Hey, All You Sand Lovers Out There

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Thunder_o_b, Apr 8, 2017.

  1. Thunder_o_b

    Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    As most people here know I am not a lover of sand....Partly because I have always used UG filters...Well, till about a year ago when I started a long term test and have two tanks without them.

    Anyway, we have a 150 gallon tall that was going to be a salt reef. But after three years and a rather high amount of medical bills I do not have the money for the lights and other gear. So I am planning to do a FW with it. I am going to go sand. Now, I was wondering if I could get some input on this. I am thinking about going black. The cost of high quality bagged sand for a 150 planted tank is a bit high. I have no experience with blasting sand but have heard that some have issues with it having sharp edges. I plan to have a large school of corys.

    So, what do you sanders think?
  2. Zahc

    ZahcWell Known MemberMember

    I have, and love, play sand. Its super fine, which has alot of benefits, especially with Corydoras. I had Panda's and Bolivian Rams recently, and watching them sift sand through their gills all day is beautiful in my opinion. Even my plecos burrow into it because its so soft/fine. Pool filter sand was to large and white for my liking, whereas with plays sand i'ts very natural looking (practically river sand imo). Its also ridiculously cheap. The only cons are that you need to wash it EXTREMELY well, and you always have to turn off filters and powerheads if your interrupting the substrate.

    I've never used BDBS but I think if you get a small grain size it is definitely Corydoras safe. I'll let others that have had experience with it chime in on that though. Just though i'd throw in my experience.
  3. AWheeler

    AWheelerWell Known MemberMember

    I have pool filter sand. I actually like the white color to it, and the not having to clean it over and over again. I haven't kept cory fish before, so I can't say if it is good for them or not.
  4. OP

    Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    Thank you for your help :)

    Thank you for your thoughts on this :)
  5. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    @Drummindot used the black diamond blasting sand in her 260 gallon tank. It looks amazing in her tank. She probably has some good input for you.

    The only thing I know is that you have to get the 20/40 grit. Which is medium grit I believe. You can use the fine grit, but I heard it can cloud up your tank very easily when disturbed. I am going to be using blasting sand in my new 29 gallon. Planning to go Monday to pick up a bag for myself actually.
  6. OP

    Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    Thank you :)
    Where are you getting it from?
  7. Ferretlady

    FerretladyValued MemberMember


    I wanted a light sand, but not pure white. I ended up getting the HTH brand of pool filter sand from Ace Hardware - it was about $12 for a 50lb bag in my location. I like the way it looks, with some bits of variation in color. (never mind the appearance of my tank - I don't have things set up yet, just playing around w/ the items I have on hand so far...)
  8. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    I heard Tractor Supply had a 50lb bag for under $10 so that is my first stop. Otherwise I was going to check at Home Depot for it too. Our Tractor Supply store is new in town, so I haven't even been there yet. Not sure if they even have it there, but it is an excuse for me to go check it out lol
  9. MaddieTaylah

    MaddieTaylahWell Known MemberMember

    I use black sand in one of my tanks with corydoras with no ill effects. I also think that the darker colour makes them feel more secure.
  10. NavigatorBlack

    NavigatorBlackFishlore VIPMember

    I think you have to investigate for yourself. Sand is sand, but it isn't "sand".
    It's heavy and cheap, but expensive to move. So it tends to vary from place to place, and from pallet to pallet. I can get a local brand of playground sand that rinses out about half clay - a 5kg bag gives me half of that. It's awful. At other times, if it is sourced from north of my city, it can be beautiful, almost dust free, chemically neutral stuff Corys would love. When I go looking for sand, I check the spillage around the floor.
    Likewise, for pool sand. In the store 15 minutes east from me, I get a dark grey fine gravel that looks great. 15 minutes west, and it's a nicer brown sand with highlights, and it looks fantastic. The same chain, the same bag...

    I would expect blasting sand to be sourced as close to the store as could be managed. So it would differ too.

