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After lurking for a while I finally decided to head out to my local Tractor Supply store and buy some black blasting sand. I was a bit confused as the sand had a label that said "product must stay dry." Is this the same as what you guys are using?

Here's a photo I took for reference. http://imgur.com/d7NrGT6

Sorry for the ignorance.
 

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Yeah definitely rinse it good.

I did probably 15-20 pounds at a time. Poured it in a 5 gal bucket, filled it up w/a hose pipe and stirred the crap out of it. I used the hose nozzle in my hand to stir as it was filling up. Pour the water out, and repeat. Did this 2-3 times for each batch. The water will get subsequently clearer with each rinse.

There may be a better way, lol. I used 125 lbs in a 75. It was pretty clean when I filled the tank. Cloudy of course, but it quickly cleared up.
 

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Also going to piggyback this thread (sorry)
I notice photos of black diamond say "Low free silica".. I've heard contradicting arguments that silica is the cause of diatoms (not sure which side I beleive). So does this mean black diamond is more prone to cause diatoms than 'normal aquarium sand' if silica is the 'main food source' for diatoms?
 

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Also going to piggyback this thread (sorry)
I notice photos of black diamond say "Low free silica".. I've heard contradicting arguments that silica is the cause of diatoms (not sure which side I beleive). So does this mean black diamond is more prone to cause diatoms than 'normal aquarium sand' if silica is the 'main food source' for diatoms?
Low free silica means that the material is low in silica dust. Inhaling silica particles for prolonged periods can cause silicosis.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001191/

http://www.ensioresources.com/Learning_Center/silica_free.html

Not sure what causes diatoms but it usually goes away when your setup is established and your plants are growing well. If not, otos and amanos will eat it and keep it under control.
 

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Low free silica means that the material is low in silica dust. Inhaling silica particles for prolonged periods can cause silicosis.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001191/

http://www.ensioresources.com/Learning_Center/silica_free.html

Not sure what causes diatoms but it usually goes away when your setup is established and your plants are growing well. If not, otos and amanos will eat it and keep it under control.
This would be used in a species only tank, the fish going in isn't communal friendly and will eat shrimp/snail and peck at ottos to death. SO I'm trying to find the most non diatom prone substrate, if the argument that substrate does feed diatoms is valid.
 

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This would be used in a species only tank, the fish going in isn't communal friendly and will eat shrimp/snail and peck at ottos to death. SO I'm trying to find the most non diatom prone substrate, if the argument that substrate does feed diatoms is valid.
What species of fish? To be honest, I've never had a problem with diatoms in an established tank even without otos or shrimp. I think diatoms are caused by free silicates in the water but that's up for debate. Black diamond blasting sand is pretty much recycled coal slag so you shouldn't be having issues with silica.
 

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What species of fish? To be honest, I've never had a problem with diatoms in an established tank even without otos or shrimp. I think diatoms are caused by free silicates in the water but that's up for debate. Black diamond blasting sand is pretty much recycled coal slag so you shouldn't be having issues with silica.
Dwarf puffers, they'll eat mts, shirmp, and i've read peck at fins of slow fish (ottos seem likea slow.. not-gonna-move-a-lot type fish). And thank you for explaining that ^^
 

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This is the same black diamond, also known as black beauty blasting sand? If so, it is crushed coal coke. I didn't think it would be safe to put in a tank but if it is, I found my substrate. My dad hauls the stuff bulk all the time, lol.
 

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Dwarf puffers, they'll eat mts, shirmp, and i've read peck at fins of slow fish (ottos seem likea slow.. not-gonna-move-a-lot type fish). And thank you for explaining that ^^
Depends on the personality of the puffer but yeah, they're a curious bunch and love to investigate things before taking a bite out of them.
 

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This is the same black diamond, also known as black beauty blasting sand? If so, it is crushed coal coke. I didn't think it would be safe to put in a tank but if it is, I found my substrate. My dad hauls the stuff bulk all the time, lol.
Lucky you! Paying shipping is the biggest pain for this sorta stuff.

I've seen several forums users (here and elsewhere) use it in their tanks including ones with sensitive belly bottom dwellers like cories and say that the fish were fine. People who say its too abrasive do not give first hand accounts to it wrecking their fish, so I assume they're just speculating. All first hand accounts I've read are for the "its ok" side of that argument. But in the end its all here-say and up to you to decide for yourself.
 

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For what it's worth,,I been using the black diamond for a couple year's now with cory's,loaches,pleco's.
I use the 20/40 grit which is a bit larger grain than the 30/60 grit.
Both seem to work well but the 30/60 grit being smaller grain can make keeping stem plant's rooted a bit tougher, at least for me.
I did not rinse mine at all, but slowly filled the tank and let water hit shallow bowl when first filling the tank.
 

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I use black diamond and have been for the past year. It's in three of my tanks. I used a 2" cap of it on top of the dirt. I love this substrate. Cories, loaches, every bottom dweller I have has never had a problem with it either. And the black substrate looks superb with the greens and reds of different plants.
 
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