Substrate for 40b - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Substrate for 40b

I am getting ready to set up a 40 breeder soon but I am having a substrate dilema. I currently have 40 pounds of new still in the bag Caribsea black moon sand. I also have 50 pounds of Top Fin black sand which I got for only 8 dollars. Well.. I heard awhile back that Black Moon sand was discontinued due to contamination issues from caribsea. I have reached out to them but havent heard back. I just dont think 40 pounds of sand would be enough so thats why I purchased the top fin sand. However, has anyone here used sand substrate from them? I have read some not so nice things about it.

I would like to use a darker sand as I have used brownish/light colored sand in the past and green algae always showed up on it.

Any ideas what to do? Petco also has a brand of their own black sand which is supposed to be a pretty good product from what I have seen.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackheart View Post
I am getting ready to set up a 40 breeder soon but I am having a substrate dilema. I currently have 40 pounds of new still in the bag Caribsea black moon sand. I also have 50 pounds of Top Fin black sand which I got for only 8 dollars. Well.. I heard awhile back that Black Moon sand was discontinued due to contamination issues from caribsea. I have reached out to them but havent heard back. I just dont think 40 pounds of sand would be enough so thats why I purchased the top fin sand. However, has anyone here used sand substrate from them? I have read some not so nice things about it.

I would like to use a darker sand as I have used brownish/light colored sand in the past and green algae always showed up on it.

Any ideas what to do? Petco also has a brand of their own black sand which is supposed to be a pretty good product from what I have seen.
If you're looking for black, I would go with Black Diamond from Tractor Supply. 50 lbs is roughly $8 and, in my experience, covers a 40 breeder quite well. I haven't had any issues keeping fish on it either, cories have long barbels and have recently spawned (much to my surprise, several baby pandas came swimming out of my crypts).


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 07:38 PM
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From my time doing aquarium maintenance and owning an LFS, I will never ever buy anything Top Fin makes. Heaters failing in the on position, HOB filters that leak stray current, awful food, gravel that flakes paint... However I would have thought the one thing they might not be able to mess up would be sand.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 08:13 PM
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Yep, wouldn’t be surprised if topfin is just sand that’s been painted black. All coated gravel eventually flake off. Take a bigger piece and crush it and see what center looks like.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah... I started rinsing the top fin sand today and it looks terrible. It all clumped up into big round pieces and there was a layer of it just floating. I might have to return it. Or at least the one bag that I didnt open. I dont think 40 pounds of black moon sand is enough for a 40 breeder.. I might try the pool filter sand route. I can get a 50 pound bag at my local hardware store for 12 dollars. HTH brand. Or... I can try out a brand of Petco branded black sand. That would bring my tank up to 60 pounds of sand. I think thats more reasonable.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 04:08 AM
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One bag of black diamond blast and one 15lb bag of this black florcor in top layer would look really nice mixed together. Black blast looks kind of boring all by itself, needs some different grain sizes and slight color variances in it. That will put you up between 1.5-2". You need 55lb sand for 1.5" in that tank

https://www.amazon.com/Natures-Ocean...upplies&sr=1-1

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-15-2019, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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I dont really particularly want to use black diamond blasting sand due to how dirty it is that I've heard.

I have also found a brand of pool filter sand by me and for 50lb bag is clearanced for 7 dollars. I could get 100 lbs for 14 dollars. I would like to do a depth of at least 2 inches and be able to possibly slope it a bit in the back. I think for that I would need at least 75-80 lbs.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 06:40 PM
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I was hoping to get some sort of darker brown sand but had a really hard time finding anything except for Seachem Flourite Sand and Seachem Flourite Black sand. I used their black sand in the past and it was definitely dirty but other than that I liked the consistency and my plants did well in it. I would probably use it again if I wanted to go a dark sand route.

In the meantime I love the ADA sands but shipping is expensive from Aquaforest in SF. So for my 100gallon I went with a sand from Buceplant that they call Natural Sand. Free shipping and good quality stuff. Didn't bother rinsing it and it didn't really cloud my aquarium at all. But it is a light sand.

ETA: Found a video of my tank with the Flourite Black Sand if you want to check it out. It is sort of a dark grey (more natural than the Caribsea shiny black sand IMO). I show it about midway through the video.



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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 07:08 PM
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Oh and if you check my journal for my 40 breeder I used 70 pounds of sand for it. Seemed like a decent amount of coverage. Not too deep.


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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 10:42 PM
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Bdbs isn't too dirty. I capped my dirt off with it straight from the bag. I started off rinsing it in separate buckets. Then I read somewhere that people just put it in and fill it that way. Skim the top for floaters. Other than that, my water has been clear from day 1.

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