Pool filter sand or special Black 1-2 mm sand ? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Pool filter sand or special Black 1-2 mm sand ?

Hello.

I am in the process of changing from dirt+gravel to just sand substrate and water dosing since i've researched and asked and it's the best way to maintain a planted tank at least for me.

But , I want to first try the sand way in my 5 gallon betta tank first.

What i want to know , from other hobbyists experience, what is the ideal grain size for a freshwater tank in order to both be good for plant growing and also coarse enough as to not stir up and float into the filter to burn the motor.

I see most people recommend Pool filter sand as the best all rounder , easy to maintain, coarse enough to allow water circulation and also plant friendly.
But i've searched to buy some and the grain size is between 0.4 up to 0.8 or 1 mm . Isn't that too fine and not heavy enough to stay on the bottom when diggers stir it? I am worried that it will get into the filter and burn it.

Also i have the option to buy special sand from an online aquarium store , black 1-2 mm sand...I would love that but isn't 2 mm too coarse(not compact enough to hold small plants like carpets or other small plants) for planting ?

Please share your experiences and knowledge. Thank you in advance
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 12:36 AM
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When I switched from gravel to sand many years ago, I went with PFS and feel it works great. I have no experience with other sands, although I know that some have had great success with big box store play sand (Sacrete). You don't want a really fine sand as this would pack inhibiting root growth and greater anaerobic regions. So a somewhat coarse sand is better.

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60g Marineland Community, Finnex Planted+ 24/7, Silica (pool filter) sand.
10g, 29g, & 37g fry grow out tanks, 110g stock tank.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Can you tell me, roughly, what is the grain size of your PFS ? 0.5 mm? 1 mm?
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 12:12 PM
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Is grain size the only deciding factor? How about colour? PFS and BDBS are as different in colour as black and white.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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I know about colour differences, ATM I am trying to decide what grain size would suit me best.
All I want to know is if pool filter sand with a grain size between 0.5 - 1 mm is coarse enough and heavy enough to settle fast if disturbed by fishes.
I have no experience with sand in awuarium
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overrider View Post
I know about colour differences, ATM I am trying to decide what grain size would suit me best.
All I want to know is if pool filter sand with a grain size between 0.5 - 1 mm is coarse enough and heavy enough to settle fast if disturbed by fishes.
I have no experience with sand in awuarium
Okay, I 200L tank with flourite black sand and a 15g with PFS. The PFS settles fast enough but is not as good a planting medium as the black sand (seachem) I ask about the colour because I find the PFS very hard to keep "clean" looking and just gave up on it. Anything dark that settles on it sticks out. Don't have that with the black sand.

Hope this helps

Cheers

(edit) - PFS is so cheap just by a bag and stick it in an empty tank and stir it for yourself to see if it settle down enough for you.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-25-2018, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overrider View Post
I know about colour differences, ATM I am trying to decide what grain size would suit me best.
All I want to know is if pool filter sand with a grain size between 0.5 - 1 mm is coarse enough and heavy enough to settle fast if disturbed by fishes.
I have no experience with sand in awuarium
You want pool filter sand that states #20 on the packaging. This puts the grain size between .45-.55 mm. It's produced to run equipment so the grain size should be very uniform. Used it for years and years. It's heavy enough so if you gravel vac you can keep it down and cheap enough to replace the top layer when it turns too dark.
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