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Discussion Starter #1
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?
 

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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. . .
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-aquarium/sand-62166/
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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?
 

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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.
 

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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
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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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You can place some egg crate (light diffusers) in the bottom of your tank before adding the sand which will support the rocks a little better incase one decides to slip from a distance. It will also help to distribute the weight evenly throughout the tank. You could always use the styrofoam method and "make rocks"
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Seems like a pain to make styrofoam rocks plus I was under that polystyrene causes cancer.. My tank would be like a tumor waiting to happen
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lol, you could do a chernoble themed tank

Speaking of the egg crate, do you know a cheaper place to get egg crate than homedepot?

Anyway
Ive never heard anything bad about people using styrofoam in their tanks, I beleive styrofoam in inert about 14 days after production. Its just the concrete we cover it with to make the rocks takes a bunch of washing before it wont mess with the PH in the tank. That might be where people have run into problems in the past, but truthfully, styrofoam rocks (with real rocks covering most of them) has been something I had been thinking about for my next tank. and don't think its very dangerous at all if done correctly..

The other thought I had was in regaurds to the black diamond. It is crushed iron and coal slag, which is fine for fish tanks, it might even be beneficial to plants. The onth thing you have to keep in mind is that this stuff is exrenely sharp and abrasive since it is intended to be used a blasting media. These rough pieces can be very damaging to bottom feeding fish like Corydoras. Ive heard reports of cats losing their barbels after being in this stuff for awhile, they can still eat and what not, they just don't have their barbels.

Just my two cents.
 

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there are painted ultra-fine gravels that are black, i have some, the only problem is that they're light and like to float. Otherwise, it just looks like course sand.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Interesting, so my issue with the styrofoam rocks is I tend to not do things right...lol. I was actually planning to get some slate and black lava rocks today to make some decor glueing them together onto a stable bottom... I have no idea where to get the egg crate stuff but I am gonna lookinto it.... I am however having trouble finding the black diamond stuff
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Eggcrate is sold at home depot in or around the lighting area,about a two foot by four foot size for approx $12.00 here.It is made of plastic,and is easily cuttable with wire cutters .It is used in the bigger flourecent light like the ones in schools or office buildings.
If you ask someone in the lighting dept. of any of the home improvment stores I'm sure they would help you.
 
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