Tahitian Moon Sand = Black Silica Sand? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Tahitian Moon Sand = Black Silica Sand?

Ok so whats the truth behind Tahitian Moon Sand?

I *think* its just black silica sand similar to pool filter sand which is beige/white silica sand. Tahitian Moon Sand markets that their product as "instant aquarium" as the sand comes with dechlorinator packets and is soaked in something that smells totally like sulphur -- i usually wash this crap out of the sand before I use it, besides it makes your house smell like an outhouse.

So I have found black silica sand occasionally on Amazon but I am not sure what the grain size is.

Bottom line is - I am tired of paying through the nose for Tahitian Moon Sand. If there is a source for black silica sand similar to this I would rather just buy that. Anyone have any suggestions?
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 07:17 PM
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You can use black blast, or black beauty blasting media for sand. 50lbs bag runs around 7-10 bucks depending on where you get it. I've been using it in all my tanks so far, cory/loach/shrimp/snail safe. The cories sift it through their gills no problems.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Is black beauty silica sand or coal? I used to work in blasting media and I could have swore black beauty was coal?
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 08:04 PM
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Taken from the black beauty site...low free silica coal slag blasting abrasives
Both of the ones I posted are coal slag.
Is there a special reason you need silica sand?

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by crcarlsontech View Post
Is black beauty silica sand or coal? I used to work in blasting media and I could have swore black beauty was coal?
Yea, its coal slag. Black beauty, black diamond. Many places aren't going to sell it, or silicates, because of law suits etc regarding respiratory problems.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, its coal slag. Black beauty, black diamond. Many places aren't going to sell it, or silicates, because of law suits etc regarding respiratory problems.
I live in florida, Florida Sand and Silica readily sells Black Beauty. Gives you black lung if you don't wear a proper respirator.

Ive just always thought that coal wouldnt be good for aquarium use? Seems like it would break down over time where as silica sand would not?

If you use black beauty in your tanks with no problems I will be headed over to Florida Sand and Silica tomorrow!
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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Just a thought about my original post and the fluid that Tahitian moon sand is shipped in...

I wonder if they do this so that there is no coal dust for the end user / purchaser? Would also explain the fine black particulates in tahitian moon sand that most people say you should rinse thoroughly...

I think I am onto something here lol.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 08:15 PM
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A lot of people use these in their tanks not just me. Coal slag is inert, and kind of glass like, shouldn't put anything in your tank.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 08:18 PM
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Any sand, or blasting sand, can kill you. They may ship it in liquid to cut down on the dust I dunno. Thing is you have to be exposed to the particles floating around in the air breathing a decent amount in to get silicosis usually. Breathing a bit while setting up a fish tank isn't going to hurt.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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This thread just made Sunday complete. Thanks for your input Sake!

Edit : Sorry CarribSea. Money doesn't flow like it used to.
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 08:19 PM
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Glad to be of assistance

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 11:11 PM
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I realize my previous comment may have come off as a negative view of the slag, sorry if so. I use Black Diamond with no problems. Everything Sake said is correct, its inert and very much like sand/glass. I would suggest 20/40 grain size or higher, as the fine is almost like dust. Some don't bother but I rinse mine in a pillow case to get the fine bits and slight oil film out. It is good to go, just hard to find where I live, hence my previous comment.

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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 11:43 PM
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I am also using black diamond, I think it was the 40-60 variety. I like it so far. I put it in the tank about three weeks ago and didn't rinse it... i have a very slight film on the water surface after not doing a water change for a week, but it doesn't really seem like a problem. I trusted in it as a substrate on the basis of widespread positive comments on the internet, so hopefully they are accurate
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-08-2013, 11:52 PM
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I always rinse my substrate, the black blast sand I used had alot of dust in it. A little bit of time now, can save tons of time later. Besides for me it was easy just dumped it in a 5 gallon bucket and let the hose run in the bottom stirring it up, went inside and sat for a half hour, done lol.

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-09-2013, 01:45 AM
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Just going to say without getting into it cause i know there's folks on here that swear on their lives on the stuff, i have never trusted that coal slag stuff, most LFS don't trust the coal slag stuff, and there is a lot of people apart from myself that have seen the oily sheen it leaves ontop of a tank surface even after a sh*t ton of washing, and it stains buckets, so i'm not sure if i would agree it's completely inert. Now it's becoming illegal in states for health reasons.

It's also super sharp for fish, so if you keep fish with it that like to sift sand you run the risk of your fish getting microcuts, and becoming susceptible to infection. I used it for a 65g planted geophagus tank, and nothing but problems, snails never wanted to live. Removed it, and never had a issue again. Just saying.... :-)

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