Inexpensive Black Sand?

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by Mxx, 10 Sep 2011.

  1. Mxx

    Mxx Member

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    Is there a UK source for good black sand? I'd like some to use as a cap atop a mineralized top soil base, but I'm having trouble sourcing it here as all the source I found seem to be in the US.

    All I've found is products such as Flourite Black Sand which is decent and which I use in a tank already, but it would cost a fortune for a large tank, and regular cheap sand works just as well over a soil underlay.

    I'm looking for something such as black pool filter sand or 3M Black Quartz Sand. I had also seen one which consisted of ceramically coated small grains which sounded interesting.

    I'd however perhaps prefer to avoid silica sand though, as the silica seems to result in algal problems for some, though I haven't been able to confirm that, unless others can?
     
  2. fishfingers

    fishfingers Newly Registered

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    Caribsea Natural Tahitian Moon Black Sand its not badly priced and is very black looks good
     
  3. Tom

    Tom Member

    Try the Unipac Stuff :) Or Pets at Home have a similar one but maybe slightly more expensive.
     
  4. m_attt

    m_attt Member

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    I use caribsea, Tahitian Moon sand. its jet black hasn't lost its colour after two years and looks really nice.
     
  5. sanj

    sanj Member

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    Just a note, the Unipac Limpopo is not a black sand. Its more like light grey with black in. I think they do a 2-3mm black gravel, but i dont know what that looks like.
     
  6. Mxx

    Mxx Member

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    The Caribsea Tahitian Moon Sand is still over four times the price that I'd been seeing for 3M Colorquartz, or Spectra Quartz, and I'd seen a few complaints about the Moon Sand as well. And Black Beauty sand which some use is far more inexpensive than that, but I don't really trust it.

    Pool filter sand is at least half the price of Moon Sand, and play sand is a fraction of that even, but I've yet to see pool filter sand here offered in black.
     
  7. He-Man

    He-Man Newly Registered

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    most maidenhead aquatics stock it , it's an excellent top coat for substrate.
     
  8. Gill

    Gill Member

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    Agreed most MA stores stock it. Another tip check out the candle/vase isle in the warehouse/department store. They have some nice Black sands sometimes.
     
  9. Mxx

    Mxx Member

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    I found this black volcanic sand, http://www.specialistaggregates.com/mor ... bb80f71e62
    which appears to be the desirable grain size, and it's less than £0.33/kg, which is an eight the price of Tahitian Moon Sand, although that price is for buying it in one tonne quantities, which even for a 2 metre long tank might be a lot. With their 20 kg bags it's £1.58 per kilo though.

    Has anyone used anything like this before?
     
  10. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

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  11. clonitza

    clonitza Member

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    Fired clay is usually very light, floats and even if it doesn't it's kinda painful to plant carpeting plants. It also has the tendency to level after a while.
    I've tested a broad range of clay substrates from Manado, Stoffels GranuPor, Dupla Ground etc and none made any difference in plant growth when using EI than plain sand or quartz gravel.

    The volcanic sand if it's not treated for aquaristics has sharp edges and can injure your fish.

    If you really want a nice black sand try and find a Dennerle distributor who sales black quartz (not the expensive nano version) anyway I'm sure there are plenty of other options in UK.

    Mike
     
  12. Mxx

    Mxx Member

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  13. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

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    That is true, Dupla Ground is something not for the faint hearted, and if this is the same as Dupla, only the small pieces are recommended.

    Dennerle substrate, the one for shrimp, is the best substrate I have tried.
     
  14. Mxx

    Mxx Member

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    Estes Permacolor Quarz or Ceramquartz is what many aquarists seem to be using instead of the 3M stuff now in the States, but I'm yet to find a source here for that either.
     
  15. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Estes’ Marine Sand (also known as Ultra Reef and Stoney River) is nice in appearance if its available in the UK. Fish and Fins in Hailsham do mail order stuff and claim to be able to get Estes stuff so may be worth a try.
     
  16. Mxx

    Mxx Member

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    Thanks! They seem to have some gravel type Estes substrates listed online, so likely they could get the sands through their same distributor as well!
     
  17. Antipofish

    Antipofish Guest

    Let me know if you can get it or find anyone who can will you ?
     
  18. biffster

    biffster Member

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    i have used sea coal the very fine stuff you find
    washed up on the beach its inert just takes a lot of sorting and
    washing
     
  19. Mxx

    Mxx Member

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    I'll try to if I do, but I'm not going to need any for at least a good while still from the look of things.
     
  20. Katfish

    Katfish Member

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