    And yet we talk about "sand", without saying where we are from, what is around us - even what continent we live on...
  11. OP

    Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    Thank you Ferretlady :)
    The sand is a nice contrast to the dark wood.

    Thank you AllieSten :)
    Any excuse to go to Tractor Supply Company is good :) I got the bed box for my pickup there :)
    I will check it out today.

    Thank you MaddieTaylah :)
    I think the darker sub straight will aid in my photography.

    Thank you NavigatorBlack :)
    Very good points to consider.
  12. MaddieTaylah

    MaddieTaylahWell Known MemberMember

    The darker substrate definitely makes the fish stand out more.
  13. KimberlyG

    KimberlyGFishlore VIPMember

    I would just stir it. Sounds silly but the composition of blasting sand is consistent. You don't have harder particles and then softer particles. The stirring will allow the sand to grind itself. Work with reasonably sized batches that can be stirred without too much difficulty. (This isn't quick by any means, but if you have corys it might be worth it.) It should grind down any sharp points. Then rinse as usual.
  14. BlackTeeShirt

    BlackTeeShirtWell Known MemberMember

    I have blasting sand, as well as play sand, and my daughter has purple aquarium specific sand.

    The blasting sand gives a great contrast for bottom dwellers, like corys. I have it with my axolotl and he definitely stands out better. The thing that makes me crazy about it is that it looks dirty fast, so to keep it looking pristine, I end up doing more water changes. Something to consider for a 150 is how dirty you can tolerate, and how often you're willing to clean.

    Play sand (quikrete) looks the most natural, like it came from a sandy river bed. Its typically not too difficult to clean, and is safe for bottom dwellers as well. Its easy to clean and doesn't look dirty as fast. It will mute the appearance of bottom dwellers a bit. My peppered corys don't pop like they would with black, bit I think they like being able to blend in a bit.

    Aquarium specific sand looks great, is very easy to clean, and is safe. It's pricey though, and will cost an arm and a leg for a 150 gallon. It's fine consistency and size makes it good for bottom dwellers. I personally like it's consistency the best, but probably wouldn't spend that much for such a large tank.
  15. Jayd976

    Jayd976Well Known MemberMember

    I used cheap black petco sand. Don't remember the exact cost but for my 90 gallon I spent like $50 for a 2" bed and still had 1/2 a bag left.
  16. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

    $50 isn't cheap. A 50lb of the blasting sand is $8 lol

    @Thunder_o_b Oh and btw I went to Tractor Supply today, and my store is out until May 1st. What the heck? Is there a shortage or something? That is an insanely long time to be out of anything. I have to travel to the doctor on Tuesday, so I will be stopping for sand up there I suspect lol
  17. AWheeler

    AWheelerWell Known MemberMember

    I'll have to keep that price in mind when I get another tank. I believe we have a Tractor Supply in my area as well, curious if they carry it too.
  18. AllieSten

    AllieStenFishlore VIPMember

  19. AWheeler

    AWheelerWell Known MemberMember

  20. adsm08

    adsm08Valued MemberMember

    I picked up 100 lbs of black diamond from TCS last weekend, $16. It comes in different grades, so you can get it coarse, which may have some sharp pieces, or you can get it extremely fine. I went with the 20/40 which seems to be similar to the PFS I have in my 185. Not quite as fine (judging by how much less got caught in my nails) but I didn't spend nearly as much time washing it before it was running clear.

    I got some here last weekend and they only had one bag of what I wanted out on the shelf (but half a skid in the back) I asked the kid at the register when they were going to get more in and he said they only get it shipped in about once a month, so if someone comes in and cleans them out on the day it comes in it may be a month before more comes in. In retail sometimes you end up not being able to add-order something that is on a regular delivery schedule and you get stuck waiting on it.

    Where I work it happens to us on brake parts cleaner a lot. About once a quarter we do BOGO on our house brand with no upper limit per customer, so we get some guys come in and buy two or four cases, and because that happens at every store the warehouse runs out, and then we are out for two weeks until they get it in to send to us.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2017