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You guys had me afraid of sand - easy!
I was a little nervous going with sand in my 180 gallon aquarium I am setting up. I heard horror stories about how long it takes to rinse.
I said screw it and bought 180 lbs from the Petco web site. I got it for $14 a bag and it only cost $5.99 to ship all 180 lbs :omg:
This stuff is awesome - heavy enough not to float and it only took about 5 minutes to clean a 20 pound bag. water turns crystal clear in minutes.
Dark black color and almost no loss of weight from rinsing. So worth the price.
Petco sand is actually a very fine gravel if you bought the store brand.
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The petco stuff is a little sharper than playsand, it's more like pool filter or blasting sand.
It does have the advantage of being available in black, and it's easier to clean as it's intended for aquarium use.
It has the disadvantage of costing $14 a bag (the 20 pounder I'm guessing) as opposed to less than $5 per 50 pound bag for playsand.
I'll also wager that it'll have a lot less free silicates associated with it as well.
I thought $14 a bag was a good price to get the sand in black. Considering what I paid for the whole set-up, the $126 for 180 lbs was a drop in the bucket.
My last bag of black was a bit dusty but overall not bad.
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I used black blasting sand in my shrimp tank and that ran $8.99 per 50lb bag at TSC. It only took a few minutes to wash the entire bag. It doesn't compact like the play sand in my 75g which is nice.
$126 for a 6 foot tank's worth of black sand with minimal cleanup doesn't sound too bad to me at all.
I almost bought that stuff for my 65, but I thought it was too coarse for the cories I wanted to keep so I went for the playsand and spent close to 6 hours washing the 2 bags I bought.
In hindsight spending the $42 for 3 bags of the black with minimal washing effort would probably been worth it :-D
I would say no, just keep an eye on them. (:
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