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Lapis Lustre(not suitable?)/Red Flint for a darker PFS Option (+nerdy sand questions)


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So I’ve been researching sand. If I have the time I will post some other info I’ve collected on the way about various black sands, etc. For right now though I’d like to focus on the Lapis Lustre/Red Flint sands and any other PFS type sand that may be darker than most of the cheaper options.  Also, a few general sand questions. The answers might help others as well. Maybe someday I’ll make one giant post as I know myself and a lot of others are on a constant hunt for options and want to know what they’re getting exactly. 

I know  some here are familiar with the Lapis Lustre as Cory has used it in a tank and people wanted to know what it was. Any good footage of that tank? I’d like to see it being used in an aquarium.

The SDS seems to indicate is has all kinds of things we don’t want, so surprised to see it used, but figured since Cory definitely knows what he’s doing most of the time, that I’m wrong. SDS/MSDS sheets can be hard for us laymen to read. 

I’ll provide pics of the two SDS/MSDS I have. 

Seems it also has limestone in it in potentially large quantities? Being from Monterey Bay perhaps shell as well. 

It seems this stuff comes branded as:

Cemex, Kleen Blast, Cemex Kleen Blast, Cemex Neogem, RMC Pacific Materials, and Basalite

In the first pic and link it says:

Kleen Blast CEMEX Lapis Lustre Sand #60 100 lb./Bag

So what is the #60 for? It’s not for mesh or pounds. Mesh is listed as 30 in the description, but the bag says mesh of #2-/16?

In the mesh chart it says #2-/16 is 16x30 and that 30 mesh is 30x70, so I don’t think they are the same….and how does one read the chart overall? I think I have a general idea from googling it, but am not positive. 

To make it even more confusing, Cory says he used .8. I assume mm, but I don’t see any that are listed that way and from the charts it looks like there is always a range of granule size per mesh category. 

https://www.whitecap.com/p/Kleen-Blast-CEMEX-Lapis-Lustre-Sand-60-100-lbBag-55289/195907/433LL60/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI6IGeyaHN-AIVhofICh3oDwXwEAAYASAAEgIJrvD_BwE

Home Depot (different package and weight)

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Cemex-50-lb-30-Mesh-Sand-200000278/100321932#overlay

The Red Flint sand by Red Flint seems to also be a good PFS type of sand that isn’t stark white. 

https://www.redflint.com/sand-filtration-media/

They have what appears to be the exact same thing in their aquarium section as well. 

Estes has what looks like almost the same thing?:

Scroll down and it’s called Red Flint Sand

https://estesco.com/natural-aquarium-gravel/

They also have Ceramaquartz T&S grades in black, which is supposed to be the replacement for the 3M Colorquartz

They also have a line called Permaquartz. I believe Cermaquartz is the ceramic coated variety and the Permaquartz is impregnated with the color somehow. 

My guess is the Ceramaquartz is what Estes sells as Stoney River in pet shops. If so, I’m really surprised that isn’t more popular as the 3M stuff was very popular. 
 

There’s also Covia 

Personally I’m not sure I trust the coloring. I’ve seen enough reports of it coming off. 

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The major risk from sand is when it’s used for blasting. It creates a fine dust that is bad for you if inhaled.  It is also bad to get sand in your eyes.  It is also bad for your insides if you eat a lot of sand.  🤦🏻‍♀️ The most serious warnings are for the inhaled dust aspect because silicosis (inhaling silica, which is the major component of quartz) can cause cancer in your lungs, serious respiratory issues, and major irritation.  It primarily boils down to:  It’s very bad to inhale fine dust into your lungs.

MSDS sheets have even the slightest risks blown up into major issues trying to prevent stupid people from doing stupid things and to keep them from allowing their children to do stupid things.  If someone were to do an MSDS sheet on cooked bacon, no one would ever eat it again.  Well, I would, because, . . . Bacon.

