Petco Sand Vs Real Sand Vs Caribsea Sand

fjh

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"aquarium sand" like at petco is really expensive. I use play sand in one tank ($5 for 50lb at Home Depot) in one tank, and I just bought black diamond blasting sand ($8 for 50lb at TSC) because I wanted black sand. But really, sand is sand - is is inert substrate (meaning it holds no nutrients) and is roughly all the same size. Pool filter sand tends to be more uniform so slightly better for plant roots over plat sand, which can pack down and get more dense.
Ive never used CaribSea sand but that is also expensive and inert, so I dont really see any benefit.

Will you be dosing any ferts or using root tabs? You probably wont need it, but just in case...
Ribosome plants like java fern or anubias are good with sand. just make sure not to bury the ribosome. Mosses are also a good way to go if you want to carpet it. Jungle val does fine in sand and can get pretty tall.
A lot of stem plants do great in sand, but you might have to add ferts to the water column. Sword plants can do well in sand but will need root tabs.
 

ystrout

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In my experience sand doesn't grow plants well. Pool filter sand makes a beautiful substrate, but I haven't had luck growing plants in it.

I would never buy sand from Petco, it would be way too expensive. Pool filter sand is the way to go.
 
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MrFishkeeper1

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Will you be dosing any ferts or using root tabs? You probably wont need it, but just in case...
I am going to be using easy green from aquarium co-op but I will be having shrimp and would like something with a dark color any ideas, also looking for less expensive items but I can always do a layer of black Petco sand on top of the pool sand.

It says on tractor supply that it cant get wet
[Edit: ok looked into it more apparently it does work really well and watched a video of a guy using in his fish tank thank you so much I won't waste so much money now]
 
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MommaWilde

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I love caribsea. It's natural, doesn't have to be rinsed, comes in lots of colors and grain size. But its expensive.
Pool filter sand is probably my favorite standard sand. Play sand is great but it seems a lot more dusty to me.
Some of the chain store brand sands are painted or coated. Those are my last choice, like emergency only. If I'm going to spend that much I'd rather get caribsea.
 

fjh

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I am going to be using easy green from aquarium co-op but I will be having shrimp and would like something with a dark color any ideas, also looking for less expensive items but I can always do a layer of black Petco sand on top of the pool sand.
The black diamond blasting sand if probably your best bet then.
It says on tractor supply that it cant get wet
[Edit: ok looked into it more apparently it does work really well and watched a video of a guy using in his fish tank thank you so much I won't waste so much money now]
Ot says not to get it wet if you are using it for its intended purpose: blasting. Wet sand will clog up the hose etc. But since we arent blasting, then who cares? it works great in a tank. just make sure to rinse like with any other sand!
 
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MrFishkeeper1

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no problem and good luck! Ill be setting up a 55g this weekend with the bdbs too haha. let us know how it goes!
Ok, I'm still saving but I bought the tank and have enough for the filter and gravel now. I will send pictures when the tank is done.
 

JayH

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I would never buy sand from Petco, it would be way too expensive. Pool filter sand is the way to go.
I would alter this to say pool filter sand is the way to go if you need 30+ pounds of sand. The only place I could find it locally wanted $25 for 50 pounds. I got 20 pounds of CaribSea sand at Petco for about $10.

Important hint if shopping Petco -- check prices online first. In store they wanted like $9 per 10 pound bag. Online price was $5. I just asked if they matched online price and showed the cashier the web page on my phone. I got the online price. In looking around at what else they had I noticed several huge price differences between in-store and online.
 

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The only that I hate about PFS is that it contains silicate, which attracts diatoms.
I have never had this problem. I myself don't believe it's true that silica causes diatoms. At least not in my case. I think it's an unproven idea someone got into their head. Just like a lot of things dealing with aquariums. I'm not disagreeing with you, I know "everyone" has said this for years but I still don't think it's true. This is just MY opinion on the whole sand and silica theory
I have used sand on many occasions and yes I did get diatoms but not any longer or worse than any other set up I've had.
 

ystrout

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I would alter this to say pool filter sand is the way to go if you need 30+ pounds of sand. The only place I could find it locally wanted $25 for 50 pounds. I got 20 pounds of CaribSea sand at Petco for about $10.

Important hint if shopping Petco -- check prices online first. In store they wanted like $9 per 10 pound bag. Online price was $5. I just asked if they matched online price and showed the cashier the web page on my phone. I got the online price. In looking around at what else they had I noticed several huge price differences between in-store and online.
Makes sense.

Anyone reading, check this out. Ace hardware's PFS is a beautiful gold, natural looking sand. Most of the reviews on this link are even from aquarists hahaha.

https://www.acehardware.com/departments/outdoor-living/swimming-pools-spa-and-supplies/swimming-pool-equipment/83029?x429=true&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&gclid=CjwKCAjw04vpBRB3EiwA0IieakJ2D8KT5DSfPprcEmr88Fmiu7Bah-LZ5YPO7S8JdGAkalHXVlHJYxoC-y8QAvD_BwE

Also, I'm PRETTY SURE my LFS buys this stuff and sells it by the pound for a huge markup. I noticed their gold aquarium sand looks exactly the same as this and is the same size granules.
 
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