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Somebody used 3M Colorquartz?

2380 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  crazy loaches
Available in many color (black, brown, grey, blue etc)

2 Grades:
T grade: bigger and sharper

S grade: smaller and smoother

I want to used them as inert sand to mix with other rich substrate.

As a designer, I liked the control of color and sized...

What do you think?
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If you want S-Grade, you are better off getting Tahitian Moon Sand.

so I recommend the T-Grade:


-darker black than eco-complete and sms but still lighter than Tahitian moon sand.

-aesthetically pleasant shape, color and very uniform ~1mm grain size.

-you won't get grains under your finger nails like you do with fine sand.

-heavy enough to hold shallow root plants like HC, and holds a slope very well.


-will definitely irritate the nose of small fish who make a living in your substrate, such as loaches, botia, corys, but such substrate surface fish will manage to avoid nosing around your substrate too much and will adapt just fine especially if your tank bottom is heavily planted. if your tank is too bare bottomed and these fish feel threatened by others, then they may try to burrow too often during a panic, and really hurt their snouts.

-However I definitely would NOT use this stuff if you plan on keeping any Eels.

-invertebrates that pick through and around your gravel for food will be fine.

-sucker mouth fish such as Plecos and Ottos will be fine, as will all digging Cichlids.

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so I recommend the T-Grade:
Where would one obtain this sand?


use the "where to buy" link near the top right.

It's sold primarily to surface the concrete used in pools and patios,
so you need to contact 3m support for a dealer in your area,
then pray he's got the color and grade you want in stock.
I'm in NYC and had to drive 50 miles to NJ to find any.
I doubt you'll find many resellers willing to ship this.

Mostly S-Grade is kept by reseller.
Because I like my Corys.. I will prefer to go with S-Grade ( smaller1-2 mm and smoother).
I want to mix this with Turface and small river pebble.

Some say that roots was going good in 100% S-Grade substrat?
I wonder about anaerobic spot?

Tahitian Moon Sand is the same size or bigger than S-Grade?
Turface is much larger than both the T & S grade. I used black T-grade color quartz on top of my Turface and the Turface made it's way on top mostly. It's not very attractive looking, so I would not recommend doing this.
you can do a search on the site, several people have used Color Quartz (I believe the T size) with good results
Several folks in GWAPA keep cories with T grade with zero issues.

If you want to mix in a slightly larger stone, ask the dealer also for 3M Accent Stone, also jet black like the sand, it is essentially the next size up - slighlty larger than SMS or Turface pebbles, much much smaller than regular gravel.
I was dead set on the S grade black, but the closest distributor was a tad pricey (still way cheaper than TMS though) and also a few hours drive and not open on the weekends. So I gave up and went the PFS route. Still wondering what the tank would look like in black...
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