I've been in the process of switching to an Eco-Complete/Tahitian black moon sand substrate from an all Home Depot playsand substrate. I been reading many of you saying how small the grains of Tahitian moon sand were, etc. The cleaning process has been quite involved, but I expected that from what I had read. I was feeling lucky because I located two bags of CaribSea Super Naturals Tahitian Black Moon Sand at my local Petsmart. Both bags looked as though they'd been there awhile. One looked particularly rough, but not opened all. Bought the better of the two that day, came back another day and bought the other one. The 2nd one had no price tag so they gave it to me for $6! The cashier said it had "probably been there since the beginning". Not sure exactly what that meant! Started rinsing them today. First impression was not that good as the grains were significantly larger than the playsand in my tank. I had hoped they would be tiny, as I was reading other people had found. The grains are about the size of Folger's coffee grounds and seem quite sharp. Opened the 2nd bag (which was actually the 1st one I had bought) and those grains were much smaller, more like what people here had described. It seems as though the bag of course grained sand was older perhaps? Still doesn't make sense to me and I'm not sure what to do about it since I'm not quite happy with the size of the grains. I'm wondering..has anyone else experienced discrepancy in grain size between bags of Super Naturals Tahitian black moon sand by CaribSea? My main concern, besides just liking the look/feel of the smaller grains better, is its safety, or lack thereof, to my loaches. Any opinions/ideas? I paid almost nothing for that bag of sand so it's hard to complain. The grains of play sand in the tank at the moment are quite small and the loaches really enjoy digging around. Thanks alot for the help and sorry for the long post!
If you're going for a totally dark substrate you may have to use the larger grain as well. However, if it seems too large and sharp edged for you, it would be better to mix your dark moon sand with some of your old playsand. Mix a bit together and see if you find it pleasing. The loaches will not appreciate sharp substrate, but the darkening influence of the moon sand may do well with the lighter sand.
Just another possibility
Be very carefull with your intakes. I now keep filter floss wrapped around the intakes to keep the sand out.
My favorite substrate is pool filter sand mixed with seachem onyx sand.
Pool filter sand has the perfect size and shape for loaches. Seachem onyx sand has a nice dark grey colour and it full of nutrients for plants.
I also have tank that still has pool filter sand mixed tahitian moon sand that has wrecked two filters impellors
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