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Hi all.

I'm in the process of setting up a new breeding tank and wondered if it is ok to use kids play pit sand?. I have a 20kilo bag left over from the kids sand pit and thought it is a cheap and easy way of giving my new group some substrate as right now it's bare glass. Surfing the net I have heard about half the people say it's fine and fish love it and the other half say it's a nightmare as it compacts and is so fine it clogs the filter. Has anyone ever used it?
 

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I think it depends on the product and it can vary from brand to brand. You could take a large sample and rinse it well to see how dirty it is and put a couple pounds or kilos in small container with water to see how tightly it compacts.
 

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The product is not uniform so you can't rely on what you are getting is the same product some of the people liked.

Even if it is relatively clean, it might be too fine and grind up your impellers.

Because of this advice given to me as a newbie, I never used it.

I did use a black sand manufactured by Flourite, and it WAS too fine. I always found it in my filters when I cleaned them. You want grains large enough not to fly up then the fish dig and to drop right back down when they spit the substrate all over the tank. Another way to judge is try the Python with the play sand. If the grain is large enough, it will be sucked up into the siphon tube but it will drop back down without going up the hose and down your drain.
 

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I used it and liked it but I did have to go through half a doz different types to find one that I liked the look of. It takes a lot of cleaning (I sifted it through some old window screen).
I preferred it to pool filter sand because it looked more natural (IMO) and didn't contain sharp pieces which might be a concern if you are keeping sand sifters.
Eventually, I switched it out to Caribsea naturals because I wanted something that was lighter in colour. I shouldn't have bothered as the caribsea is far to fine and discolors anyway.
Some good points above though, You do have to be careful syphoning it as it will end up in your drain (I syphoned into a bucket and then dumped the water).
And it will get into filters (one of the reasons I use Eheim canisters as the motor is on top of the unit and the intake is on the bottom).
 
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