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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
where can i get silica sand? are there diferent size of grains for silica sand- if so what should i be looking for?
Thanks
 

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Blasting sand and Pool Filter sand are both types of silica sand, although in Ontrario, the commercial sale of pure silica Blasting sand is now illegal, yet Pool Filter sand (which is the same compound) remains legal. :-? Not sure what the laws are in Quebec.

Blasting sand will often come in different grits, you can find it at masonry supply stores and some hardware stores. Pool Filter sand is usually all the same in size and can be found at any pool supply store. It's usually a bit more expensive than Blasting sand.
 

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You should be able to get it at any home supply/building supply store. Get either 20 or 30 grade silica sand. I got a 100 pound bag for 8 bucks. It has a very natural appearance. Make sure you rinse it out well before putting it in your tank.
 

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MidNightCowBoy said:
You should be able to get it at any home supply/building supply store.
Not as easy up here unfortunately due to the laws. There are a few hardware stores that carry blasting sand although it's not silica. The stuff they sell commercially here is called "White Lightning" and works as substrate just as well.

As I said though, I'm not familiar with Quebec laws, they can vary from Province to Province.
 

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the commercial sale of pure silica Blasting sand is now illegal
Why would they outlaw sand???? :-? ! I've heard of some pretty silly laws , but that's a new one.
 

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Silica dust is carcinogenic, making it a health hazrd, subject to various health regulations. Pool filter sand may or may not be silica, but is at least washed and contains less dust. It is also a larger more suitable size than most blasting sands. Right now, I', trying a black blasting sand, which is ground up nickel slag. I bought the coarsest they had, but I think it is still too fine. It is absolutely black and very inexpensive, at around $10 for an 88 lb bag.
 

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I think you may run into problems long term using a metal slag as a substrate. That material may be fine as a blasting media, but there is a potential for the metal(or metals) to leach into the water and kill your fish.
Long term exposure to silica dust can cause a number of health problems , but these are normally encountered in those who are exposed to it in an industrial setting and don't use protective equipment, or live in very dusty(desert) environments. Seeing as silica is the most abundant element on the planet, making the sale of sand illeagal is a bit ridiculous. Silica and its dust is everywhere . I don't know if there are any sandy beaches in Canada, but if sand is a regulated substance there then logically any sandy beach would be considered a health hazzard and subject to regulation as well.I know your government is trying to look out for you guys up there, but you folks need to tell your powers that be to use some common sense.
 

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The difference between the dust in a bag of blasting sand and what occurs in nature is the size of the paticles. The extreme fineness in blasting sand is what makes it so hazardous. In the US, OSHA or NIOSH has regulations for silica. Same applies to asbestos and fiberglass, with regards to how fine the particles are.
The black blasting sand is not the coal slag I expected, when I bought it. I'm trying it with some expendable fish (they are dying of old age) to see if there is any adverse effects. If the the slag is in effect, a glass, it should be fine. Time will tell.
 

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I dont know if you guys have Home Depot or Lowes there in Canada, but those places should definitely have sand for you.
 

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So do the same regulations apply to play sand ? The osha regs. here apply to heavy industy and commercial use of sand / silica dust. Once we pick it up from the store it's ours to do with as we please . If it ever came to something like that here, the beach is only a short drive away and I've got lots of buckets and a truck :D . There's always a way around governmental stupidity!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
so if i can't find silica sand @ pool store what would be my 2nd best bet, Go to home depot and ask for what? i'm just nervous that i will get the wrong kind, not sure what to look for? i went to my lfs today and sand is mucho $$$$..

also i'm sure if its banned in Ontario, it will be banned here too. everything is banned here! i had a hard time finding mardel products when my fish were sick, i had to sneek some over the border...lol!!
 

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I would say check around at home improvement stores (lowes ,Home Depot, ect.) for pool filter sand , or alternatively play sand provided that hasn't been banned as well. The play sand will need more washing but looks really nice in the tank once you get it clean. One other thing that could be an option is finely crushed stone like granite or basalt. That stuff is available at stone supply yards and is pretty cheap and definately gives the tank a unique look.
 

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You should have no trouble getting pool filter sand from a pool store. Depending on it's source, it can vary in colour. http://www.redflint.com/pool_filtration_sand.htm shows a very nice PFS that isn't a ghastly white. Their Aquariun Sand is the same product. It has a very nice natural look; I have a bunch of their fine gravel, which contains the same colours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
after searching high and low, i have finally found silica sand! i was just about to give up and get play sand and decided i'll just try that crappy pool store that nobody goes to in my area, walked in & it was right there stacked from floor to almost the ceiling.. imagine that! lol!!

i'm doing a test run first with my 30 gallon, cause i wanted to see if i want white or black sand for my 90 gallon.

i did noticed the white really shows up the fish poop and i only have 5 fish in my 30, hows black sand compared to white for hiding the mess?

thanks all!
 

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Black will hide it better, but white helps you find more of the junk in there. If you clean your tank really well though it doesn't really matter much besides you own preferance. I personally think black would be outstanding for lighter colored fish and white really shows of the darker ones colors more.
 
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