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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased a few bags of "medium" Black Diamond blasting sand from Tractor Supply. They only list "fine" and "medium" (also called 20/40) on the website. It was delivered and I discovered it was a very fine powder, like finely ground pepper. I notice the bags do not mention "fine", "coarse", "medium" etc... All there is to indicate coarseness is a grid of check boxes for grits and nozzle sizes on the bag bottom, and only ONE of the three bags appeared to have a box checked off, the others had no indication at all of the grit size. On the one bag that did have a check mark, the 1/8" nozzle size was checked, which is the smallest listed in the grid. So I am assuming what I got was the finest grit since it allows the smallest nozzle. I took it back, they refunded and said this was in fact medium but they have a more aggressive black diamond in a bucket. But that one appears only slightly more coarse than the stuff I bought, still like a fine soft sand.

I thought black diamond in a medium grit was more like a gravel, like maybe a kosher salt size. That's what I thought anyway from pics people post on here, but of course closeups might make the grain look larger. I'm not interested in a dust or sand-like substrate. Is there a black diamond product that is actually coarser than sand or dust?

It's a real challenge. The price is awesome but have to guess at what you are buying! I'm about to throw in the towel on the Black Diamond and try some much much more expensive Seachem Black Gravel.
 

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The easiest way to tell between the fine and medium is that the fine is the red bag and the medium is the black. You want the black. It's a coarse sand size. I bought some of the fine when I was setting up my last tank because my local TSC was out of medium. It ended up being a big mistake. There was a gray dust in with it and gave me a cloudy tank for quite awhile.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The easiest way to tell between the fine and medium is that the fine is the red bag and the medium is the black. You want the black. It's a coarse sand size. I bought some of the fine when I was setting up my last tank because my local TSC was out of medium. It ended up being a big mistake. There was a gray dust in with it and gave me a cloudy tank for quite awhile.

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As far as a I can tell, when you say red bag, you mean a white bag, with black lettering all over it but a red rectangle on the front and sides. I think! Tractor Supply says they only carry the "red bag" now and that "it's SKU says it's the medium" (I think their SKUs are screwed up).

There is a coarser product that is sold in a bucket now and am assuming that is the "black" product. Why oh why a manufacturer of blasting sand does not clearly label their product so you know what grit you bought I do not know! But regardless, neither of these are what I was thinking. I don't want sand. I intend to have a deep substrate in some areas and do not want anaerobic/hydrogen sulfide thing going on.

The pics of the Black Diamond on here never look like sand, they look like a gravel but I guess that is just the illusion of a close up pic.
 

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If you wanted black sand, then this product would work great. However, since you are looking more for gravel then I think this won't be it.
 

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I've worked with the red bag and it works pretty decent for the most part. Just actually grabbed the 1240 'black' bag for a new setup. I haven't gotten a chance to compare the two yet. I think you'll do fine with either or.
 

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Can you post pictures of what you received? From your description, it sounds more like you received the fine grade by mistake. My medium grit Black Diamond is almost like a "thick sand". And it's truly black, not blackish-gray like the fine grade stuff. If it's feels soft and silty, I'm willing to bet you received the fine grade.
 
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