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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the difference between pool filter sand and silica sand?

From what I have read Pool Filter Sand is 98% Silica.
 

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Just about all sand is silica sand...

Pool Filter Sand is simply silica sand that falls within a specified range of particle sizes... this means you will not have nearly as many small particles which cause the water to become extremely cloudy if not washed out... Also the larger grain sizes of the PFS will stay on the bottom of the tank where they belong much better than fine grained sands...

I have several hundred lbs of PFS throughout most of my tanks...
 

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is it normal that pool filter sand's coloration is not uniform? I see tan to white to black grains mixed in. Would different brands have different coloration?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So its probably best to go PFS over just plain old Silica.

Its about 3 times the price, but at only $9 per 50 lbs I can deal :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
30 grade Washed and Kiln Dried Silica is what I can get at HD. It is a tanish with a few darker particles. It is normal pacific beach sand i have seen my whole life.

Pool filter sand is in that range with a few grades finer as well, but is it whiter?

http://www.fosterdixiana.com/pages/filtersand.html

I'd rather have some of the PFS that is whiter in color.

Anyone's PFS white? I found this pic and it is very white here.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Picked up about 125 pounds of PFS today. They gave me 25% off because all the bags had holes and one was only 2/3 full.

I got mine from Leslie's Pool Supplies. Anyone else get their sand from Leslie's?

The sand it pretty white, but not super white and rather coarse. I'm worried its too coarse and it will be more like gravel than sand.

I'll post a picture soon, but I'm thinking it is too coarse now that I look at it a little closer.

Maybe someone who has used PFS from Leslie's can fill me in.

Thanks,

Chris
 

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Weird??

I got mine from Leslies. Granted, this was a couple of years ago, but it never seemed coarse to me. Odd? I need to go back and pick up a few more bags myself. I hope they haven't changed their grain :x

The color, I think, is perfect. White, but not bleach. :thumb:

Here are some photos of the sand (not that it would help in any way):




Excuse the mess - I havea habit of taking photos before any cleaning :?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Maybe I am over reacting.

It is a lot coarser than play sand or the 30 mesh silica sand I found at Home Depot. That is for sure.



 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
CDMOK said:
Weird??

I got mine from Leslies. Granted, this was a couple of years ago, but it never seemed coarse to me. Odd? I need to go back and pick up a few more bags myself. I hope they haven't changed their grain :x

The color, I think, is perfect. White, but not bleach. :thumb:

Here are some photos of the sand (not that it would help in any way):




Excuse the mess - I havea habit of taking photos before any cleaning :?
Does help, I want to see what it is going to look like before I switch over.
 

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Do you have a 10 gallon to test it out in?

I really am happy with it, and the fish love it too. They sift and spit and play. I am going today to pick up three more bags. :thumb:

I am sorry that it's not what you had expected. All I can suggest at this point is, as I said, test it out in a smaller tank OR go buy another bag from another retailer to see if it's just Leslie's or that type all together.

Good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You know, my guess is it will do what it should, which is keep the debris on top, since the sand is designed to keep everything but water from going through it.

I have a 20 gallon I could test out on. I think I set up the 20 this weekend with the new sand, the gravel I have in there is 27 different shades of ugly (epoxy coated multi color consumer mixed ick).

I might not want ot get rid of the 20 if the sand looks good in there! :lol: :D

I might end up trying to use the 20 as a hospital underneath my main tank. I can;t have multi tanks, but I have to have a hospital/fry tank. "Do you want the baby fish to get eaten?" I'll say. "Do you want the good looking fish to die and the ugly fish to take over." Hopefully that works.
 

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i use the same exact sand and i find it ideal in terms of not getting sucked up too much by my siphon. it looks a lot whiter when in water and under bright lighting. my only complaint is that it isnt too uniform. check out my tank and videos
 

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Acrosstic - what did you end up with? :D
 

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After reading so many posts on PFS I decided to pick up a 50# bag today from a local pool supply store (Performance Pools). I called around and all of the stores carried only what they described as a red sand. Home Depot had nothing, neither did Wal-Mart. The type/color of sand I'm sure is dependent on where you live, in our case it came from Eau Claire, WI (Red Flint Sand and Gravel, LLC).

One thing I didn't notice was the warning on the bag that read "breathing of dust containing greater than 1% free silica may cause... cancer. Follow all OSHA and MSHA Safety and Health standards for crystalline silica (quartz) when handling or opening this container. Wear proper respiratory protection when using this product."

Ok, one bag, prolonged exposure, sure I'm fine. :) Still if there's a next time, I'll wear a mask, or find another source of PFS without the warning. It's very confusing. What the heck is "1% free silica?" And why didn't either of the salespeople mention wearing a protective mask?

Ok, on to the sand. We rinsed it many times and poured maybe 30 pounds of it into a 20 gallon tank and filled it up with water. Six hours later the tank is as clear as any other I've set up using gravel or sand (Eco-complete we're talking days to clear). The color of the sand is disappointing, almost identical to play sand except with a little more of a reddish tinge. It just doesn't look appealing in our humble opinions. If we were keeping fish native to WI and MN then it would look more natural. Africans, no way. Interesting $8 experiment tho, we may even end up keeping it in the tank and put in some shellies.

One store, Watson's, which is a bit north of where I live has the white sand - may have to try them next.
 

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i just picked up some silca sand which is pretty much grey????

i spoke to the shop which said that was the natural colour of the sand.

still trying to figure out if i like grey or not......

but also wondering if you could bleach it white.

hmmmmm.
 

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acctually i did a little test in a tiny tank with rock samples and the silica under a light and what looks like death grey in a bucket really comes alive in a tank..so im sticking with it..
 
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