Blasting Sand For Aquarium?

Goldfishfreak

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Someone suggested I use black diamond blasting sand for my new aquarium. Unfortunately I live in Canada and black diamond blasting sand isn't sold here but other brands are that seem to be similar.

But I still decided to do research on blasting sand and get more info as I have never heard of it before.

I've found mixed reviews and confusing instructions.

So I would like to know anyone's opinion on blasting sand: brand, good, bad, grain size, what to watch out for, how to wash, ect.

I am going to be putting loaches in the tank and probably other fish that stir sand up so I want it to be safe.

If you use it I would love to see pictures!

Thanks in advance!
 

yukondog

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I use it in most all of my tanks, I just changed one of 10 gal. to blasting sand. I use med. grit and wash it in a wheelbarrow 5-6 times in small batches, it cleans better and easier that way. I have had nothing but good luck with it, my PH runs a little higher than with pea gravel.
 

Platylover

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I’m currently using it in all my substrated tanks and love it. Very beautiful and easy to use.
I’ve always just emptied around half a bag into a 5g tub and rinsed it a few times(3-5). If I’m going to use more than half a bag I have a bucket dedicated to the sand by whatever tank I’m putting it into and will just unload the washer sand into that one bucket. That way you don’t have a really heavy haul to the tank.
I used the 20/40 grain.
The only thing I think you’d need to watch out for is that some people have found their batches to have an oily feel, if this is the case just make sure to clean it a little more than normal. Although, I’ve never had this problem.
I can post some photos of my tanks with it later.
 
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Goldfishfreak

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yukondog said:
I use it in most all of my tanks, I just changed one of 10 gal. to blasting sand. I use med. grit and wash it in a wheelbarrow 5-6 times in small batches, it cleans better and easier that way. I have had nothing but good luck with it, my PH runs a little higher than with pea gravel.
OK thanks. How much higher? Because as long as it doesn't go up too fast I do weekly water changes of course and I don't mind 7-7.6

Platylover said:
I’m currently using it in all my substrated tanks and love it. Very beautiful and easy to use.
I’ve always just emptied around half a bag into a 5g tub and rinsed it a few times(3-5). If I’m going to use more than half a bag I have a bucket dedicated to the sand by whatever tank I’m putting it into and will just unload the washer sand into that one bucket. That way you don’t have a really heavy haul to the tank.
I used the 20/40 grain.
The only thing I think you’d need to watch out for is that some people have found their batches to have an oily feel, if this is the case just make sure to clean it a little more than normal. Although, I’ve never had this problem.
I can post some photos of my tanks with it later.
Alrighty thanks!! It's only a 20 gallon tank so my plan is to use 15-20pounds of sand and store the rest in case I decide to switch another tank or have to top it up again.
 

finnipper59

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I'm not going to recommend it either way. But before all these good reviews popped up, I did some research on it for aquarium use and for it's commercial use. I found out that it's coal slag. It's shape and sharpness make it ideal for not only paint removal, but even removing rust and polishing metal. In the aquarium concern, there were concerns about possible petroleum contaminants. The commercial data gave it a zero for solubility...but aquarium users report a rise in pH. So being a retired Chemist, I have to question why. If it is not soluble, then is it oxidizing and leaving more OH- in the water to cause the pH to rise. But what ever the cause, the above posts have been using it with sucess. Trial and error is just another way of saying experimentation. So far the experiments show good results.
Goldfishfreak said:
Alrighty thanks!! It's only a 20 gallon tank so my plan is to use 15-20pounds of sand and store the rest in case I decide to switch another tank or have to top it up again.
 
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Goldfishfreak

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finnipper59 said:
I'm not going to recommend it either way. But before all these good reviews popped up, I did some research on it for aquarium use and for it's commercial use. I found out that it's coal slag. It's shape and sharpness make it ideal for not only paint removal, but even removing rust and polishing metal. In the aquarium concern, there were concerns about possible petroleum contaminants. The commercial data gave it a zero for solubility...but aquarium users report a rise in pH. So being a retired Chemist, I have to question why. If it is not soluble, then is it oxidizing and leaving more OH- in the water to cause the pH to rise. But what ever the cause, the above posts have been using it with sucess. Trial and error is just another way of saying experimentation. So far the experiments show good results.
OK thank you for your opinion! Even if you can't say yes or no I still appreciate anything as I could find very little. I'm not setting up my tank right away so I will wait for more people to answer before making a decision.
 

