Pool Filter Sand Colors / Play Sand - The Planted Tank Forum
 4Likes
  • 1 Post By crisp330
  • 1 Post By crisp330
  • 1 Post By discuspaul
  • 1 Post By kaldurak
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 105
Pool Filter Sand Colors / Play Sand

I'm going to be using pool filter sand in my new 125g and am trying to find one in color a I like. I've noticed they come in different colors, and presume they may even be different based on region and where it's bagged.

So far I've purchased 2 different kinds:

Fairmont Minerals Pool Filter Sand off Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1)
This appears rather grayish and looks somewhat un-natural to me.

Quikcrete Pool Filter Sand from Home Depot (https://www.homedepot.com/p/Quikrete...5350/202314677)
This appears too yellow/orangish.

I'm trying to find something that is a light tan color. I've got play sand in another tank and would like that same color (although I'm guessing that varies as well). Does anyone have a brand/color they like, or any other suggestions? I've read that pool filter sand is more uniform and won't compact like play sand, and I've also read it's the same exact thing coming off the same exact conveyer belt, going into different bags... so a little lost on that one. I've never had any issues with it in my play sand tank, but figured I'd give PFS a shot this time.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Pool-Filter-Sand.jpg
Views:	50
Size:	261.0 KB
ID:	873029  

Ken Keating1 likes this.

Last edited by crisp330; 11-26-2018 at 03:49 AM. Reason: typos
crisp330 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 105
I just remembered I had a bag of play sand for a non-aquarium related project in the garage. The middle container is now filled with Quikcrete Play Sand, although this appears different than the play sand I purchased years ago for another aquarium. It almost looks a little pink-ish in person (not as evident in the pic).

I can say the Quikcrete play sand and pool filter sand are most definitely not the same thing. The pool filter sand has MUCH larger granules and is darker, with more color variance. The play sand has very fine granules and a more uniform color. The Fairmont Minerals PFS has larger granules, but a bit smaller than the Quikcrete PFS. I will say the Quikcrete PFS and Play Sand were both very very dirty when rinsing. The Fairmont Minerals PFS rinsed clear almost immediately.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Pool-Filter-Play-Sand.jpg
Views:	56
Size:	308.4 KB
ID:	873031  

Ken Keating1 likes this.
crisp330 is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-25-2018, 04:46 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
discuspaul's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 3,391
Pool filter sand is the best sand product to use as substrate in any aquarium. It's usually very clean # 20 to # 30 grade density quartz (inert) with larger, heavier, more uniform beads which do not get siphoned up when vacuuming, and will not flow up into the water column when disturbed - so will not get sucked up into filter intakes to clog up filtration. I've used PFS in my discus tanks for years, and wouldn't use anything else, particularly not play sand.
You must have several, perhaps many, pool &/or spa supply stores in your area - give them a call in advance to see what colors of PFS they carry. Cost is generally around $12 to $15. for a 50 lb. bag. PFS comes in 2 or more shades of tan - or white/off white - or pinkish, or grayish. Otherwise, the only sand from yours above which would be acceptable to me would be Fairmont Minerals which I believe is sold by Amazon and other suppliers.
discuspaul is offline  
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
Pool filter sand is the best sand product to use as substrate in any aquarium. It's usually very clean # 20 to # 30 grade density quartz (inert) with larger, heavier, more uniform beads which do not get siphoned up when vacuuming, and will not flow up into the water column when disturbed - so will not get sucked up into filter intakes to clog up filtration. I've used PFS in my discus tanks for years, and wouldn't use anything else, particularly not play sand.
You must have several, perhaps many, pool &/or spa supply stores in your area - give them a call in advance to see what colors of PFS they carry. Cost is generally around $12 to $15. for a 50 lb. bag. PFS comes in 2 or more shades of tan - or white/off white - or pinkish, or grayish. Otherwise, the only sand from yours above which would be acceptable to me would be Fairmont Minerals which I believe is sold by Amazon and other suppliers.
Thanks DiscusPaul. I did get the Fairmont Minerals from Amazon. It was $24 / 50lbs versus the Quikcrete Pool Filter Sand at Home Depot for $5 / 50lbs. Ultimately though this is something I will buy once for the aquarium and is still very cheap considering some other substrate options, so not a big deal, I'm more so just looking for a color I like. The Fairmont looks a little gray-ish to me in person though, so was trying to find something a bit more of a very light tan, almost white (but not quite) type color.

I have a Leslie's Pool Supplies near me which carries "Natural Zeolite Sand" (https://www.lesliespool.com/Leslies-...Sand/14344.htm), which is some kind of "better" pool filter sand. Considering we're using these in aquariums, not pool filters, I didn't know if this would be safe to use or not, nor what color it was. Google shows different colors when trying to search. I'll have to venture out a little more (I'm a little remote and not many options nearby) and see what some other pool supply stores carry.

