Yay or Nay? Coal Slag for substrate Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by April R, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. April RWell Known MemberMember


    So I was thinking of using this to cap my dirted tank. It is my 20 gallon guppy/cory heavily planted tank and I have been battling a losing war with cloudy water from the Miracle Grow coming up through the current cap of   because of my stinking cories turning it up all the time :p Silly cute buggers.

    My major issue is that my filters are getting hopelessly clogged with dirt, and I am tired of changing out the pads every other day with no change in the cloudiness of my water, even after major water changes of up to 75%.

    If anyone has had experience with using coal slag in a planted tank please please please help!! Thanks :;toast

    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  2. Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    I've never used it. The only issue I could see with it is it may be too sharp for the cory. But having never used or even seen it, I can't say for sure.

  3. CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

    I have heard of a product called Black diamond blasting sand & some people have used the 20-30 grain size for corys with no ill effects.
    I don't know if that link you gave is a similar product, you could ask if they'd send you a sample to see whether it's sharp or not.
  4. April RWell Known MemberMember

    great idea!
  5. guppyguy76Valued MemberMember

    Interesting.....I didn't know anything of a by product of coal would be suitable for aquariums. I live in PA and I have seen the toxic orange runoff in streams because of coal mining here north and west of where I live. My family is from the coal region originally.
  6. Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    I would not trust anything that was the by-product of the mining process
  7. Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    It's inert. It's used for sand blasting.
  8. Thunder_o_bFishlore VIPMember

    It is just me I guess. I thought that coal slag is the result of a dirty, pollution laden industry.

    It seems that it is safe after all. I found this an interesting read.
  9. Marie1Well Known MemberMember

    I found that same article and a few others when I first saw this thread. It seems to be perfectly safe. But like I posted before, I would be concerned on how sharp it might be for bottom dwellers.

    I have used Black Diamond blasting sand myself, and it is much cheaper than the other the OP linked.  

    If you look at the product description it is coal slag. Who knew ;)
  10. Matt BWell Known MemberMember

    As far as blasting media with bottom dwellers I hatched and grew out a group of Sterbais (30-40 individuals) in a tank with black diamond as the substrate. No ill effects were noticed aside from a rather low die off of about 10-15% and they lived on it literally from the time they were born to about 3-4 months when I moved them out. they are adults now and seem perfectly normal to me.

    If it didn't bother their yolk sacs just after hatching I really have a hard time imagining a fish hurting themselves on it.
  11. April RWell Known MemberMember

    thanks for the discussion and linked articles guys! I am definitely going to save up and get some, then re-scape my 20 gallon. It is long due anyway.

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