Warning Re K&e Blasting Sand (a Black Sand Available In Canada)

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by bitseriously, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. bitseriously Well Known Member Member

    This is K&E brand blasting sand, available in Canada (at least here in southern Ontario) from The Country Store. I believe it’s a coal slag product, which I presumed is similar to the US “Black Diamond” blasting sand (feedback welcome on this).
    The last pic, just above is taken with iPhone trough a mag loupe, the measurements are millimeters.
    I’m ashamed to say, I’ve had cories on this for almost 6 months. Had no idea what I was doing to them. Lost multiple schools. :(
    Needless to say, it’s now removed from my tanks, and replaced with a new pool filter sand from Canadian Tire. Which is a silica sand and looks like this. I think it’s an improvement over the more common nepheline syenite (also used as pfs).
    I think my fish will be much happier. :)

  2. Platylover Fishlore VIP Member

    Yikes... glad you realised how sharp it was and switched.

  3. Kevin Dennis Valued Member Member

    Coal slag is nasty stuff. I know a lot of people have had success with it but I would rather not put industrial waste in my tank.

  4. Thunder_o_b Fishlore VIP Member

    I would be curious as to the difference between this and BDBS. I and many others on this forum have used it for years and had no ill results with sensitive bottom dwellers.
  5. Klink Valued Member Member

    I have the same Aqua Quartz sand in my 120 and my cories love it. It's a very clean, soft sand.
  6. bitseriously Well Known Member Member

    I’m really glad you chimed in @Thunder_o_b I was writing very specifically to not bash the BDBS, which I know you have had excellent success with.
    And I can’t imagine that a product as popular as the BDBS would look like this under a scope or lens. But like you, would be curious to know.

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with it being coal slag - and I’m not even sure that’s what it is - it’s the sharp angular nature that gets me. It really looks like crushed glass.
  7. scarface Fishlore VIP Member

    To be honest, it doesn't appear that sharp to me.
  8. Thunder_o_b Fishlore VIP Member

    You have stirred my curiosity. I do have the camera gear to get down to that level. I am up to my nose in things I must do this weekend, but I will try to get some high magnification shots of BDBS soon.
  9. Kevin Dennis Valued Member Member

    It is what is left over after coal is burned in power plants. It is used in industry sand blasting because of the sharp angular pieces.
  10. bitseriously Well Known Member Member

    All opinions are welcome! :)
    I appreciate your perspective, I know it comes with greater experience than I have.
  11. Thunder_o_b Fishlore VIP Member

    This is where it gets interesting. I for a very long time spoke against its use. It was counter intuitive to me that an industrial waste that could blast metal clean could be used in aquariums. It was the members of Fishlore that I trusted who convinced me to try it. I will not say I understand it but I have five long standing aquariums with it.
  12. Kevin Dennis Valued Member Member

    I considered blasting sand as well to avoid the high price of "aquarium sand"

    I ended up using pool filter sand and I after watching my kuhli loaches blow sand out of their gills I couldn't imagine using a substrate that sharp.

    But, as you said many here have had success with it. A personal choice I guess.