The Playsand worked great! It was about $3.50 per 50 lbs bag from HomeDepot ( Someone should tell Petsmart and other LFS so they will lower their prices on Substrate
). It wasn't too difficult to use either.
1. Use a clean bucket that hasn't seen any soap or detergents. (NO MOP BUCKETS)
( I used a 5 gallon minnow bucket)
2. Put about 1/3rd of the bag into the bucket
3. Tilt bucket to about a 45 degree angle
4. With a garden hose , point water stream at the top-side of the inside of the bucket towards the back.
5. Water will stir up the sand and pick up most of the Silt and flow over the edge.
6. Water will be cloudy and there will be some waste.
7. When water starts to run clear stick the end of the hose into the body of sand and stir briefly.
8. Place hose flow back into top inside rear position and wait until water flows clear.
9. Use second hand to "Scrape" sand foam off of the top of the water.
10. Drain bucket by leveling it on ground on it's side.
11. Scrape out of bucket gently into empty aquarium to desired level and fill aquarium with water (use a plate so you don't disturb the sand).
The water will be a little muddy and cloudy at first but let it settle and it will look great. One should also wait until sand settles before turning on filter. (Could damage Filter)
The sand also makes planting aquatic plants very easy...
Even with the waste from cleaning the sand I still ended up with a bag and a half leftover from the 3 that I bought... $11 bucks for substrate!!!
Very inexpensive, not too difficult to use and looks great.