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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I went and grabbed a 50lb bag of Black Diamond Blasting Media 20/40 from Tractor Supply today along with a brand new Tractor Supply bucket and lid. Came home, dumped it all in the clean bucket, added water and started stirring and sifting. First thing I noticed is that there were some sharp pieces and a lot of little tubular pieces. Anyone else have pieces like this in theirs?

Secondly, after a good 35-45 minutes of sifting, stirring and rinsing there was still an oily sheen on the water, oily sheen bubbles coming up from the bottom and the bucket's sides were coated in a dark grease. Is this normal of this stuff?

Working on getting pictures up right now.

Bump:











Here's the real kicker....I found this within the first five minutes of sifting, it was not flexible and it did not bend or break.




Is all this what everyone else has experienced as well?


Can/should I use this?
 

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The oily sheen, yes...the tubes and larger pieces, no. I wonder if you got a bad container. Mine were in 50# bags from TSC, not containers with lids.
 

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haha, sorry I purchased a Tractor Supply bucket with lid to use for this purpose :tongue: It came in a bag.
Ahhh...gotcha. I have 3 cats, so buckets are never anything requiring purchase, ha! :hihi:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ahhh...gotcha. I have 3 cats, so buckets are never anything requiring purchase, ha! :hihi:
haha I considered using a cat litter container, but apparently it got washed out with soap, so that was a no go.

So what's the deal here? Should I toss this stuff and gamble on another bag or make the jump to Petco Black Aquarium Sand?
 

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Hmm, I will have to follow this. I am sure some one will chime in on the matter sooner or later so don't toss it yet. I purchased 2 bags myself however I have not opened them so I can't comment on anything. I believe the next tank or two I setup will feature the Black Diamond.
 

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i bought six bags for my 33long and my 75g and have not seen anything like this, yes oily residue i did have and it cleared up after two rinses i would take it back and show them the pieces that you are showing, for that would even damage a sand blasting cabinet, i have one so i know what it would do to it. and i use the stuff in my cabinet before i tried it in the fish tank.
 

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I just bought 4 bags last week none of my bags had weird stuff in it like you showed some stuff that floated up as I cleaned it but nothing like that
Take it back I am sure they will replace it for you but honestly I wouldn't be to concerned give it a sift threw remove what you don't like and your off to the races I would maybe contact the company maybe they will send you a credit for another bag
 

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I would just use it.
+1

A little oily film is normal and it doesnt really transfer to the tank as long as you rinse it well.

For me it takes 4-5 rinsings, and it's easier if you dont try to do too much at one time. In a 5 gal bucket I fill about 1/4 the way up with sand. Add water til the bucket is 75% full or so, and stir the crap out of it. Pour off the excess water and repeat 4-5 times until the water becomes mostly clear.

Then dont worry about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
For the record, I went and exchanged the bag for another one today, MUCH better! All fifty pounds washed and cleaned, sitting in a Petco bucket waiting to be used!

As a related note, obviously I couldn't remove all the water and dry it before putting it in the bucket. Some of it is going to get used very soon for my ten gallon, the rest is in the foreseeable future for the twenty gallon. Is it okay for this stuff to sit in the bucket with water until then?
 

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Think of it as extruded glass, and the weird shaped parts make more sense. I see some similar things in mine if I look closely, though infrequently. My GUESS is their manufacturing process may be a bit inconsistent, after all it's aimed at sand blasting not esthetics. I had no issue with oil, in fact I suspect what people see is extremely fine dust that floats. Had a fair amount of that, I just washed for a few hours. I find a continuously running hose best -- just poke it around in the sand, let it overflow and the floating stuff goes away faster.

I've had my first black sand tank going now for 9 months, I don't regret it at all. It is FAR easier to plant and replant in than gravel, and the plants seem to love it.
 

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Think of it as extruded glass, and the weird shaped parts make more sense. I see some similar things in mine if I look closely, though infrequently. My GUESS is their manufacturing process may be a bit inconsistent, after all it's aimed at sand blasting not esthetics. I had no issue with oil, in fact I suspect what people see is extremely fine dust that floats. Had a fair amount of that, I just washed for a few hours. I find a continuously running hose best -- just poke it around in the sand, let it overflow and the floating stuff goes away faster.

I've had my first black sand tank going now for 9 months, I don't regret it at all. It is FAR easier to plant and replant in than gravel, and the plants seem to love it.
+1 heres a photo of the 33long i am working on at the moment
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