Pool guy freaked about sand :/ - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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Pool guy freaked about sand :/

Ok, so I went to my local spa & pool store today. Asked for pool filter sand, he pointed out some bags and I asked about the color because the bags weren't see through. He asked what I'm using it for & I explained it was for my aquarium. He kind of freaked out and said oh no, you don't want to use this, it's very sharp. He got some out & I said it looks very much like the aquarium sand I have in one of my tanks now (except it was white & I have Tahitian Moon). He said it's not, it's like crushed glass & would probably hurt my fish. I asked him exactly what is it & he said 20 grit silica sand. He suggested something called pavers sand. From the way he spoke I don't think he knew much about aquariums, but I left without it to come home and research more. Is that not the sand I want? I've had so much trouble trying to get my hands on BDBS & now pool filter sand that I'm about ready to throw in the towel & just buy more Caribsea sand...but the cost difference is just so much. Help?

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 10:42 AM
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It's exactly the sand you want. Probably he didn't know too much about it, because quartz (silica) sand is usually the most gentle to your fish.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 10:52 AM
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I saw a whole bunch of HTH Pool Filter Sand at Lowe's and also True Value Hardware. I'll bet the price is cheaper than the local spa & pool store.

EDIT: Walmart for $10: https://www.walmart.com/ip/HTH-67074...-Lbs/119465404

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 01:27 PM
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Pavers sand is slightly bigger and more mixed grain size, usually a bit rounder as well, often mixed colors. I think it looks prettier, but either will work just fine. If you but Paver sand in a bag stay away from the polymeric sand. It's designed to chemically form a skin when exposed to water
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 01:43 PM
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Go back and tell the man to give you what you asked for. You had it right. If you'd rather have the bdbs tractor supply carrys it and if they dont have any in store they can order it for you. Medium grit is the one I've had good experience with.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-17-2017, 11:20 PM
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Any blasting sand is a good choice, you aren't just limited to Black Diamond. I got this #30 grit blasting sand from Lowes, $17 for 100 lbs. Nice even grain size, and a color I like -- I wanted to get away from dark substrate for my rescape.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 12:45 AM
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As others have said, you were buying the correct stuff. Be careful with other sands (play sand and paver sand) as they may not be inert. Many sands are loaded with CaCO3. Pool sand and blasting sands are inert and work great. My Pygmy Corydoras were even fine with the pool filter sand I was using at the time.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Christophe View Post
Any blasting sand is a good choice, you aren't just limited to Black Diamond. I got this #30 grit blasting sand from Lowes, $17 for 100 lbs. Nice even grain size, and a color I like -- I wanted to get away from dark substrate for my rescape.

I saw that one on their site, unfortunately it's not available at my local Lowes (not much is) & they don't ship it. After going and feeling with my hands the sands available in my area, I'm going to try play sand. I'm setting this up primarily for the comfort of Corydoras. I know it can be messy, so I plan to spend a long time rinsing. I'm going to try it in part of a 10 gallon before I swap it into my 40 gal. This has been quite the substrate journey so far. =D **Don't ever move to a small town if you don't absolutely have to.

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Originally Posted by Aqua99 View Post
As others have said, you were buying the correct stuff. Be careful with other sands (play sand and paver sand) as they may not be inert. Many sands are loaded with CaCO3. Pool sand and blasting sands are inert and work great. My Pygmy Corydoras were even fine with the pool filter sand I was using at the time.
Ugh, I just read this. Picked up Sakrete Natural play sand...any idea if that one is ok?

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-18-2017 at 11:24 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 02:39 PM
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Ugh, I just read this. Picked up Sakrete Natural play sand...any idea if that one is ok?

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The only way to honestly know is to put some in a bucket and monitor the KH over a time period (weeks maybe).

It seems like a total pain tracking down the right stuff but in the end you can avoid many problems. There's nothing worse than stripping a tank down to swap the substrate because your KH is skyrocketing. I was specifically trying to track down inert media because I wanted to keep my Corydoras close to their natural lower KH, GH, and pH. I did have reservations of the "sharpness" of the pool filter sand after reading stories about Corydoras supposedly shredding their barbels off, but my little guys were fine. I really believe they (at least my Pygmys) know just how much they can root around in any given substrate. That being said, they'd push around fairly aggressively in the HTH pool sand I had.

Sorry, none of this is the info you probably want to hear given that you already have the play sand. The main problem is that if loaded with carbonate, you're essentially keeping them in a substrate similar to crushed coral. Just my thoughts...
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 02:59 PM
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Pool filter sand is an inert silica sand that is great for aquarium use - and #20 grade density is just the size you want. That guy doesn't know what he's talking about. Buy it.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 03:06 PM
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Is washed river sand still available from builder suppliers? It used to be sold as a nice aggregate include when doing your own concrete mixing and pours, as you could spray off the pre-cured layer of calcium hydroxide before it fully set and reveal the nicely colored sand beneath.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks all, going to pick up the PFS to tomorrow. That sounds like a much safer route & hearing that Corys did well with it makes me lean more that way.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 07:34 PM
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This has been a very informative thread for me. I was wondering about this, too.

As far as the pool guy is concerned, he shouldn't have given concrete info on a subject he doesn't know about. BUT I think its super cool he had your fish's best interest in mind. After all, he turned down a sale because he though it might hurt your fish. Sounds like a good dude even though he was incorrect
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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This has been a very informative thread for me. I was wondering about this, too.

As far as the pool guy is concerned, he shouldn't have given concrete info on a subject he doesn't know about. BUT I think its super cool he had your fish's best interest in mind. After all, he turned down a sale because he though it might hurt your fish. Sounds like a good dude even though he was incorrect
Same, the people here are so helpful.

My husband had the same opinion about pool guy; that he was trying to help. I'm on the other side, I don't like it when people try to assert their opinions when they don't know about a particular topic.

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