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I would be skeptical because I dont think sandblasting sand is actually sand. I used to do alot of sandblasting at work and I know for a fact it wasnt sand. Can't remember what they said it was but i definitly asked at one time (this was ~7 years ago).
 

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Sandblasting sand is inert, the problem is it is really really sharp and can rip your fish up inside pretty badly if it ingests it. Not a good idea at all really in my opinion
 

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I am trying it out. I went and got the 40 to 80 grit stuff called Black Diamond. Its really fine but heavy enough to not blow around. To my hand the granules feel less jagged than the silica sand I was using before.

Only been about a month so far but nothing bad yet and I have Shell Dwellers in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was considering the 20 or 40 grit black diamond sand since it would be a little bigger. $8 for 50 pounds cant be beat and it looks real nice. I might try it out but now I may have a new problem. I just an apparently healthy fish die and some of the other fish picked him clean. Dont have any idea what happened.
 

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I saw a friend's tank a few weeks back where he used sand he had gotten from an abrasives supply company. It was a beautiful color and very soft to the touch. He had it in at least two tanks with corydoras, who were in good health.

In short, I think it depends on the particular sand.
 

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there are quite a few posts discussing this topic but I will tell you that all of my tanks have Coal slag, black beauty, blasting sand, whatever you want to call it. I have not had any issues, it can be sharp but haven't seen any evidence that caused illness or death in any of my fish.
 

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Does anyone have any evidence of fish getting torn up by too sharp sand? I'm not saying it isn't a valid concern, but I have yet to hear an actual case of something happening. Whereas I have heard enough success stories that I'm considering trying it. Someone did mention to me that there was a concern of a sharp grain scratching eggs, which sounds plausible.
 

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I do recall reading a few years ago that there was a member on this site that claimed he did a necropsy on one of his dead fish and found pieces of sand imbedded in his gut. Like I said I have not seen this after about 8 years of using it
 

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I became concerned about smooth substrate grains before I had a tank and in connection with the catfish. The books said that a sharp substrate could damage their undersides and barbels.

Of course, I bought a smooth substrate and never had a problem.

But I don't know if that is the reason, LOL.
 

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umm... isnt the black sandblasting stuff some kinda iron?.. thats what it is up here at least. some kinda oxide ****. i just use silica sand. sometimes i have diatom issues other times i dont. its weird like that. in either case breathing the dust from it is bad and cleaning it takes some time. but for the price (6$ per 50lb bag) it cant be beat. *** gone through two bags now and i wouldnt use anything else
 

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Black blasting sand can be any of a number of types of slag. Black Beauty is coal slag, the stuff I have is nickel slag, and it may of may not be sharper than silica sand. Sharpness in sand is a abit of a misnomer in that the material fragments when processed so you have rough edges. How it fragments probably is dependant on the material. PFS is sharp by specification, and is often no different than silica blasting sand, if that is the base of the material. The problem with silica is that it is white (very unnatural looking for most biotopes), and if you don't want white, it is not an option.
Regardless of whether you go with black blasting sand or silica, you can save some time cleaning it if you allow the wind to remove most of the fines. I pass the sand (and the black is very dirty) from one pail to another when there is a breeze outside, and then wash in small quantities. This saves time and water, and there is no murkiness to the water when placed in a tank. If you have to wait for a tank to settle or for the filter to clear the water, you haven't cleaned the sand.
 

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I clean all my sand with pillow cases. If its dusty I would to try to remove it like BillD said. With the pillow case you lose very minimal and you can just move it around with a hose running. I try to grab the corners and flop it back and forth while holding the open end of the pillow case. Never had any issues with cloudy water.
 

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Flippercon said:
I clean all my sand with pillow cases. If its dusty I would to try to remove it like BillD said. With the pillow case you lose very minimal and you can just move it around with a hose running. I try to grab the corners and flop it back and forth while holding the open end of the pillow case. Never had any issues with cloudy water.
thats an interesting way of doing that..lol..I used lots of water to rinse ours. Basically half or 1/4 of the bag in a bucket, turn the hose on outside without nozzle, and shove it through the sand to the bottom of the pail, and let the bucket, which is tipped on a rock, slowly overflow. I move the hose all over the bottom of the bucket....this is with silica sand. xxbenjamminxx is using the stuff I wanted to try, but hadnt heard anyone else using it yet...lol...I will wait for his review :wink:
 
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