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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Figured Id throw together a little write up on this stuff with some pictures. I have yet to put it in my tank as I'm waiting to pickup my new 90 gallon. I went over to Home Depot and picked up two 50lb bags of Quikcrete Medium Grade sand. It cost me $9 bucks for both bags with tax, great deal. It's a little whiter than i originally thought but i actually really like it. It looks real pure.

I am impressed with how clean this stuff is.. Here are some pictures showing the bag, grade of the medium sand and the purity of the sand after adding water.. NOTE: I did NOT prewash the sand before putting it in this small container for a sample.

Hope this helps some of you looking for an alternative substrate to save money and wondered how the Medium grade looked and worked for a tank.. I can tell this stuff will be great. I know others have used it in the past but i really haven't seen a whole lot of details.

Here's the Bag



Grade of Sand - This is Medium, it's actually really fine.





Water - I did not rinse the sand and i just turned the faucet on and let the water rush over the sand and its that clear.. That tells you how clean the sand already is from the bag.



Another one, I'm sure if you do decide to rinse this, the water should be crystal clear...



Hope this helps :thumb:
 

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It looks very fine - more like the play sand I've previously used than the pool filter sand I am using now. I hope it works out for you, but I had problems in the past with sand that was so fine. Unless you have fish that dig around the entire substrate, or you keep stirring it yourself, anaerobic pockets can form that, when disturbed, can release chemicals that have a bad odor and can be harmful to fish. I would be very interested in your experiences with this substrate after some time in the tank.

Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
GTZ said:
What are the additional precautions on the back concerning free silica in the sand?
Do you mean on the back of the bag? Actually if you go to quikcrete.com you will see they have aquariums listed as a recommended use.

Fmueller it does almost react like play sand when wet. Its actually like beach sand. The only thing I noticed is that it wasn't clumping like play sand does, which is a good thing..

Ill be updating this thread once I get things setup and established. I do plan to move the sand during my weekly cleaning. I do so now with my cichlid sand.
 

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The Quickrete medium sand that I had was very fine. My filters made too much current and the sand would float around and get on the rocks and plants. Your 90 gallon is deeper so that probably won't be a problem. I also had a hard time vacuuming it without sucking it up. It was a really nice-looking white sand, but I ended up removing it.

This picture shows the difference in grain size (and color) -- Quickrete sand on the left and the brand of pool filter sand that I use on the right.



I see this sand recommended quite a bit and people seem to like it. And you're right about it being pretty clean right out of the bag. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's a big difference in grain size. I may consider the PFS as well.. I really need to weight the pros and cons of each setup.. Did you have Diatom issue with either the Quikcrete or PFS? What about problems with gas pockets?
 

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I had the Quikcrete Medium sand in one of my 125's for almost two years before I sold the tank. The sand is a little finer than the Moon sand I use in most of my tanks now. I ran a C-360 and XP3 in the 125 with the Quikcrete sand and didn't have an issue with sand getting into the canisters. I think the air pocket issue has a lot to do with how much sand you use in the tank and what kind of fish you have.

Here is a picture of my 125 that was set up with the Quikcrete before I sold it.


I would still recommend this sand for a cheaper alternative to other sands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yours almost looks like a light tan color, was it the same color as mine above? The one i have is real white almost. It's actually lighter then it looks like in the pictures.. I do like the way the sand looks in your tank though, real nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Did you have any diatom issues using the Quikcrete?
 

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Code:
Coarse No. 1963 12-30 (0.7-0.6 mm)
Medium No. 1962 20-50 (0.5-0.3 mm)
Fine No. 1961 30-70 (0.6-0.2 mm)
The website lists the sand as either white or tan. Also, I didn't find anywhere suggesting it could be used in aquariums but I did find the composition.
Code:
Composition and Materials: QUIKRETE®
Commercial grade sand is high quality silica
sand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You are right about the beige

The Quikrete 50 lb. Commercial Grade Medium Sand is beige in color and can be used for industrial and construction applications. This sand is perfect for landscaping, gardening and patios or for fish ponds and aquariums.

For industrial and construction applications
Use for landscaping, gardening, patios and aquariums
Can be used as a decorative extension to stucco wall coating
Use to extend repair materials for full-depth placements
MFG Brand Name : Quikrete
MFG Model # : 196251
MFG Part # : 196251
 

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My PFS almost sinks immediately....just curious, how fast or slow does the quickcrete sand sink after stirring it up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
From my little test container it didn't seem to come up when i stirred it because when this sand gets wet it becomes like mud but doesn't clump. My cichlid sand flies around the tank when i stir it up I'm not sure this stuff will do the same. If it is doing it, its sinking immediately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hawks said:
I did not notice any increase in algae or surface films from using the Quikrete over what is the norm.
Good to know, thanks.. Can't wait to setup my new tank..
 

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Cromak said:
You are right about the beige

The Quikrete 50 lb. Commercial Grade Medium Sand is beige in color and can be used for industrial and construction applications. This sand is perfect for landscaping, gardening and patios or for fish ponds and aquariums.

For industrial and construction applications
Use for landscaping, gardening, patios and aquariums
Can be used as a decorative extension to stucco wall coating
Use to extend repair materials for full-depth placements
MFG Brand Name : Quikrete
MFG Model # : 196251
MFG Part # : 196251
Ah, that's from Home Depot's website, started thinking I was going blind, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ya I thought I saw it from quikcrete site then I looked and thought I was going crazy myself :lol:
 

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I now have ~200lbs of this stuff in 3 tanks - my 125, my 33XL, and my 40br I just set up for my fuellebornis to quarantine and grow.

Its a great sand. all 4 bags of mine were dirtier than the OP's pic. I wash in 5g buckets, and the first few fills, I can not see the bottom. It settles quickly. I do not have a problem with air pockets in the sand. Its easily to pick detritus off the top of it without sucking up sand. In my 55g, I had 2 AC110's and over time, the flow would slowly dig shallow depressions at the front of the glass where the current flowed down the front of the tank, but it wasn't enough to pick the sand up. In my 125, I don't have the problem with the HOB's, but my sump provides enough flow to move sand around if I don't point the return nozzles just right. I find it to be a light tan color as well, and not really white. During a very technical (ha ha!) in store comparison to quickrete play sand, I found the quickcrete medium sand to have a larger grain size. I suspect if I could find it, I would rather use quickcrete coarse grade sand, but no one seems to carry it.

The only other sand I can compare it to is estes reef sand found at a LFS. I found the quickcrete sand to be far superior - it is heavier/coarser so it doesn't get moved around as much as the estes sand, and the estes sand is light/fine enough to float on the surface tension, while all the quickcrete sand sinks instantly.

40br:


125g:


55g (year old, no longer set up):


I don't have a current pic of the 33XL with the quickcrete sand.

Oh, as a final note, there is another quickcrete sand that is available at home depot - it is quickcrete all-purpose sand. DO NOT TRY to use it, it doesn't work. Its a mixture of dust and a fine gravel, rather than sand. It never washes clean, and when you get close, all thats left is the fine gravel which really doesn't look good IMO. Just letting you guys know for anyone thinking of trying it - its not even worth the $4 to drag it home, where it will eventually get used to provide traction on my icy driveway. Seriously, I spent like an hour trying to get the first 5# to rinse clear - never did.
 
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