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 Anyone Ever Use Black Diamond Silica Sand or Silica Pool Sand in an Aquarium?

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NPTAloha



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PostSubject: Anyone Ever Use Black Diamond Silica Sand or Silica Pool Sand in an Aquarium?   Fri May 25, 2012 4:48 am

I just got a new 130 gallon and I want to set up another Walstad Planted Tank. I've used organic soil before with really great results but I've never capped it with anything but pea sized gravel.

Here's my dilemma. I want to plant carpeting plants in my new tank - Glosso, HC, Dwarf Sag, and Crypt Parva. In my tanks with pea gravel capping the soil the dwarf sag and parva have taken months to carpet well. I heard the sand allows for easier rooting and faster carpeting.

So I've been looking into soil capping substrates and I had it narrowed down to Eco Complete or Flourite Sand. Both are very expensive. I found a forum that mentioned Black Diamond Sand Blasting Media, and after doing a quick google search, found that tons of people use silica sand and pool filter silica sand in their aquariums successfully. They claim it is inert and won't effect pH or KH.

Is this too good to be true? To cap the soil in my 130 I'll need either $68 worth of Eco Complete, $92 worth of flourite, or $17.98 worth of Black Diamond Silica sand.
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badxgillen

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PostSubject: Re: Anyone Ever Use Black Diamond Silica Sand or Silica Pool Sand in an Aquarium?   Fri May 25, 2012 11:54 am

you can use sand in fresh water aquariums but it will not boast the planted benefits of the eco complete or flourite.i know some people that use pockets of the planted substrate and fill in the gaps with "filler".i have seen some rather succesfull planted tanks using just sand and higher learning comes to mind.maybe i will see if he can get a tank shot up at some point as he has a killer setup.any how yes it is too good to be true.yous still have to rinse it all wich is chore.there are a couple of sand grade rock that are not aquarium safe but for the most part what you have mentioned is.dont forget about the compaction of the substrate and whatnot.i have never been a big sand fan unless there are sand sifting inhabitants and the flow is low enough not to kick any up.looks super cool though.
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burningbaal



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PostSubject: Re: Anyone Ever Use Black Diamond Silica Sand or Silica Pool Sand in an Aquarium?   Fri May 25, 2012 12:24 pm

inert yes, but part of being inert is that it pretty much doesn't do anything for anything. I know in SW tanks, it can be bad because the aragonite sand is gentler on gills (for sand-sifting fish) and it helps keep the pH up.

If you want to, I've got about 4 gallons of silicate sand in a 5g bucket. previous owner of my 55g SW tank had it in there, I swapped it out. bring a bucket to replace the one the sand is in and it's yours free. if you come monday, you can witness 'the move' to my new 90g tank.

It'll be in need of a good rinsing, but you can't beat free!

I think it'd probably be fine. realistically, the tank I have was doing fine when I got it except for some serious maintenance neglect, so the sand was probably fine. it had a couple clowns, a blue tang and a few soft corals that were all happy. I don't know about your plant situation, but again...free (just bring an empty bucket) is a good price.
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mvpaquatics

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PostSubject: Re: Anyone Ever Use Black Diamond Silica Sand or Silica Pool Sand in an Aquarium?   Fri May 25, 2012 1:15 pm

how many pounds are you looking for of each substrate? I can get both eco-complete and black flourite at discounted prices...one is caribsea and the other seachem i believe.

As far as it being safe, probably, beneficial, no...but then again flourite and laterite dont last forever anyway. I tend to like to use things that are beneficial. I like to use premium ingredients when building my tanks. I have found that the cheap comes out expensive.

Still interested in any driftwood? If not, just let me know cuz I have some other people looking...
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