Black Beauty as sole substrate - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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Black Beauty as sole substrate

Well I was @ my local LFS today looking for some Flourite Black Sand and they didnt' have any, but pointed me to some "Black Beauty" I don't really know much about it, but ~$6 for 15lbs I figured what the hell.

Right now it's in my brand new 10g that I just filled today, I have no problems with how it looks, but I'm just wondering if anyone else here has had experience with it.

I did do a search here and see that a few people have used it, but those threads were over a year old, and I'd like some newer-input


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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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32 views and no replies?


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 05:09 PM
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I've never heard of it. Anything on the label tell you what the contents are?

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
I found a supplier of black beauty sand. He is trying to get rid of
the stuff and will sell it to me for $5 /100lb bag. This seemed too good
too be true, so I did some investigating to see if it will be safe.

Black beauty sand is actually Metallic Slag from the manufacturing
of copper. It is described as 32-45% SiO2; 25-33% Cao + Mg0; 24-35% Fe0.
http://www.thekrib.com/TankHardware/sand.html

Quote:
Gee, I can't believe they sell this stuff in a *pet shop*. I have a bag at home
that I use for sandblasting (which is what it's normally used for). Since
there have been a few posts about it lately, I decided to take a close look at
the stuff. First, the particles are *really* small (finer than regular masonry
or play sand). Second, I don't think I'd like the looks of it in an aquarium.
Third, since it's used for sandblasting, the particles are *sharp*. Fourth,
since I knew it was slag, I figured it was high in iron, and, sure enough, it
is. So I don't consider it inert.

>I used a black sand called something like Marvel black beauty.
>It was very high in Fe and was highly magnetic. It was also very
>sharp. A little piece stuck to a magnetic scraper would scratch
>the glass. It also found its way into small crevices in plants
>and damaged them.
>
>I finally quit using it after an autopsy showed it had shredded
>the inside of a fish. Other than the sharpness and magnetism,
>it was great.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 07:32 PM
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Yikes that's pretty scary! I don't think the high iron content is an issue (that's what Laterite and Fluorite are high in as well) but those reports re: the sharpness definitely would scare me away.





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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 08:15 PM
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It's not that sharp, I used it as a substrate, beautiful at first, but gets dirty quickly, much like a black car needs to be cleaned more often.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2008, 08:18 PM
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yeah, debris shows up too well on it's surface.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 01:16 AM
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well i was searching it up and you can buy it fine and extra fine too. I am going to buy some of it some time this week so we'll see how it goes. it may sound scary but the smaller it is the less sharp it is.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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yea i mean i was mixing it around in a bucket with my bare hand, and it felt like regular sand to me...

I mean the only reason i really got it was that it was pretty damn cheap. Do you guys think i should try and get some Flourite Black Sand instead?

I mean this tank will be planted, but it will be primarily for cherry shrimp, an otto or 2 and not much else...


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-16-2008, 11:24 PM
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did you buy fine or ex fine?

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 02:25 AM
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Black Beauty is coal slag not copper slag.

You can view an msds at this link.
http://www.reedmin.com/uploads/files...4b7e814027.pdf
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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so should i switch it out for flourite black sand or what? this will be a primary shrimp tank & won't focus as much on plants


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-17-2008, 04:01 PM
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did you get fine or extra fine? how big are the granules (mm)?

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-19-2008, 11:46 PM
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Personally I wouldn't use it.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-19-2008, 11:54 PM
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The relatively high level of Aluminum is a bit of a concern, isn't it?

If it weren't for that, while I doubt I'd use it myself, it doesn't seem so bad... mostly sand with a good portion of Iron.

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