black silica sand at office max / staples / etc. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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black silica sand at office max / staples / etc.

united receptacles markets black silica sand for cigarette "sand urns" like you see in front of stores. it appears a 5lb bag usually runs about $5, but several places sell it online for much cheaper in larger quantities. I thought this would be helpful for those looking for black silica instead of black beauty, tahitian moon, or "iron slag". I'm not positive that this is 100% sand, but I can't imagine they'd put any additives in sand that's simply used for putting out cigarettes... it would be an awful waste of money to put additives in something that's doing a job that simple. Anyway, I plan on checking my local office max to see if they keep any in stock, and to price it at the store to see if it compares to the online price (online vs. store prices are sometimes widely variable). Hope this comes in handy for some of you!

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 03:51 AM
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And FWIW I just got 50 pounds of lovely tan colored filter pack silica sand from my local pool supply store for under $15. It's not black, but the price was right.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 03:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oqsy
united receptacles markets black silica sand for cigarette "sand urns" like you see in front of stores. it appears a 5lb bag usually runs about $5, but several places sell it online for much cheaper in larger quantities. I thought this would be helpful for those looking for black silica instead of black beauty, tahitian moon, or "iron slag". I'm not positive that this is 100% sand, but I can't imagine they'd put any additives in sand that's simply used for putting out cigarettes... it would be an awful waste of money to put additives in something that's doing a job that simple. Anyway, I plan on checking my local office max to see if they keep any in stock, and to price it at the store to see if it compares to the online price (online vs. store prices are sometimes widely variable). Hope this comes in handy for some of you!

Oqsy
I doubt they add anything. But then the question is: How clean is a material going to be that is sold to dispose of toxic waste?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 03:13 AM
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My x gf worked at staples, she put a few bags in an aquarium with some bettas.
Never had any problems that i knew of. Next time i see her around, ill find out exactly what it was.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 03:17 AM Thread Starter
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how clean is a good question, but I'm sure that if its rinsed as well as play sand or flourite, it would be fine.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 05:36 AM
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from staples.com:
United Receptacle® Sand for Urns, 5 lb. Bag, Black
$27.29

Looks a lot MORE expensive than tahitian moon sand to me

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 08:25 AM
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Is there natural black silica sand?

Get a few grains and grind it up, to check if the black color is just coating.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 12:27 PM
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Even at $5 for a 5 lb bag it's close to the same price as TMS.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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i think that $27.29 price is likely a typo and is supposed to be the price for a carton of 5 x 5lb bags (several other stores list their cartons of 5 from $20.79-$28.00). the reason I bring this item up is because shipping for tms or black beauty can cost as much or more than the bag of sand itself, and not everyone's LFS carries them. my brother paid $20 shipping on 4 bags of TMS from drs. f&s. at the lowest price of 20.09 for 25lbs(Instawares Restaurant Supply), you come up with the same price *and* you don't have to wait around for the UPS truck. of course with the lowest price I'm mentioning, I'm assuming that office max, staples, office depot, etc. will price match (i'm almost sure it's done in our local office max), and that the store has the sand in stock.

bottom line: if you shop carefully and bring the prices from competitors with you, you can score a bag of black sand in your hometown for about the same price as TMS shipped from DFS, and you don't have to worry about your magnetic glass cleaner picking up bits because silica isn't attracted to magnets (my brothers algae scraper ALWAYS manages to lift a teaspoon or so of TMS with each cleaning of his 60g tank.)

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 03:40 PM
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Estes Marine sand comes in black and I think is comparable in price -- available at many lfs.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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you folks that can find sand at your lfs are lucky... i've never seen anything close to sand other than cichlid eco-complete, crushed coral, or aragonite at any lfs. it seems like black sand is popular enough for ppl to stock it, and its no more expensive than any of the other substrates (especially EC or flourite), so it can't be all that low in supply, but not even having tan or white sand is a shock. oh well, when I finally get around to opening "Oqsy's House O' Planted Tank Substrates and Doughnut Holes", I'll be sure to stock the black stuff.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 09:26 PM
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hey Og, have you tried the local quarry or pond/garden stores?
I did a search and found at least a dozen of them close to my place.
I bet a natural black river sand would work for you, right?

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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yep, called all the quarries... no black sand.
tried all the pond/garden places... no black sand.
called home depot today to see if they had the silica... no black sand.

it looks like i'll either pay out the nose, or go without for my planned rescape (i can't wait for my new plants!)

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-15-2005, 04:15 PM
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That's a great find. I was on a quest for an economical source for black sand about a year ago. I finally found a LFS that ordered me some 20lb bags for $9.99.

Some people have reported finding black sand at Home Depot as patio block filler. Mine definitely didn't have it.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-15-2005, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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i have seen a dark gray-ish gravel/sand (about the size of pool filter sand) that's called "pavestone leveling sand" and is meant to be a layer below a paved patio. it looks about halfway between the color of seachem onyx and eco complete. I have no idea what kind of rock it is, but I really liked the look of it. I'm afraid it might contain lime or another carbonate rich rock. anyone with experience with it know what it's made of? I suppose I could email the company, but what fun is something so easy? I'll do that and get back to this thread.

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