aquarium sand vs. pool filter sand vs. play sand vs. other sand? Question

  1. frogfan Well Known Member Member

    i posted the question the other day what was best for catfish and my filter gravel, sand, or glass marbles and obviously arrived at the conclusion that sand was really the only option with catfish. SO heres my next issue what type of sand I have hear that both sandbox sand and pool filter sand are safe sand box sand is around $3 for a 50 lb bag pool filter sand around $ 15 for a 50lb bag from what i have seen and aquarium sand is ridiculously expensive . I need to know whats best i am not worried about color really but id prefer a lighter color sand since the tank deco will be white pink purple and light blue but i need something that will be easy to clean and safe for the fish obviously. any one who has experience with the different kinds please share they tank is a 29g tetra tank
  2. Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    Playsand is very fine sand & can get compacted if you have it too deep, pool filter sand has more uniform grains as it's designed to let flow through it.
    I'd go for the pool filter sand over playsand, the extra money is worth it
  3. Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    If you don't like the color of the pool sand (which would be better imo), you can always place a small layer of the coloring you like over top.
  4. Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    Not a good idea as the corys will mix it up
  5. Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    Yeah, I guess that's true. I had some pygmy cories that did that, but I ended up liking the mixed look anyways.
  6. frogfan Well Known Member Member

    I couldnt find any colored sand besides craft sand and reptile "sand" with calcium

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  7. Jomolager Well Known Member Member

  8. aHumanBeing Well Known Member Member

    I recommend CaribSea "super Naturals" fresh water sand. I put 3 (20lb) bags in my 75 Gallon, it is insanely soft and barely clouds the tank when you add it. Moreover it sinks quickly even when my goldies dig in it all day long. I know it's like $20 something a bag but just remember, you're gonna have the substrate in your tank for the life of the fish in most cases. I see that your are putting it in a 29 Gallon. One or two bags will go a long way in a 29 Gallon . For example, the 3 bags I put in my 75 gallon gave me 1-2 inches of coverage depending on the area the sand is in.

    *edited because I read wrong
  9. Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    I have to agree with this. If it is important to the structure of the ecosystem and functionality in your tank, it's worth a few dollars more.

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  10. frogfan Well Known Member Member

    so would they be ok in a bare bottom tank for a couple weeks? because i dont have an extra $40 for sand honestly i cant even afford to upgrade the tank right now but i want to get the tank while its on sale because come august ill lose half my income when my oldest niece starts school
  11. aHumanBeing Well Known Member Member

    Fish will do perfectly fine in a bare bottom tank. Some people actually go for the bare bottom tank look because it's easier to clean and some people like the look. But what kind of catfish are you planning on keeping? Catfish are bottom feeders and will want to hang out at the base where algae and extra goodies are . If you are setting up a new 29 gallon I would imagine that there is barely any algae. So you may want to supplement some algae wafers in the meantime and watch the fish very carefully. You might be able to get by with 1 bag of sand in the 29 gallon.

    btw: Catfish rock
  12. frogfan Well Known Member Member

    there is 1 peppered cory in the 10 g it will be joining 2 male guppies currently in quarantine in the 29 with a mystery snail and i just got some shrimp pellets for the catfish because he dosent really eat the flakes

    I am getting 2 more corys after its set up for a couple weeks then adding a couple guppy fry once they are born and big enough then 2 more corys so there will be about 5 cory and 5 or 6 male guppies
    1 pair every 3-4 weeks till its filled out
  13. Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    I've never had cories in a BB tank before, but I would just rather see them with some sand to scuffle around in. Even if it isn't the right color, maybe stick with the pool sand for now.
  14. frogfan Well Known Member Member

    I think someone said that the pool sand is really sharp and irritates them but i guess i could do pool sand for now amd throw a layer of aquarium sand ontop later or just take it out and add finer aquarium sand ifnit irritates them
    I wonder what my ADF would do with sand probably eat it im guessing but they lose alot of blood worms in the gravel
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  15. Stephani19 Member Member

    Not sure if you have a place in your area that sells sandblasting sand, (I got mine at a place called Battlefield), but it's about $6 for a 50lb bag and it's basically identical as the pool filter sand. Also very easy to clean and doesn't compact like play sand.

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  16. Jomolager Well Known Member Member

    When I first got them I did not know that cories needed sand. They were in a bare bottom tank for several months until Coradee convinced me to get sand for them. They will survive a couple of weeks. Good luck !
  17. Mortisha Member Member

    I used pool filter sand. I got it from the pool supply store for $3.00 because the bag had a hole in it and it had been taped up. Play sand is really dirty and it takes a lot more time to clean it. Pool filter sand settles VERY quickly. I have parrot cichlids who love to do
  18. Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    They'll be fine in a bare bottomed tank for a while until you can get the sand, but do get it as soon as you can
    Keep the bottom very clean as a bacterial film can build up leading to barbel infection
  19. Anita Vidgen Member Member

    I use river sand, I think it's a bit courser than pool sand, but it's great!! My fish love digging around in it ( used to have gravel) and it's easy to clean.

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  20. Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    IMO, taking any kind of sand, driftwood, or plant from a river bed runs the risk of carrying parasites. You also never know who is dumping what up stream.

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