Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   black sand... is there any way to make play sand black? (

mamatoulouse 03-31-2011 07:10 PM

black sand... is there any way to make play sand black?
hello i am wondering if there is anyway to make super economical play sand black ... like the very expensive black sand sold at the aquarium shop...

or is there some where you can just buy black sand that is safe for an aquarium but more economical than the kind from the lfs?

stevenjohn21 03-31-2011 07:58 PM

I use sand blasting sand from a company called Northern Tool supplies , its about $7 for a 50lb back. It comes pre washed so non of that frustrating rinsing the sand out 100 times ! If you have regular color sand you could mix the two to make a gray substrate like i have done in a smaller tank.

Here is the link. . .

mamatoulouse 03-31-2011 08:06 PM

ok so i heard that the black sand blasting sand was iron slag, not sand i am wondering what type of fish your keeping with it and also have you had any issues?

stevenjohn21 03-31-2011 09:25 PM

Their is some debate over this stuff, some love it and some dont trust it. The only reason i know about it is because the breeder i bought my Cockatoo Cichlids from had the black sand in all his tanks (all 86) i joked and said "Wow, the sand alone must have cost a fortune" he then explained the sand blasting sand and that he has used it for 15+ years and has not had any trouble with it.

I do trust this breeder as he has helped me in the past with "tank problems" and the fact that he breeds a lot of species not just cichlids makes me feel safe to use this stuff.

mamatoulouse 03-31-2011 09:29 PM

that makes me feel better mostly cause i am only planning on using it for cichlids.... thank you!!!

stevenjohn21 03-31-2011 09:34 PM

Both my Kribs & Apistos have sand blasting sand in their tank with no ill effects, the Kribs are on their 2nd spawn now in less than a month, so if anything its making them breed quicker LOL

mamatoulouse 03-31-2011 10:07 PM

nice... i am so happy i wont need to shell out so much money for sand.... now i am wondering is any one has any reviews on those ceramic cichlid stones.... i was thinking about getting some.

stevenjohn21 03-31-2011 10:40 PM

Im really not a cheap A$$ i promise ! But the rocks i have in my tank are all found in the park, on the golf course and in the local creek/river. I prefer the tank to be as natural as possible, so even with some of these very convincing pet store decor that look natural i still know that they are fake. I did buy some slate once and broke it into smaller pieces to make caves, they look good and will almost blend in with the black sand.
Good luck, aquascaping can be much fun.

mamatoulouse 04-01-2011 09:37 PM

yeah i guess i am just nervous about too much weight.... i have a nice land scaping place by my house that has a large selection of petrified wood and lots of slate.. and alot of other stones that might be cool..... so how much weight can a fish tank hold.. rock wise?

mamatoulouse 04-01-2011 09:38 PM

oh and i am a cheap a$$ when it comes to most things.... like rocks from the pet store and that type of thing

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