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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've called every pool supply and hardware store in my area and have been completely unsuccessful at finding white silica sand. I finally found a place that has white silica sand that's actually white (everyone keeps saying "yeah, this stuff is white" and I open the bag and find it's about as white as the night sky), the problem is that it's much larger than the other sand I've seen. From what I understand, people typically use 30 mesh sand in their aquariums. This is 16 mesh sand, but it's the only white sand I could find locally or even online. Do you think this will be ok for my mbuna setup? I'm keeping demasoni, yellow labs, red zebras, acei and synos. If the large sand won't work, does anyone know of anywhere I can order the right sand online without spending a fortune? Thanks in advance for your help. :D
 

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If sand is too small it swirls up into the water very easily and stays suspended for a longer time... this is a threat to the filter...

Big sand is gravel... and gravel has been used in aquariums for many years...

If your sand is really big you may have some of the minor inconveniences that gravel brings (such as debris falling between grains and rotting). But 16 mesh isn't small enough for that to be a concern...

I think you shuold be all set with the larger white sand that you found...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
HOLY SMOKES that was a fast reply! :eek: Thank you very much for the quick and informative response. I'm so glad to hear that it will work out. It's amazing the things people find so easily in their areas that I can't find at all near me. And here I thought California was supposed to be awesome. :lol: yeah right
 

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Have you looked for 3M color quartz? Its a really really nice sand also available in white!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Doane - I looked everywhere for the colorquartz. I've called every Home Depot, Lowe's and Orchard Supply within 50 miles of me and nobody has even heard of it. I've also called various landscaping businesses and nobody has a clue. The white Colorquartz was my first choice. If you could tell me where I can order it online, I would be on it like a fly on poop, especially since my white silica sand still didn't turn out to be very white.

all4game - I like the argamax, the problem with that is the price. It's a 100 gallon tank, so I'd be spending a pretty penny to use that.

Just to make sure, if I do end up stuck with the large garbage I have now, there is no danger of the fish sifting through it or digging in it and injuring themselves due to the large grain size?
 

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nope... they sift through gravel (or at least try).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow! I continue to be blown away with how fast and helpful the replies are here. I'm chasing a few leads from that website right now. One last question...with the white colorquartz, do I get the s grade or the t grade?
 

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I would read through that forum, I purchased the S grade but its really really fine. It gives a really nice look but seems to leave some sort of residue on the tank with everyone that uses it. If I have a choice again, I'd prolly go T with the white. For black you just have to go S, it looks so much nicer, like felt. The residue may only occur with the black now that I think about it and has never been reported to harm fish in any way.

If you want the nice felt bottom, go S.

If you want a coarser look go T.

I think S is more expensive. So if cost matters that may make a difference. I cannot stress how important it is to clean the sand again, and again, and when you think your done, again and again and again.
 

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I can't post pics of the white sand as my digital camera went for a swim a few days ago thanks to a certain 3 year old nephew. You can go to the thread that discusses this sand and see tons of pictures as you browse though.

This thread has great pictures of the black S grade.
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/view ... highlight=
 

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At least someone apologized, he and my family thought it was funny as heck.
 

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the village idiot said:
Doane - I looked everywhere for the colorquartz. I've called every Home Depot, Lowe's and Orchard Supply within 50 miles of me and nobody has even heard of it. I've also called various landscaping businesses and nobody has a clue. The white Colorquartz was my first choice. If you could tell me where I can order it online, I would be on it like a fly on poop, especially since my white silica sand still didn't turn out to be very white.

all4game - I like the argamax, the problem with that is the price. It's a 100 gallon tank, so I'd be spending a pretty penny to use that.

Just to make sure, if I do end up stuck with the large garbage I have now, there is no danger of the fish sifting through it or digging in it and injuring themselves due to the large grain size?
I would have to say I agree with all4game on this one
I have the same sized tank I spent the bucks on the argamax (Ughhh) But now my water is buffered and I dont have to spend all the money on PHup ;-)
 

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the village idiot said:
Doane - I looked everywhere for the colorquartz. I've called every Home Depot, Lowe's and Orchard Supply within 50 miles of me and nobody has even heard of it. I've also called various landscaping businesses and nobody has a clue. The white Colorquartz was my first choice. If you could tell me where I can order it online, I would be on it like a fly on poop, especially since my white silica sand still didn't turn out to be very white.

all4game - I like the argamax, the problem with that is the price. It's a 100 gallon tank, so I'd be spending a pretty penny to use that.

