. It would probably also increase your water hardness over time.

Blasting grit can have round grains (like the sintershot), or very sharp grains. It all depends on what kind of materials you intend to blast, and what kind of surface you want.

Don't you have any companies in Holland who specialize in taking care of shopping from the US ? They give you an american address (usually on their US facilities) , and you have your products sent to this address. The company then receives the goods and take care of shipping them to you in Europe. I have used this method to buy a Finnex LED aquarium light...it worked perfectly. Most vendors are happy to sell to you as long as you have that american address, even if they know the merchandise is going to be forwarded to an overseas address. Only limitation is goods that are banned from export, or from import into your country. Like guns, prescription drugs and such.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:47 AM   #3
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First off, thanks for your extended reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghia View Post
I would not put artificial grit that is 78% Aluminium in my tank, no matter if they say it doen't react with water. This is blasting grit, and it is not meant to be constantly under water for years. If you have an acidic enviroment, it could still leak metals, maybe. It would probably also increase your water hardness over time.
Strange enough, Black Diamond and Black Beauty have been used here by many (example http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=153192). I could not find the exact chemical composition of Black Diamond, but for Black Beauty its:

Silicon Dioxide = 41-53%, Silicon Dioxide- Crystalline "Free Silica" Quartz= <0.1%, Aluminum oxide= 17-25%, Titanium dioxide= 0-2%, Iron Oxide (FeO)= 7-31%, Calcium oxide= 3-15%, Magnesium Oxide= 0-4%, Potassium Oxide= 0-3% and Sodium Oxide= 0.62%.

As you can see, a lot of different metals in pretty high numbers. But no complaints there (yet). If someone knos the chemical composition of Black Diamond that would be great to know.

Quote:
Blasting grit can have round grains (like the sintershot), or very sharp grains. It all depends on what kind of materials you intend to blast, and what kind of surface you want.
Thats the point. Lots of people want a sand substrate for their cory's, which isn't sharp, but does have a small diameter (less then 1mm). But black "sands" are often very sharp because it's Split, not sand. If Sintershot would be safe, it would be an excellent replacement.

Quote:
Don't you have any companies in Holland who specialize in taking care of shopping from the US ? They give you an american address (usually on their US facilities) , and you have your products sent to this address. The company then receives the goods and take care of shipping them to you in Europe. I have used this method to buy a Finnex LED aquarium light...it worked perfectly. Most vendors are happy to sell to you as long as you have that american address, even if they know the merchandise is going to be forwarded to an overseas address. Only limitation is goods that are banned from export, or from import into your country. Like guns, prescription drugs and such.
That might be an option, but that would make it (much) more expensive, and adding to that, it wouldn't solve the "problem" for the dutch/european community. IF we can find a substitute similair to Black Diamond or know it's chemical composition then we can find a lasting solution.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:12 PM   #4
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I know Black Diamond and Black Beauty are quite popular in the US. The two are basically the same thing : coal slag. Nothing I would put in with my cories, as the grains are rather angular and sharp. See photo of Black Diamond.
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That might be an option, but that would make it (much) more expensive, and adding to that, it wouldn't solve the "problem" for the dutch/european community. IF we can find a substitute similair to Black Diamond or know it's chemical composition then we can find a lasting solution.
Fact is, the carrier isn't all that expensive. I got my Finnex 48" led light delivered to my door for MUCH less alltogether (including shipping, Mwz and duty), than I would have had to pay for something remotely as good/similar here in Europe. If I could find an outlet for Estes Ceramaquartz who will ship to my american Jetcarrier address, I'd order some in a heartbeat for my new cory tank which goes up in August.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:24 PM   #5
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For the record there has been complaints on here about the stuff, it's just everyone is quick to dismiss it as ridiculous, and human error cause there is no evidence of a scientific/laboratory quality to prove it, and a lot won't even bring up their bad experience with it becuase they dont want to argue about it, and be treated like people are treated when something isnt of popular beleif on here. Personally I will never put that crap in my tanks to save a few bucks.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:49 PM   #6
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I understand both your points. That is also the reason i don't want the Black Diamond in my tank. It's too sharp. But when i found the Sintershot: that's perfectly rounded. Meaning no rotting processes, and very soft for the cory's.

And yes i have seen some less happy people about Black Diamond. But this was mostly due to sharpness, which Sintershot does not have. That is why i'm trying to find out if it is a possible option. I also found black quartz sand, made for aquariums not too expensive, but i can;t really tell if it's too sharp untill i order some. But i'm looking for a fluval edge, so who knows i could try it in the Fluval, meaning i wont have to waste the bag if i can't use it.

and i'll keep the whole shipping from US in the back of my mind, it's a great option and i didn't know it wasn't that expensive. For hard-to-find stuff it is just amazing to be able to buy straight from the US.

And dismissing it? here in Holland it's the exact opposite. Here many people are (almost) overly-carefull. Fishless cycles taking 8+ weeks etc.
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:07 PM   #7
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I know this is beside the subject of this thread, but I found "perfect" cory sand. It is called Classified Silica Sand at AGSCO. Just look at those grains...this is exactly what we want for our cories. But of course, it isn't black ;-)
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghia View Post
I know this is beside the subject of this thread, but I found "perfect" cory sand. It is called Classified Silica Sand at AGSCO. Just look at those grains...this is exactly what we want for our cories. But of course, it isn't black ;-)
that looks perfect. What kind of size is it?

I did some more research, and sintershot is ONLY oxides, like for example Aluminium-oxide. And since Aluminium oxide is NOT a metal, and does not react with water at all (it does not dissolve, it does not react, it just does... nothing) it seems like it would be a pretty safe bet. But ofcourse: i still am not convinced by just this.

But this is problably why Black diamond can also be used. it's not actually metal. It's a combination of a metal with a non-metal. And Aluminium-oxide is the reason why normal aluminium does not rust. All aluminium actually has a small layer of aluminium-oxide around it that prevents rust and reaction with water.

so i am wondering: is Black Diamond a Metal-based abrasive, or a Non-Metal-based abrasive?
sintershot is non-metal according to the website. I can't find the info on Black Diamond.

Is there a safe way to test if it would work, without the chance of fish-suffering?
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Old 07-10-2014, 02:52 PM   #9
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The classified silica in the photo can be had in grain sizes from 20-30 mesh, 30-40, 40-60, 60-80 to the very fine 140-270 mesh.

Yes, it is correct that those grits contain aluminium oxide (Al2O3) which does not react with water. But as Cryptic said, people have had problems with Black Diamond/Black Beauty. I think you can safely assume that those two are vey similar (just different name/labeling). Those two contain much larger portions of silica than the the sintershot (which is 78% Al2O3).
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:42 AM   #10
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I like it.
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:19 AM   #11
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I like the stuff 2.
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