Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Aah, Jim, sometimes we can't have our cake & eat it too - LOL
Even if you don't care for PFS, it really is the best as far as a sand substrate goes.
If you check around with as many pool supply stores as you can, you should find a brownish/sand/tan color that appeals to you.
Even if there are specs of other color in it, to me that looks more natural - but of course I appreciate it's all a matter of personal preference.
I've yet to meet any kind of play sand that isn't very dirty, dusty, gritty & grimy, needs a heck of a lot of rinsing, free-floats easily into the water column, gets siphoned up readily, clouds water when disturbed, and manages to find it's way into filter impeller assemblies with a great deal of ease.
The only good thing about it is it's low price.
The bottom line is that PFS is generally a larger grade, denser, much cleaner, and is not inclined to do all the nasty things I've mentioned above. That's my take, for what it's worth.
Do yourself a favor, get quartz-based silica PFS, and you won't regret it !