Natural “sand” or “gravel” recommendation - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-17-2020, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Natural “sand” or “gravel” recommendation

I’ve decided to create a shallow sand pit in my new setup, not unlike this one on Tropica’s site.

They claim it’s “fine-grained cosmetic sand.” On close inspection of the photos, it doesn’t look very fine-grained to me. :-)

Anyone have suggestions on what it is, grain size, where to find it, alternatives?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-18-2020, 01:35 AM
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I bet you could use CaribSea super naturals "peace river" - very fine grained gravel and would give you the same look.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-18-2020, 01:38 AM
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Hi @RickyMcG

The white sand I like best is HTH Pool Filter Sand which is actually crushed quartz. Totally inert unlike beach sand that can contain shell fragments, really white, reasonably uniform grain size. The big problem, it comes in 50# bags for $10.



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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-18-2020, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @RickyMcG

The white sand I like best is HTH Pool Filter Sand which is actually crushed quartz. Totally inert unlike beach sand that can contain shell fragments, really white, reasonably uniform grain size. The big problem, it comes in 50# bags for $10.



The nice thing about pool filter sand is that it is prewashed with no fine to cloud your water.

What is the large leaf stem in the middle and fine leaf stem on the left.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-18-2020, 02:58 PM
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Definite recommendation for pool filter sand as it is much more controlled to specific grain size without the trash fine stuff that can give so much trouble. The color can be vary at times so a trick to telling what is in the bag is to look at what is one the floor around the display!
The point on sand is to not get it too fine so that any fish movement or work like moving a plant gets sand kicked up to get into filters. A bit of sand in a filter can stick between the shaft and impeller and wear them out in a couple days! Filter sand is just the right size for what I do. Doesn't pack too tight and doesn't get kicked up to cause trouble. If too bright white, I cut in small portions of a darker sand.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-18-2020, 04:58 PM
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The nice thing about pool filter sand is that it is prewashed with no fine to cloud your water.

What is the large leaf stem in the middle and fine leaf stem on the left.
Hi @Tiger15,

The large leaf plant in the middle is Bacopa colorata. The fine leaf plant to the left of it is Myriophyllum sp. 'Guyana'. -Roy

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-18-2020, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the contributions! Sound like filter sand is the thing... only issue is I need about two cups I think. :-/

Might check with my local aquarium peeps and see who has some to offload.

Or maybe someone here might ship a small batch for cheap?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-19-2020, 01:29 PM
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Little more money, but the ADA Colorado is really fantastic. Good side by side comparison of some substrates here:
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-19-2020, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickyMcG View Post
Thanks for the contributions! Sound like filter sand is the thing... only issue is I need about two cups I think. :-/

Might check with my local aquarium peeps and see who has some to offload.

Or maybe someone here might ship a small batch for cheap?
A bag of filter sand is like $10. Shipping two cups will likely cost about the same thing. It's good to have extra sand as the sand there will get mixed at times with the other substrate and/or get sucked up during vacuuming. That's the good thing about pool filter sand it's inexpensive to replace.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-22-2020, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
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Ace Hardware here I come. 🙂
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-23-2020, 02:02 PM
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Another source for good PFS is Leslies Pool Supplies.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-09-2020, 05:38 PM
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I highly recommend Carib Sea Super Naturals sand. It looks really pretty and natural. One bag was enough to cover my standard 10-gallon tank. You probably need more if you are planning on planting live plants.
+1-- an amazing looking sand.


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