Has anyone tried HTH Pool Filter sand that ACE Hardware carries (https://www.acehardware.com/departme...quipment/83029)? I can't tell from the product pic if that stuff would be too orange-y looking or not.
crisp330 is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-26-2018, 02:59 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
discuspaul's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 3,391
Leslie's zeolite sand will almost certainly be inert, therefore safe for aquarium use - however, it probably won't do for tank use, as it's said to be smaller beaded and lighter than traditional inert pool filter sand, which is what's needed for tank use. See if Leslie's also carries traditional pool filter sand, branded or no-name 'generic' PFS. They should.

Ace Hardware's HTH sand is traditional PFS, and I believe the Fairmont Minerals is also regular PFS, so it should be just fine for you.
I also think the Fairmont sand will look more off-white than greyish when under water (& lighting) in your tank, and I believe you'll like it.
crisp330 likes this.
discuspaul is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-28-2018, 06:15 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
kaldurak's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Vancouver WA
Posts: 697
I have used the ace hardware HTH brand PFS in my 10g tank that's not up and running anymore. Replaced with a 20 long and black blasting sand.

The ace hardware sand grew plants very nicely and I was happy with the color. I just prefer black so the colors of fish,plants,inverts Pop more strikingly, especially with my background painted black.
crisp330 likes this.

My tank journal.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
kaldurak is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-30-2018, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaldurak View Post
I have used the ace hardware HTH brand PFS in my 10g tank that's not up and running anymore. Replaced with a 20 long and black blasting sand.

The ace hardware sand grew plants very nicely and I was happy with the color. I just prefer black so the colors of fish,plants,inverts Pop more strikingly, especially with my background painted black.
Thanks! I actually ordered some HTH from Ace Hardware. Had to get it delivered to store since none around me had it, and it's ready for pickup today. I'm excited to go grab and it and see how it looks this afternoon.
crisp330 is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 01:49 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 1,672
You might want to add some water to your samples. It will probably look different when it's wet.
Kubla is online now  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2018, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 105
Here's a shot of the HTH in the middle, next to Fairmont Minerals and Quikcrete PFS. This is taken under my new AI Prime lights that finally arrived (), vs the previous photos with the stock craptastic lights that came with the tank. The change in lighting did change how the sands look, and obviously the settings/spectrum set on the AI impacts it as well.

I think HTH is the winner. It's slightly lighter and less orange-y in color than the Quikcrete PFS. It also rinsed clean very quickly, whereas the Quikcrete was dirty as all hell. I'd prefer something in between Fairmont Minerals and HTH, but working with what we got here and trying to be less OCD about shades of tan color . I setup a temporary holding tank with the Fairmont Minerals and it actually looks bright bright white (too bright for what I'm looking for - granted under a aquaneat light with way too high of a spectrum for my tastes). Hopefully the HTH will appear a little lighter once it's in the tank and under normal water and light conditions.

Now... how much PFS do I need for a 125g tank.... ??

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
You might want to add some water to your samples. It will probably look different when it's wet.
All of the samples are actually rinsed and sitting with water filling their containers. I do think they will look different when filling the tank and under a tank full of water though.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	HTH-Sand.jpg
Views:	42
Size:	305.4 KB
ID:	873513  

crisp330 is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-14-2018, 10:14 PM
Algae Grower
 
Jane of Upton's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Upton, MA
Posts: 66
Nice - thanks for the images, it is very helpful!

In New England, there is also a PFS brand called "Mystic White", with a #20 mesh grain size. It is REALLY white - much brighter than the Fairmont, even. Someone near Wisconsin mentioned Red Flint Sand. According to their website, they offer several different mesh sizes, AND an aquarium sand, which seemed to be about the size of play sand grain-wise. Of course, there is nowhere near me that carries the Red Flint sand (which I've coveted for years now), but it looked lovely. Their standard PFS is a nice warm light brown, and they even offer garnet sand, with a burgundy undertone or hue - actually looked much nicer in a planted tank than it sounds like it would.

I've also played around with the Quickrete "General Purpose" sand, which has a huge variance of grain sizes. I sieved out the larger particles to use (LOTS of dust/dirt, bleah), trying to get a darker riverbed look with rounded or worn grains of various sizes. Came out pretty nice, but the portion of the bag that was the "desired" sand was probably less than 25%, and it was quite laborious to sieve and then wash enough for the little nano tank its in. See - you're not the only one who gets rather OCD about their sand, LOL!

Please post pictures with the sand you decide to use when its in the planted tank - I've subscribed for any updates on your SAND QUEST!
Jane of Upton is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Frustrated with pool filter sand! PickieBee Substrate 15 03-24-2015 08:36 PM
Sand Substrate in California the4ork Substrate 2 12-31-2014 06:25 PM
Leslie's Pool Filter Sand? BobR Substrate 2 03-30-2011 03:13 AM
Algae on my pool filter sand orchidman Algae 3 01-17-2011 04:12 AM
Pool filter Sand shakti84 Substrate 19 10-02-2009 05:47 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome