Sand vs sand vs sand....
I picked up a bag of play sand the other day and got around to the cleaning part today... More to test it than too get any appreciable amount cleaned.
What a mess! There is so much fine fine sand in there than I thought there might be. I wouldn't one surprised to get slightly more than half when I am done.
I was planning on mixing play sand with some aquarium sand for colour adjustment, perhaps, but I see why aquarium sand may be a better choice up front even given the cost.
Then there is the pool filter sand... is it much better than play sand? I would think so as it is not supposed to go through the pool equipment.
Sources of sand that I can think of:
Play sand: cheap but messy to clean and finer than is probably good
Sandblasting sand: designed to be gritty so probably rough on fish faces. Loufa anyone?
Pool filter sand: hoping it is cleaner and larger grained
My rock pile: pretty cheap, washed but who knows what else is in it, it came with the 35 year old house... I had to dispose of some old hydro poles... how do you spell PCB anyway?
Aquarium sand: colour choices, clean (relatively), course-ish... Expensive
Off to the local pool supply store to check out their sand. I think one is a client of mine, I'll stop there first. Either that or just wait for the boxing week sale at the LFS. Apparently EVERYTHING in the store is 20 to 50% off ... I wonder if I can get our tank setup and stocked in 5 days...NOT!
Well, the pool store has it, $10 for a 50lb bag... Little overkill but I'm sure sand keeps.
Once I told the lady what I was going to use it for, she mentioned that they went through the same thing many years ago when they had an aquarium. The issue was that the filter sand may be treated and may not be fish safe. Pool safe is not the same as fish safe, obviously. That makes me wonder about the playsand now too. As much as I've seen lots of posts about it, it doesn't necessarily mean that everyone's source has the same quality control or treatment schedule.
She did think she could get the info on it easily as it just comes from the distributor labelled "filter sand".
I have another client that may be able to get me the answer I need... which may not be the one that I want.
I would not use the rock pile, and a lot of the members here use pool filter sand and play sand. Regardless of your choice rinsing the sand will improve your chances of reduced cloudiness when filling your tank the first time. Play sand will take more rinsing than pool or aquarium sand. Also different brands of sand may be different colors, depending on where the sand came from.
AND Welcome to the forum
Point out that some sands made for "Aquariums" are dyed. Some people report with some brands that after a while that dye leaches from the sand. So make sure you research the "aquarium sand" brand you buy before purchase if you go that route.
Well, I cleaned the playsand a bit more figuring "how bad can it possibly be?".
I found organic pieces in it. That's not good.
Cheap is cheap.
I have pool filter sand in one tank and play sand in another. The pool filter sand required almost zero cleaning, while the play sand took me probably hours to remove all the fines. IMO, the extra time is worth it. The pool filter sand is just glaringly white while the play sand has a better color to it.
I have had pool filter sand. Found it to be too "white". I felt like I needed sunglasses to look at my tank. Now it took almost no effort to clean it. I have also had Black Diamond blasting sand. I was told it was fine for fish even bottom dwellers. I LOVED the color of it but it was kinda course. It aslo took A LOT of rinsing!!! I now have play sand in both of my tanks. It does take more cleaning then pool filter sand but its much better sand in my opinion. Looks more natural.
I used play sand once....Never again. Its loaded with crap. The water was cloudy even after I rinsed it multiple times.
Drove down to the pool supply store and picked up a bag filter sand and problem solved. Yes, its white but it will darken in a few months.
I spent about an hour rinding it, it was a mess so i did it outside and it was worth it. So awesome once its cleaned
When I set up the 80 gallon, I separated my 50 pound back into two 30 pound tubs. Then I would lead in one hose to one tub while pouring silt filled water out of the other. I got the overall time down to 30 mins, and once finished has no silt/dust storm upon filling the tank with water.
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