Best white sand source? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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Best white sand source?

Just purchased waterbox clear pro 143 gallon. Now shopping for best affordable white sand. Pool sand? Grade? Source? Thanks,
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 02:01 AM
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Best IMHO sakrete medium commercial sand. About $12 per 100lbs at home depot. Assuming u have one near you. Literally a minute rinsing with hose and bucket and the dust is gone if ya care enough to do that.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 10:58 AM
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I am not sure we have done a good close comparison of sand on the forum before. My current favorite is HTH Pool Filter Sand. You can buy it at TrueValue hardware stores. 15 dollars for 50 lbs. The grain size is a little larger then other sands I have seen but I also haven't compared it closely to sakrete medium comercial.


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 12:03 PM
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I suppose that I never thought about different types of pool filter sand, but have used it with African Cichlids and currently using it in my 40 breeder with Apistogramma in it. Has always worked well for me in the past and contineues to do so now. What I have done is just went to either a pool supply or other type of hardware store and grab whatever PFS they have. In the past I have added some landscaping pebbles to add a little more character around the hardscape.



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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 02:40 PM
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The Sakrete stuff is I think equivalent in size to the #20 PFS if I remember correctly. Basically it says you can use it for pool filters as well. The grains are all very very close to the same size, they seem to do a good job of straining down to the same size and its very clean.

Bunch of pictures of it in my journal with I believe some close ups. I do have some algae and stuff growing on it so its darker now then when I first started.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 03:25 PM
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I never tried the Sakrete Commercial sand. Looks good in your setups @Quint. I've used the Lighthouse brand of Pool Filter Sand in several setups, including my current one. Available at Leslie's Pool Supply.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 03:56 PM
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There is a great sand substrate comparison https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/2...play-sand.html though it deals mostly with black substrate however the various mfg.'s websites should also show some samples.

Consider trying the architectural type products as they come in various sizes and colors.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 04:10 PM
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Just fyi, commercial sands may vary in appearance especially over time. Same product, same sku, may come from a different source lot and be more white, grey, brown etc. PFS seem more consistent but still not guaranteed to always look the same. What others have used is a great starting point but I'd still want to put eyes on it before going all in on one. Easy enough in person because there's always a busted bag at the hardware store. But I'd hate to see someone go big on an online order and receive a darker product than what they were expecting (if white is the goal)
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 04:16 PM
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How do the ADA sand types compare to the construction store or pool filter sands?
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 08:48 PM
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It gets down to personal choice on what looks right but I find I like a mixed variety of things as that is what I find in nature when I look at the bottom of most places in freshwater. I rarely see a single bottom but most often it will be different sizes, types and colors as the current shifts and changes.
So how to get a mix of colors and types? Wait long enough and you can start out with a single item like the whitest white pool filter sand and then you may find you put a pot of dirt in one corner and another here and there and after a time they get a bit spilled here and there, so that you get the mixed look which I call natural. It doesn't really take work, just time and ignoring the question!
When I start with a sand and find it too bright, I now just cut in a bit of some darker color to let it tone things down. No harm in having the "too bright" pool sand mixed with something common like "aquarium gravel, play sand or dirt and if they are in the same tank and you do any amount of switching and changing, they WILL all be mixed.
So don't sweat it, just use what feels right and then add more to adapt it as you feel right.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2020, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by finsfeathersandtails View Post
How do the ADA sand types compare to the construction store or pool filter sands?
$$$$$ - ADA
$$ - Pool Filter Sand

One thing to realize when you use light colored sand is that fish poop is dark, so you'll see anything that is deposited there. You will need to lightly vacuum the surface to get rid of it. The light sand will also turn darker from bacteria etc. Because of this you'll be loosing some sand from the vacuuming and you might want to even remove some sand and replace.

Using Pool Filter Sand at $12 per 50lb bag this is very doable, with ADA or other expensive sand not so much. That's a benefit of dark sand, you just won't see much. If you go light don't go white, get something off white. Pure white or close to it, you'll really notice it when it changes color.


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