Pool Filter Sand is bad

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by Maltese, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. Maltese

    MalteseValued MemberMember

    I went to a local fish store today. They told me that pool filter sand is bad because it raises the pH and I won't be able to grow any plants using pool filter sand. Is that true? I got pool filter sand for my albino coryfish
  2. ThatGuppyGuy

    ThatGuppyGuyValued MemberMember

    Plenty of substrates raise PH, in some cases it's actually desirable.
    Get a test kit and find out the PH level of your water.
    I doubt you have any reason to worry.
  3. OP

    MalteseValued MemberMember

  4. Dadio

    DadioWell Known MemberMember

    Pool sand is inert, meaning it's dead so you need to build up the nutrients required to keep plants happy using root tabs and other ferts. Problem with fine sand is that it can be kicked up and picked up by your filters so make sure to use pre-filters on any intakes. Many use sand with success, but it's more than just the sand that's for sure. Some plants will thrive in a sandy mix, others will not.
  5. Jim

    JimWell Known MemberMember

    For example, I use Black Diamond blasting sand (used in sand blasting). I add nutrients to the water but now and then put a root tab near my swords. As stated above, I use an AquaClear filter sponge as a prefilter so the sand does not get into my filters. This sponge also increases the time between filter cleaning but I do have to rinse the sponge out every 5 to 7 days.
  6. OP

    MalteseValued MemberMember

    Wait I'm confused. What is sand blasting and what is a "pre-filter?" I have a sponge inside my filter does that count? This is the filter I have:

    Mine is the 30-45 gallon version
  7. Bijou88

    Bijou88Well Known MemberMember

    Blasting sand is just a kind of sand used in sand blasting, it's usually black. Pre filter is just a sponge that goes over the end of your intake tube, keeps sand and small fish etc from being sucked into your filter.

    I use pool filter sand with plants btw and have had no problems getting them to grow. You have to use root tabs for any root feeders though. Hasn't raised my ph any either.
    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  8. OP

    MalteseValued MemberMember

    Hmm but what is sand blasting though?
  9. Rivieraneo

    RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    This is when sand is propelled via air or fluid toward an item in order to remove something off its surface, in example, sand blasting an old metal bench to remove old paint.
  10. DoubleDutch

    DoubleDutchFishlore LegendMember

    PFS is siliciumsand that doesn't raise Ph for one bit.
    I've PFS (middle sized grain) in 7 of my tanks without any problem, growing plants aso.
    I love the stuff (as my fish do)

    Oops last one is gravel (couldn't remove)

    Attached Files:

  11. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

  12. MtnTiger

    MtnTigerWell Known MemberMember

    If you fertilize correctly (tabs/liquid) sand is no problem growing plants.
  13. OP

    MalteseValued MemberMember

    Hey thanks for that sand cleaning video! Where do I go about buying one of those?

    One thing though, my tank is too far from a faucet (or any hose) what should I do in that case?
  14. Jsigmo

    JsigmoWell Known MemberMember

    Get more hose! :)

    I installed over a hundred feet of hose where I work to allow easy gravel cleaning of our aquariums and easier filling from a raw water tap. I got very tired of carrying buckets up and down stairs! :)

    Garden hose works great for all of this.

    Gravel vacuuming is essential, IMO, and can be easy once you get your setup optimized.

    As was stated earlier, pool filter sand should be quite pure silica sand, and therfore virtually inert. It should not alter your pH.

    Another advantage is that it is usually "graded" to all be approximately the same grain size. This is necessary for use in a filter (what it is sold for), and also makes it better for a substrate because uniform grain size assures that it is porous (no fine particles to fill in the spaces between the large ones).
  15. OP

    MalteseValued MemberMember

    What gravel vacuum is usualy recommended?
  16. Rivieraneo

    RivieraneoModeratorModerator Member

    Maltese, for larger tanks, a python brand water change vacuum and fill system is best. For small tanks, any brand is good.