Just to make sure, if I do end up stuck with the large garbage I have now, there is no danger of the fish sifting through it or digging in it and injuring themselves due to the large grain size?
I would have to say I agree with all4game on this one
I have the same sized tank I spent the bucks on the argamax (Ughhh) But now my water is buffered and I dont have to spend all the money on PHup ;-)
 

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PhillyzCichlids,
There are numerous ways to buffer the water without having to go to a substrate that costs a fortune. I know plenty of people who make their own rift lake buffer (which you can get an inexpensive recipe in the DIY library) I know others who use different combinations of rock work in their tanks along with some crushed coral or something of that sort.

While argamax is a very nice substrate its not your ONLY option.
 

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I originally planned on using the 3M colorquartz, but for a large tank it can turn out to be pretty expensive. I have 16mesh sandblasting sand and I love it. I think it is the perfect grain size - in fact i think anything smaller than 20mesh is too small for an aquarium that has any pump/filter in it, or if you ever plan on cleaning the substrate (which I think pretty much covers every aquarium). And for 8 bucks for a 100lb bag, I spent 16$ total - and had a ton left over. I think 3M colorquartz would have cost me at least 80$ for the same poundage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you all for the continuing replies. I would like to add my condolences, Doane, for your camera. I hope there weren't any pictures on it that you hadn't yet printed or saved to your computer. A camera, while expensive, can be replaced, but the pictures cannot. I would actually laugh right along with them...all the way to their wallet to write myself a check for a replacement camera, but maybe that's why I don't get along with people. :lol:

At any rate, after days of calling around, I FINALLY found someone who was willing to take my money. I called a distributor not realizing it was a distributor to order some and they said to call any pool supply place in the area because they distribute to all of them. I thought that would be simple...9 pool supply places later I found someone who would order it for me. None of the places had heard of it and even after telling them that I had just gotten off the phone with their distributor so I knew they carried the stuff, the retailers were simply unwilling to order it. I'm going to have to remember that if I ever start my own business...refuse services to customers for no good reason. :thumb: Idiots. :roll: I ended up having to drop $35 per bag on the stuff, but I figure it will last pretty much forever, so it was worth the extra expense.

I would definitely have loved to get some cheaper sand, but I couldn't find any white sand that was actually white. Apparently everyone thinks that grayish brown is white. The upside to that manner of thinking is that they'll never need to go to the dentist because their teeth will always look sparkling to them.

As to the buffering issue, I don't think I'm going to have much of a problem with that. Water rolls out of my tap at a pH of about 7.8 and I don't recall the exact hardness of the water, but when I posted it on a different forum, the term "liquid rock" came up more than once. I still put crushed coral in my canisters, though I imagine it's no more effective than throwing salt over my right shoulder after spilling some.

I would like to thank all of you again for your input and add this bit of advice for anyone considering buying colorquartz sand. If you can stand the thought of any other substrate, skip the colorquartz. I'm sure I'll love it, but I've honestly never had to work so hard for anything in my whole life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you all for the continuing replies. I would like to add my condolences, Doane, for your camera. I hope there weren't any pictures on it that you hadn't yet printed or saved to your computer. A camera, while expensive, can be replaced, but the pictures cannot. I would actually laugh right along with them...all the way to their wallet to write myself a check for a replacement camera, but maybe that's why I don't get along with people. :lol:

At any rate, after days of calling around, I FINALLY found someone who was willing to take my money. I called a distributor not realizing it was a distributor to order some and they said to call any pool supply place in the area because they distribute to all of them. I thought that would be simple...9 pool supply places later I found someone who would order it for me. None of the places had heard of it and even after telling them that I had just gotten off the phone with their distributor so I knew they carried the stuff, the retailers were simply unwilling to order it. I'm going to have to remember that if I ever start my own business...refuse services to customers for no good reason. :thumb: Idiots. :roll: I ended up having to drop $35 per bag on the stuff, but I figure it will last pretty much forever, so it was worth the extra expense.

I would definitely have loved to get some cheaper sand, but I couldn't find any white sand that was actually white. Apparently everyone thinks that grayish brown is white. The upside to that manner of thinking is that they'll never need to go to the dentist because their teeth will always look sparkling to them.

As to the buffering issue, I don't think I'm going to have much of a problem with that. Water rolls out of my tap at a pH of about 7.8 and I don't recall the exact hardness of the water, but when I posted it on a different forum, the term "liquid rock" came up more than once. I still put crushed coral in my canisters, though I imagine it's no more effective than throwing salt over my right shoulder after spilling some.

I would like to thank all of you again for your input and add this bit of advice for anyone considering buying colorquartz sand. If you can stand the thought of any other substrate, skip the colorquartz. I'm sure I'll love it, but I've honestly never had to work so hard for anything in my whole life.
 
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