Inexpensive Black Sand?

Katfish

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21 Jan 2012
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Tunbridge Wells
I have not put it in water yet all it says is aqua sand -black this is made by unipac so they would be the best ppl to contact to find out what it is made with as I have no clue.
 

Katfish

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well according to there site is is coated silica sand and yes that is the stuff I have that I brought from Amazon that I put the link up on the thread.
 
A

Antipofish

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Katfish said:
well according to there site is is coated silica sand and yes that is the stuff I have that I brought from Amazon that I put the link up on the thread.

Give em a ring tomorrow, they are friendly, helpful and knowledgable :) That will put your mind at rest.
 

Katfish

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Ok I think you you have miss read somewhere as I am not worried about my sand that I have brought al i did was post a link up to back sand for the OP as is found it to be the best price for unipac stuff.
 
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Antipofish

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Katfish said:
Ok I think you you have miss read somewhere as I am not worried about my sand that I have brought al i did was post a link up to back sand for the OP as is found it to be the best price for unipac stuff.

Yes you are right. I misread this...
Katfish said:
I have not put it in water yet all it says is aqua sand -black this is made by unipac so they would be the best ppl to contact to find out what it is made with as I have no clue.
to mean that you were asking who to talk to about it :rolleyes:
 

Mxx

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9 Sep 2011
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Thanks, I spoke to the Unipac sales rep who said that their black sand is silica sand which has a natural vegetable dye colouring. And their gravel has an epoxy coating as well. He assured that both are fully reacted and inert in any case.

Their sand is 0.5-1 mm in size. And they have a micro gravel that is 2-3 mm in size as well which would still be a decently small size to use as a cap.

And their substrates are available through Maidenhead Aquatics, if not in supply then at least by order.
 

Sentral

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Well I'm not sure if there are different types, but the "black" unicrap sand that I got wasn't black at all, the dye just rinses off.
 
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Antipofish

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Sentral said:
Well I'm not sure if there are different types, but the "black" unicrap sand that I got wasn't black at all, the dye just rinses off.
By that, do you mean their "limpopo" sand ?
 

Mxx

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Sentral said:
Well I'm not sure if there are different types, but the "black" unicrap sand that I got wasn't black at all, the dye just rinses off.
Are you serious? Can you explain please? Did you initially have it lose a little dye or is that a continuing thing to the extent that the sand eventually changes colour? And are you talking about an extensive amount of dye rinsing off or just a little?

Just a little initially I might be able to deal with, but I'd certainly want it to stay fast after that.

Incidentally, their microgravel seems to be the grain size which is usually recommended for use as a capping substrate. I'm not sure if their sand would be so tightly packed as to potentially cause problems. But obviously you don't want your soil underlay to be able to escape either.
 

sanj

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Mxx,

the black sand they were talking about is not the Limpopo sand i believe, but finer stuff. I dont think there have been issues with that. They also do a fine black gravel 2-3mm which is also inert.

Dan Crawford uses/has used the black gravel and seems to rate it well.

From personal experiance I would avoid the Limpopo for a planted tank where you do not want the water chemistry to be altered.
 

Mxx

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9 Sep 2011
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Gotcha, so consensus is that their microgravel is appropriately inert, while their other stuff is apparently not.

I would have preferred something a little smaller in the 1-2 mm size perhaps, but I guess that might be okay in case I can't obtain anything finer. Maybe I should pick some up and do a nano trial first before I order a massive amount of the stuff, as I'm not quite in a rush.
 

bigmel

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16 Feb 2012
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I,ve useing the unipac black sand , its not jet black but more of a dark grey but looks the dogs . I used it years ago aswell and it kept its colour and i find it easy to clean .
 

jadastill

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28 Mar 2012
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attachment.php?attachmentid=36919&stc=1&d=1320071275.jpg


The Americans are using this stuff. It's $8.00 (£4.00) for a 50kg bag and has gotten rave reviews on a well know planted forum. I've been on the hunt for this stuff but unfortunately can't find it here in the uk. Any suggestions?
 

ceg4048

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http://www.ati-blackdiamond.com/new/home.htm

Always be suspicious when people rave, because they could be raving mad. This product is coal slag, a glass matrix alumina-silicate which is the waste product of a coal (pulverized) burning power plant. Water is then added to quench the molten ash and this turns the ash particles to a hard glass-like substance. Due it's hardness and abrasiveness this slag is used as an alternative to sandblasting material since it is very low in "crystalline silica" which is a health concern in sand blasting.

Since it's an abrasive, you'd probably want to be cautious using it with bottom feeders and it certainly won't harm you plants, but really the only thing worth raving about would be the price, otherwise just use plain black gravel. Since it's glass-like it's probably very pretty under water and under aquarium lights.

Cheers,
 
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