Sand for Substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Sand for Substrate

So I got the Black Diamond today, no way I am going to put that stuff in my tank.

I really don't care for the PFS, the color is too light and everything I have seen local never seems to be all the same color, specs of other colors in it.

I did find some paver play sand with nice brownish color that I like, anyone know if this would be OK, I know it will have to be washed.

Thanks
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 12:27 AM
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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 !
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 12:28 AM
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The play sand will have to be POWER washed! It takes a while, but the best way is to use your garden hose. Use just a cup at a time, in a bucket and blast the hell outta it. It's much quicker to use smaller amounts of sand per wash, bigger amounts take way longer and done get as clear.
I use ply sand in my tanks, I live the look, my plants seem to like it, though I e never used soil or dirt. My fish sure love the play sand!
All the other sands are just too expensive compared to the play sand.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 01:23 AM
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I use play sand, it works fine for me with root tabs. The fish love it, especially cory cats.
I use a garden hose and bucket to rinse the sand, small amounts at a time, outside, it makes a mess.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the info, so I have gone to every Pool store/hardware store around the area and cannot find PFS that any color than white, so that not going to fly. So running out of options.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 01:42 PM
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Why did you buy it and now won't put it in your tank?
It's the only stuff I use since I found it 1.5-2yrs ago. It doesn't need as much washing and the color is great.

Any sand will work, as long as it's naturally colored [not dyed] and they didn't add any chemicals to it.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by LyzzaRyzz View Post
The play sand will have to be POWER washed! It takes a while, but the best way is to use your garden hose. Use just a cup at a time, in a bucket and blast the hell outta it. It's much quicker to use smaller amounts of sand per wash, bigger amounts take way longer and done get as clear.
I use ply sand in my tanks, I live the look, my plants seem to like it, though I e never used soil or dirt. My fish sure love the play sand!
All the other sands are just too expensive compared to the play sand.
Exactly, one tiny cup of playsand at a time or you will be out there for hours! And even after that, you're bound to still have fine sediment and cloudy water for a bit.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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The black diamond I assume is what your talking about? Well I started to put it in the tank, but after about 10 cups full, my hands started to hurt, after looking at it close, it loaded with little straight sharp metal, even opened another bag had the same thing. I don't feel good about adding it because of my loaches and cory's. All the posts I read about it said should be fine, but I was amazed how many of these straight sharp metal parts I found in it. So I took it all out and now my tank sits empty.

I think from everything that been posted and what I have read, really only option is to get PFS or go buy sand from LFS.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_PA View Post
The black diamond I assume is what your talking about? Well I started to put it in the tank, but after about 10 cups full, my hands started to hurt, after looking at it close, it loaded with little straight sharp metal, even opened another bag had the same thing. I don't feel good about adding it because of my loaches and cory's. All the posts I read about it said should be fine, but I was amazed how many of these straight sharp metal parts I found in it. So I took it all out and now my tank sits empty.

I think from everything that been posted and what I have read, really only option is to get PFS or go buy sand from LFS.
Thats weird, even when working with it in my tank never got jabbed or stuck with anything.

PFS works great, as well currently what i have call around they should have several brands all with their respective colors.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thats weird, even when working with it in my tank never got jabbed or stuck with anything.

PFS works great, as well currently what i have call around they should have several brands all with their respective colors.

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Yeah it was really bad, to the point it took me about 3 hours to get it out of the tank as I wanted to avoid causing the tank to get scratched.

The only type of PFS that the pool stores around here is white. I called them all. White not an option for me.

Also went to Lowes and Home Depot, did not see much selection. Saw some tan PFS, that might work, need to have wife look at it today for her approval. ha ha.

Any other stores? hmm I tried ACE, nothing in stock.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 04:49 PM
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There is a colored product that will work in aquariums, and is not sharp.
It is used in the inside of swimming pools to make them different colors.
Pebble Tek is the company that makes it. It is quartz, no reaction with the water. It is available in several colors. Just be careful not to get the ones that have real sea shells in the blend.

I have a tank with an older version, 3M Colorquartz, and it is a very heavy product, very easy to clean the tank. It comes out of the bag very clean.

You would get this through a swimming pool contractor, or maybe the pool supply stores.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 05:03 PM
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ADA sand is very easy to use and it doesn't need washed, it is a consistent bigger grain like PFS and it comes in a ton of cool colors, I have the Sarawak Sand in my Borneo tank and I love it. Is it more than play sand and PFS, yes. Is it more than other substrates, not really. If you want sand and want it to look good and function well go this route, you may pay more at first but IMHO it is worth it.





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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone, your tank looks nice. Think I might just go to LFS and buy black sand they have and be done with it. Starting to run out of time, plants have been out of the tank for 6 days now, and they won't make it much longer if I don't get them back in with light.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim_PA View Post
Yeah it was really bad, to the point it took me about 3 hours to get it out of the tank as I wanted to avoid causing the tank to get scratched.

The only type of PFS that the pool stores around here is white. I called them all. White not an option for me.

Also went to Lowes and Home Depot, did not see much selection. Saw some tan PFS, that might work, need to have wife look at it today for her approval. ha ha.

Any other stores? hmm I tried ACE, nothing in stock.
What you mentioned, Jim, about finding nothing but white PFS is very unusual.
In most cases, people looking for PFS in their area can only find tan/sand/beige colors, not white, and are frustrated cause they can't find the white color they want..

PFS comes in a variety of colors, from various shades of beige, or white, pinkish, and greyish, but I've never seen or heard of black PFS.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-07-2012, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Diana View Post
There is a colored product that will work in aquariums, and is not sharp.
It is used in the inside of swimming pools to make them different colors.
Pebble Tek is the company that makes it. It is quartz, no reaction with the water. It is available in several colors. Just be careful not to get the ones that have real sea shells in the blend.

I have a tank with an older version, 3M Colorquartz, and it is a very heavy product, very easy to clean the tank. It comes out of the bag very clean.

You would get this through a swimming pool contractor, or maybe the pool supply stores.
That's very interesting - I'll have to look into that.
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