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I noticed on the 3M site
http://cms.3m.com/cms/US/en/2-125/uzRkES/view.jhtml
The entire color list is only available in the S (fine) grade and only the following colors: Black, Blue, Cayman Green, Red & White are available in the T (coarse) grade. I'm interested in the Grey and Smoke colors and just wondered if those that have the S grade could comment on just how fine it really is. I currently use a fine silica/blasting sand so I'm hoping it's no finer than that :) Thanks!
 

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FeatherfinFan said:
I noticed on the 3M site
http://cms.3m.com/cms/US/en/2-125/uzRkES/view.jhtml
The entire color list is only available in the S (fine) grade and only the following colors: Black, Blue, Cayman Green, Red & White are available in the T (coarse) grade. I'm interested in the Grey and Smoke colors and just wondered if those that have the S grade could comment on just how fine it really is. I currently use a fine silica/blasting sand so I'm hoping it's no finer than that :) Thanks!
FeatherfinFan just so that you know you can request a sample of the 3M color quartz .In the sample you will get all the colors for the S-Grade and also the T-Grade. I haven't ordered any for my tanks yet but when i do it will be the T-Grade i think that the S-Grade is to fine .The smoke S-Grade is grey , and the grey S-Grade looks almost like a light green to me .
 

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Thanks for the quick reply, I rec'd their product pamphlet through the mail a couple weeks ago but not any samples. I'll just get to Vegas and see the product firsthand now :)

I wish they had all the colors available in the coarse grade :(
 

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Very interesting thread.

I learned a few things. That black aggregate sounds pretty cool for the price of about 40 cents per pound. I will have to go and take a look at the T_grade material myself.

I think that part of the problem with the high priced sand is in part the shipping cost to the LFS but more so I think it is the 400_to_500_% markup that most any type of retail stores do on thier product lines.

I will definitely check out this product.

Demasoni.com
 

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Just got back from Vegas (no not a big winner, but helped w/ their fountain/volcano fund) and picked up 250 pounds of S Grade "smoke" colorquartz. I found the prices were different depending on what color was chosen, the S Grade ranged from 16-19 dollars and the T Grade from 18-22 per bag. I got it for 16.35 per 50lb bag and the guy gave me an extra sack~the bags were stored outside so the sacks were in rough shape, some leaking, etc. but got it all home w/ little trouble :) I checked out both grades and they're very different, the T grade is more irregular and angular, and the S grade is like mini ball-bearings. I chose the S grade because I happened to really like the grey look of the smoke and it's not available in the T grade. I'll post some pics once I get it washed and installed :)
 

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Right on FeatherfinFan I can't wait to see the pictures 8)

I still can't decide if i'm going to buy the S grade or the T grade for my Frontosa tank .What are you housing in this new tank that your setting up the S grade :?:

I would like to know how this S grade settles in the water :?:
 

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I rinsed the S Grade just a little to see how dirty it is and how it settles, seems to be very similar to my silica sand although it settles quite a bit faster. Like others have mentioned it's a bit heavier than sand so that aids in settling. One great advantage that I've noticed is it doesn't clump together as easy as sand does. If they had the smoke in both grades I think I'd still go w/ the S grade, I really like the uniformity and the "feel" of the sand~I think it'll also be a good choice for sandsifters as the grains are round and very smooth :) I'll keep you posted w/ pics later in the week (I hope).
I still can't decide if i'm going to buy the S grade or the T grade for my Frontosa tank .What are you housing in this new tank that your setting up the S grade
I'm housing Tropheus, and it's going in two tanks~a 190 & 110.

Keep in mind the T Grade is only available in four colors, the S is available in all colors :)
 

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I guess the biggest reason i'm caught between making a decision between the T grade and the S grade is that i'm going to set this up in my Frontosa tank. I have a couple of Fronts that are quite the diggers and i'm lucky so far that they haven't spit near the intakes of my filters .Even the sudden bursts of energy that the Frontosa can do i'm sure that it would stir things up .Maybe i should just order both LMAO :roll: :lol:

Another concern would be cleaning i'm sure it would be the same as other sand cleaning while just hovering the Python just high enough to vacuum the waste

Hurry up and post some pictures FeatherfinFan :p :wink:
 

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OK, here's some pics of the "smoke" S Grade colorquartz, it looks about like the color of cement when dry and even wet (out of the tank). In the tank it looks just as these pics show~almost snow white (whith just a slight hint of grey). At first I was a bit upset at the rather dramatic change, but I think I'm really going to get to like it, it makes the tank look very much like a marine tank.
BTW, it settles very easily and isn't dirty at all, only a couple good rinses and it was good to go (about 1/8th of the time it takes to clean play sand and about 1/2 the time it takes to clean PF or blasting sand). I highly recommend this product :)
This pic shows my silica sand (dirty tank on the left) and the new sand on the right.

Close ups

 

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Onecell, Thanks!

If thats the T, id say the S is much finer than I want.

Do you have any problems vacuuming the T grade like normal gravel?
 

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IMO, the S isn't too fine, it's coarser than fine silica sand (about 2-3x the size of grains of sugar). I guess it's really about what you prefer, as both really do look nice, keep in mind the T grade is only available in 4 colors, if there's a different color you want.
Here's about the best pic I could get
[/quote]
 

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Thanks featherfinfan!

My biggest concerns are my power filters and being able to vacuum the substrate like normal gravel. Im afraid the S grade would make a mess of my power filters.

Im in the CA cichlid minority on this site so I want something coarse enough that the fish dont stir it up just swimming around and/or spitting substrate at each other.

Im in the minority of liking black substrate, too. Luckily, T grade is available in black! :)
 

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I have the black T grade and it isn't any harder to vacuum than PFS. In fact, although the grains are a bit smaller, they seem heavier than the PFS grains.

If your concern is fish spitting it at the filter though, you may have a problem - my fish LOVE spitting it all over the place! :roll: :lol:
 

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Ok, now im confused. The T grade is finer than filter sand? In the pic that doesnt look to be the case.

snemecek, my problem is, I dont want sand. Adding sand to a tank with large cichlids and power filters does not make for a symbiotic relationship.

Im just after a uniform micro gravel that I can still vacuum like regular gravel more or less. :D
 

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Speig, If you're wanting something easier to vac, then yes, the T grade is what you're after. It really is larger than sand (at least the samples that I saw), similar to the larger grain aragonites and it's not round-grained like sand, more chippy so it should allow easier vac'ing. And as far a black substrates being in the minority, not sure, they seem to be gaining a lot of popularity around here, I've had black gravel tanks before and they do look nice :)

snemecek~The moon sand is nice, but from what most folks have said, there appears to be little difference between it and the colorquartz. The colorquartz is far cheaper at an avg of less than 20 dollars per 50 pound sack (although factoring in shipping it may not be too nice).
 

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I priced the black colorquartz with shipping it was going to cost me close to $60 per bag! So, for me, the moon sand is cheaper.
 

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There's no supplier within a reasonable drive? That's a shame, that shipping will really gouge you :(
 
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