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i thought about it, but decided against using it because of oil slicks and its composition. it looks pretty though.
 

finnipper59

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I have a lot of respect for people that take the time to do research before making important decisions. Good luck.
midna said:
i thought about it, but decided against using it because of oil slicks and its composition. it looks pretty though.
You have a good eye for aquarium decorating. They are very nice.
Platylover said:
Here’s a few of my tanks with it-
 
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Goldfishfreak

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midna said:
i thought about it, but decided against using it because of oil slicks and its composition. it looks pretty though.
I have thought about that too. I was just thinking maybe I wouldn't have to spend $100 on sand. The only sand I can find in my area that doesn't shift ph, looks good, is not too fine and doesn't have plant food in it is $20 for a 5pound bag and I have order it and it would have been free except its sand so $12 shipping. But I'm going to look at my local pet smart they have good fish stuff and maybe nice and cheaper sand.
 

midna

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yikes a lot of people use it and never have any problems except for minor inconveniences. i don't think it'll cause problems for fish, but i suppose it could.
 

Gypsy13

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yukondog said:
I use it in most all of my tanks, I just changed one of 10 gal. to blasting sand. I use med. grit and wash it in a wheelbarrow 5-6 times in small batches, it cleans better and easier that way. I have had nothing but good luck with it, my PH runs a little higher than with pea gravel.
How much higher? Ph I mean. I can’t keep mine up even with crushed coral. Getting ready to move my 29 and want to get the old undergravel filter and gravel out at the same time.
 

finnipper59

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Goldfishfreak said:
I have thought about that too. I was just thinking maybe I wouldn't have to spend $100 on sand. The only sand I can find in my area that doesn't shift ph, looks good, is not too fine and doesn't have plant food in it is $20 for a 5pound bag and I have order it and it would have been free except its sand so $12 shipping. But I'm going to look at my local pet smart they have good fish stuff and maybe nice and cheaper sand.
Good idea.
 

yukondog

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My PH runs around 6.6 w/ BDBS and about 6.0 with gravel, I've never had a oil slick before but I guess you could if you did not clean well.
 

2006fuzz

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If you haven’t found a substitute for the BDBS, TSC carries a black blasting sand in Canada. It’s a pain to wash but otherwise I’ve never had any issues with the sand in any of my tanks
 
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Goldfishfreak

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2006fuzz said:
If you haven’t found a substitute for the BDBS, TSC carries a black blasting sand in Canada. It’s a pain to wash but otherwise I’ve never had any issues with the sand in any of my tanks
I did look there and found one but didn't know if it was any good. Thanks I will look in that more!
 

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Hmm, maybe that’s why the pH is my newly set up 75g is higher than my well water and my gravel tanks.
Well water and gravel tanks run about 6.0 and the 75 with a mix of BDBS and National Geographic white sand runs about 7-7.4.

Here’s a picture of the mixed sand. I love it but have not had fish in the 75 yet as it’s still cycling.
I did have cloudy water for about 2 weeks and a film that collected on the glass. I cleaned that off and did a large water change and it has been crystal clear since. Pretty sure I washed too much sand at one time and didn’t really get it totally clean. There is more black sand on the bottom so will probably get mixed more when fish start sifting through it.
IMG_1565.JPG
 

coma1224

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I had been wanting to do a BDBS tank for a long time and finally got to do it with my new 36g that I set up a few weeks ago. I got my sand at TSC and got the fine grit since my chose was the fine or course. I put it in a bucket in small batches and rinsed it probably 7 times using my hand to move the sand around in it until the water looked clear. It was lots of work but I'm totally happy with the looks of it. I also did a dirted 55g tank but the bdbs one looks so much better and is easier to care for. Here is what it looks like.
 

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Goldfishfreak

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ReFishkeeper said:
Hmm, maybe that’s why the pH is my newly set up 75g is higher than my well water and my gravel tanks.
Well water and gravel tanks run about 6.0 and the 75 with a mix of BDBS and National Geographic white sand runs about 7-7.4.

Here’s a picture of the mixed sand. I love it but have not had fish in the 75 yet as it’s still cycling.
I did have cloudy water for about 2 weeks and a film that collected on the glass. I cleaned that off and did a large water change and it has been crystal clear since. Pretty sure I washed too much sand at one time and didn’t really get it totally clean. There is more black sand on the bottom so will probably get mixed more when fish start sifting through it.View attachment 452443
I did end up finding some black and beige sand so I hope to mix it and see how it works. Im very close to setting up the tank. I just got all of the decorations and plants and stuff so I'm almost there!
 

Basil

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Goldfishfreak said:
I did end up finding some black and beige blasting sand so I hope to mix it and see how it works. Im very close to setting up the tank. I just got all of the decorations and plants and stuff so I'm almost there!
I’m going to redo my 40 b and I can’t decide if I’m going to go with straight beige sand or a mix of beige and BDBS.
It has natural gravel in it right now and looks good but some black in it might help set off my Scissortail Rasboras better.
Let us know how you like the black and beige mix.
 
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