Hardware Store Sand - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Hardware Store Sand

I just did a trip to a few local hardware stores and was wondering if anyone has any suggestions or information on the following sand:

Kolorscape White Play Sand: saw this at Home Depot and Walmart. Label says it is not for aquarium use, but I did some internet research and some people say that is because they sell a similar kind at the fish stores.

PaveStone High Desert Sand: at the Home Depot. Didn't say not for aquarium use but did say it may have traces of silicate.

Also, is there a definate answer on the silicate question? If it is safe or not?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 06:45 PM
 
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in my experience, silicate is safe but a hassle to deal with. it clouds very easy, anytime the grains of sand rub against eachother, POOF, instant cloud. but otherwise it seems harmless. might promote diatoms though

as for the white play sand, if it's the very fine grade one, then i think it's safe. i've used it in multiple aquariums with no harm at all. though if you don't get a lot of circulation in the tank, anaerobic spots might develop.... stinky
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome. I'm thinking I will take the risk with the Kolorscape.

But I was really interested in the Pavestone High Desert Sand. Pavestone's website doesn't have any information but the package said it was safe for sandboxes and had several other uses.

This site is the best. Anyone else hear or use those brands?
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 08:02 PM
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Swimming pool filter sand is the best to use in aquariums. That or 3M's colorquartz sand used in flooring and pool bottoms.

Both sands are coarser and won't cloud the water like the finer play sands available at hardware stores.


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-06-2007, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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I actually went looking for a sand at a local hardware store that I used years ago. It was white, very fine but didn't change the water parameters. I went to the same store and they switched brands .

I've handled cloudy water before, so I'm not worried about that, only what is healthy for the future fish and plants.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2007, 01:46 AM
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You put white sand in the tank and you will most likely regret it very soon. It will show every piece of fish crap and assorted debris like you can't believe.

Silicate based sand is fine. It doesn't cloud the water. Nor does it contribute to diatom algae.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2007, 02:06 AM
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^Ugh, I totally agree with Rex. I loved my white sand for all of three days. And then it never looked the same. I DID get diatoms, so whether or not this was do to silicates is debatable, but at the same time, you just can't get all the fish poop off of it. From that day on, it's been dark substrate all the way.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2007, 03:22 AM
 
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hmmm.. i wish i was more precise with what i said.. i admit pool filter sand doesn't cloud water on its own, but if disturbed it will. i guess that's acceptable since aquasoil and eco and flourite and everything else will too. but my white play sand and black tahitian moon sand does not cloud and i guess i've grown to expect that from substrates

it's true, poo does stand out very bad on white sand.. and my turtles sure have a lot of poo, but just gives me another reason to play with the tank and the turtles

and thanks for the correction on diatoms. it was just something i read on another forum, but if rex says it won't then that's good enough for me
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-07-2007, 12:20 PM
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I have Eco-Complete, Flourite, Flourite/sand, Onyx Sand and sand based tanks. And none of them cloud the water when disturbed.

At least not from the substrate. I do get mulm in the water which one would expect.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 12:49 PM
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DO NOT GET SAND! unless you want to spend every day cleaning it!

Trust me i have made the mistake and am regreting it.... sure it looks nice for about a month then it will start going dark and no matter what u do it is very very hard to keep clean.

thats why i a week or 2 im getting flourite red and breaking the tank down and replacing the sand/plant substrate layers - got to catch all the brisslenose fry first!
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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I got a sample of the sand and tried the vinegar test. It did bubble so I assume it is not safe? I heard if it foams then it is not safe, but I assume foaming and bubbling is the same? Small bubbles came up from the sand once the vinegar hit.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 07:33 PM
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Were they trapped air bubbles?

And vinegar is really not a strong enough acid to actually test minerals.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 07:59 PM
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pool filter sand is like 8 bucks for 50lbs in Jax FL and Soil Master is 16.20 for 50lbs at Lescos. Check thier website it has a store locater and has a online inventory for each store.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, they were trapped air bubbles coming from underneath. There was definately something going on with the sand and vinegar though.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-08-2007, 09:24 PM
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I've got "play sand" - not sure which brand in a low maintenance tank in my classroom. I was on a budget, so i rinsed it well and gave it a try. I like it. It looks nice, and although debris does collect on top, it's easy to vacuum right off the top without disturbing the sand too much. I'm a little worried about anaerobic conditions starting in places where there aren't rooted plants, so might get some malaysian trumpet snails. i've heard they are a good solution to that problem.

Also - the sand seems to be totally inert - no changes to tank parameters.

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