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I have been looking into budget substrate options as I cannot really bring myself to spend £30.00 on substrate.

I know that play sand is a safe option, however, i have seen "grano dust" available on the website of a local supply store ('Massams Supplies Ltd' if you wanted to take a look) but I don't know if this is safe for an aquarium.

I think it is crushed granite (which is supposedly safe for aquariums) however I just wanted to see if anyone has had any experience with it.

I would just go with play sand however i really like the more grey-ish look of the grano dust. If anybody has any other suggestions to another budget friendly grey-ish substrate though, I would be very grateful.

thanks in advance for any advice/help.
 

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Grano dust can be either crushed limestone or granite. If it's limestone, it's not going to be useful in the average planted tank. Regardless of the variety, it's really messy and won't be want you want in your tank.

Have you considered pool filter sand? It's really cheap. Probably 5-8 BPS in most areas of the UK. It tends to be a lot nicer than play sand unless you can get your hands on the kind of play sand that's really just all purpose sand with varying degrees of small gravel included. If you check out hardware stores in your area, look for the types of sand they have in stock. Ask if you can see samples to get a look at what the sands look like - that is if you can't google them to get a better idea.

Another option is standard black aquarium sand from nearly any aquatics shop. It's usually cheap and readily available.
 
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