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Which Black Diamond?

3814 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Monster Fish
I'm still trying to determine the substrate for a new 60 gallon low light tank. I've reading as much as possible and I'm considering the black diamond sand from Tractor Supply. However, they offer two variations:

Black Diamond Medium Blasting Abrasives - Black Diamond Medium Blasting Abrasives - For Life Out Here
Black Diamond Fine Blasting Abrasives - Black Diamond Fine Blasting Abrasives - For Life Out Here

Which one are people using? I'm assuming the medium size to help with compacting but wanted to make sure. Thanks!
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I would love to get my hands on some coarse just to see if I like it. But I have never seen a store stock it.
Yeah, I'm using a different brand (black magic) that is between black diamond's medium and fine, and I'm pretty sure the compaction is crushing the roots on my vals. Wanted to try compact swords but worried about rotting roots...

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Agree with others most are using the medium. It's always readily available and usually in stock for pick up.

I and many others have been very happy with it. Low cost, looks great, and plants do very well.
I'm about to pull the trigger on some BDBS to redo my 90 and had the same question, Thanks for asking it! Seems like the medium is the most popular so far.

Black Diamond makes:
40/80 extra fine
30/60 fine
20/40 medium
12/40 coarse
so it seems like there is a bit of overlap in particle size between the products if I'm reading this correctly. Smaller # is larger particle? I'm guessing the 60 to 80 size is too likely to compact over time and the 12 is maybe more like full size gravel?

Here's a couple videos showing grain sizes: and
Yes, smaller numbers means larger particles.
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