I found this old thread
on the forum. I was searching for accounts similar to mine with PetSmart's Top Fin Aquarium gravel.
I bought a bag of blue gravel and a bag of red gravel and mixed them to put in my new aquarium. I was told to wash them for "dust". I did indeed wash them, but dust wasn't the problem. The blue dye from the blue gravel washes off and colors the water, no matter how many times I swirl it around. My hands are bruised from the tiny abrasions I get swirling the gravel with my bare hands (now I'm using a spoon to do it!).
Thinking I was done the first time, I spread the gravel onto the floor of my tank, only to find the water becoming a cloudy blue. I left it two days and when I got around to changing the water and gravel, all the water on the bottom was clearly a dyed blue.
I'm not sure about the red gravel. I see no red coloring. Whether that is because it does not wash off, or because the blue dye overwhelms the red, I do not know.
Needless to say, I am rather disappointed, and I find it rather peculiar and frustrating that gravel sold and intended for a fresh water tank would color the water like this. The gravel isn't cheap, but it sure seems cheap. Now, what do I do? Should I boil the gravel? Will this get rid of the excess dye, remove it completely, or what? Or is there another brand out there that won't color the water?
I had hoped I could be looking forward to putting my first fish in the tank by now, but this issue has surely made me blue (pardon the pun).