Went for pool filter sand, got pool filter gravel

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by DanGer1285, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. DanGer1285Valued MemberMember

    I called around to a bunch of pool stores and was told that they were out of stock for pool filter sand until the spring (Canada + January = not many pools running) - until I found one store that had two bags left.

    I went and picked it up ($8 for 50lbs sounded like a steal) without really looking at it in the store, just happy to have it. I assumed it would be a standard light brown to off-white colour and be... sandy. Putting it into the car I noticed it was "filter gravel" and not "filter sand." Considering this is my first attempt to put anything other than LFS coloured rocks into a tank, I'm at a loss on whether this is an acceptable substrate or not.

    They're basically tiny rocks in a grey-black colour. Says it's 100% non-toxic and safe for pools, etc on the package so I don't think the toxicity is a problem - but would something like this be safe or practical for a planted tank? They seem like they might be kind of sharp. Would plants take root in substrate like this? Should I put down a layer of something else and then this stuff? It would be for a new tank, I'm not replacing substrate in an existing tank.

    With flash

    Without flash

    Worst case scenario, I guess I have some stuff to put down on my front steps to prevent slipping.
  2. marine590622Well Known MemberMember

    I would say what you have is fine for a substrate. Pool filter sand and gravel is usually quartz or granite and chemically inert.
  3. ayladWell Known MemberMember

    If it's sharp, I'd avoid using it with any fish that poke around in the substrate (cories, some cichlids, etc).
  4. DanGer1285Valued MemberMember

  5. jetajockeyFishlore VIPMember

    Looks like a nice substrate material.
  6. marine590622Well Known MemberMember

    For live plants, this would not be ideal as it has not organics. if you are planing on live plants, Google layered substrates and see what folks are doing for DIY planted tank substrates.
  7. oscarsbudWell Known MemberMember

    I put a layer of organic potting soil under my sand when I set up my planted tank.