Cheap Aquarium Sand?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Tank Equipment' started by Andrew99p, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. Andrew99p

    Andrew99pValued MemberMember

    Hello everyone! I’m currently working on setting up a 180 gallon tank, and want to know some good sands that aren’t too pricey! I’ve done black diamond blasting sand a lot, and wanna try something new. I’ve heard pool filter sand is good, but don’t know what brand to get. Any help is appreciated, thanks everyone!
  2. Tony M

    Tony MValued MemberMember

    I use HTH PFS. Bought it on line/pick up at store from Ace hardware. I’m thinking it was about 20$ for a 50 lb bag. You’d need 2 maybe 3 bags. Rinse it good in a bucket and it won’t cloud your tank at all.
  3. Fashooga

    FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

    Go to a place that sells spas and spa equipment. I got a 50 lbs bag for $8-$12 bucks when I got it a few years ago.

    Call ahead first.
  4. OP

    Andrew99pValued MemberMember

    Okay cool! Does anyone know about the pool sand at Home Depot/Lowe’s? As far as I know there’s no spa stores nearby!
  5. Tony M

    Tony MValued MemberMember

    Pool sand is a bad idea. You’ll never get it clean enough and your tank will be a cloudy mess.
  6. Discus-Tang

    Discus-TangWell Known MemberMember

    Play sand is cheap :)

    Just make sure to wash it very well first.

    ILLBETHEJUDGEValued MemberMember

    I use pool sand in all my aquariums no problems whatsoever.
  8. DoubleDutch

    DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

  9. Culprit

    CulpritFishlore VIPMember

    Pool sand is far better then play sand as its meant to go in pool filters, so it won't blow around in your tank. Plus, its easy to rinse as you don't want a pool full of gunk do you? Also, its round and perfectly safe for corys. Mine love it
  10. DoubleDutch

    DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    agree 3f69813f1d8a6b318156b37b392b8008.jpg
  11. DarkOne

    DarkOneFishlore VIPMember

    I would strongly recommend against play sand. I washed mine (Quikrete Play Sand) really well and there's very fine particles covering everything. If it gets disturbed, it takes forever to settle. I replaced it with HTH Pool filter sand and it's 100x's better. It's easy to wash, settles very fast and looks great. If you're lucky enough to have a HD or Lowes that carries it (or any pool filter sand), it's cheap there ($5/50lb bag). I got a 50lb bag from Ace Hardware for $13.
  12. OP

    Andrew99pValued MemberMember

    Yeah I don’t wanna do play sand, I’ve only heard bad things about it. I am looking into pool sand, but can’t find a good brand with the right color I’m looking for. Looking for a more yellowish beach sand kind of look.
  13. Fashooga

    FashoogaFishlore VIPMember

  14. Tony M

    Tony MValued MemberMember

    Big mistake in my last post. I use PFS as well. I meant play sand was a bad idea. Sorry all!
  15. OP

    Andrew99pValued MemberMember

    Really? I can’t seem to find the right color. All I see if white PFS online.
  16. Thunder_o_b

    Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    We have pool filter sand in Sunhawk's 55 ($12.00 for a 50 lb bag at ACE hardware) the rest have Black Diamond Blasting Sand med-course grit ($8.00 for a 50 lb bag at Tractor Supply Co.)

    Play sand is the color you want but it is very hard to get clean before putting it in the aquarium ( So I have been told)
  17. OP

    Andrew99pValued MemberMember

    I’ve seen that bag from Ace Hardware. Is that a plain white, or is does it have a yellowish tint to it? I would love white sand, but I’ve heard it’s terrible to keep clean and make it look good!
  18. Thunder_o_b

    Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    It is white. I introduced a product from SeaChem that is a form of bacteria that is different than the BB for the nitrogen cycle. It has been a month and I really think it does what they claim. Now, I do vacuum the sand when I see fish poo. But I do not stand there all day with vac syphon in hand.

    This aquarium has been up for years. About a month ago I swapped the gravel out for the sand (fish in). The plants in the right are temporary. They are from a holding aquarium and not in the best shape. I have a nice large sword plant that I will be moving there today. The aquascaping is far from done.

    Anyway, as you can see the sand is bright and clean. The filtration is a 200 GPH Marineland HOB (will be changing to a 350 or 400 GPH HOB) and a Magniflow 360. Lighting is a Fluval Auquasky. All plants are live.

    Last vacuum was on Tuesday.

    These are just quick grab shots. Please pardon the low quality.




    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018