In short, it’s quartz sand with a few other minor mineral components in this particular type of quartz that gives it its unique color and character.  It’s like the difference between sapphires, rubies, and garnets, plus all the different color variations of each.  They are all corundum based and the other tiny mineral components are what give them their various color ranges.

 

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On 6/28/2022 at 10:11 AM, Odd Duck said:

The major risk from sand is when it’s used for blasting. It creates a fine dust that is bad for you if inhaled.  It is also bad to get sand in your eyes.  It is also bad for your insides if you eat a lot of sand.  🤦🏻‍♀️ The most serious warnings are for the inhaled dust aspect because silicosis (inhaling silica, which is the major component of quartz) can cause cancer in your lungs, serious respiratory issues, and major irritation.  It primarily boils down to:  It’s very bad to inhale fine dust into your lungs.

MSDS sheets have even the slightest risks blown up into major issues trying to prevent stupid people from doing stupid things and to keep them from allowing their children to do stupid things.  If someone were to do an MSDS sheet on cooked bacon, no one would ever eat it again.  Well, I would, because, . . . Bacon.

In short, it’s quartz sand with a few other minor mineral components in this particular type of quartz that gives it its unique color and character.  It’s like the difference between sapphires, rubies, and garnets, plus all the different color variations of each.  They are all corundum based and the other tiny mineral components are what give them their various color ranges.

 

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I hear you, but I’ve never seen those numbers on other sands (not saying you are wrong)…

It does say 60-100 percent silica/quartz and 10% aluminum? 
 

Just seems odd considering every other similar material is usually something like 99.7 silica or similar. 
 

Like you say it does have more colors in it though. 

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There are people that swear black blasting sand is horribly toxic but I seem to be having quite good luck with it overall (along with a clay layer underneath and appropriate ferts).  My bronze cories have produced many babies without me removing eggs to another tank, but I’ve pulled close to 30 juvies out so far from this 100 gallon community tank.  They still breed regularly but my gold nugget pleco has developed a taste for Cory eggs so I’m not getting babies anymore.  I’m reasonably certain I’ve had tetras and rasboras drop eggs but in this active community tank I doubt I would ever see babies and quite frankly, if they hide well enough until they’re fairly well grown, I wouldn’t know the difference if a new one showed up since I have over a dozen of each species of nanofish in here with some natural variation in size.  They certainly don’t seem to be reproducing in any quantity.  😆 

I guess it boils down to what chances are you willing to take for the look you want.  You know it’s been used very successfully by others.  Is it the look you want?  How much risk are you willing to take?  I would risk it if that’s the look I wanted.  You will have to decide for yourself.

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I appreciate you and your tank sounds awesome!

I think with a little work investigating and finding the right knowledgeable person, we can do better than just try and see. 
 

Here is the one file I knew I was forgetting. Look at the limestone percentage. I think between that and the aluminum (not sure if that form is in a soluble or handful form), there’s reason to try and figure out if it’s safe or not. 

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Did it mention anywhere the overall percentage of the aggregate that was limestone?  Limestone in itself is not necessarily a big deal.  If it has a big limestone component and you’re not going for hard water species, it might be problematic.  If it’s a very small percentage of the aggregate, I wouldn’t really worry about it unless you’re trying for very soft water species, in which case even a small percentage might be problematic.

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On 6/28/2022 at 12:47 PM, Odd Duck said:

Did it mention anywhere the overall percentage of the aggregate that was limestone?  Limestone in itself is not necessarily a big deal.  If it has a big limestone component and you’re not going for hard water species, it might be problematic.  If it’s a very small percentage of the aggregate, I wouldn’t really worry about it unless you’re trying for very soft water species, in which case even a small percentage might be problematic.

It says there in the SDS I added 0-100 silica and 45-100 limestone. Quite the variance. 
 

I agree and know limestone isn’t necessarily a danger, but it’s always something we want to know if it’s there or not due to the buffering. 

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On 6/28/2022 at 11:51 AM, FirstClassFish said:

It says there in the SDS I added 0-100 silica and 45-100 limestone. Quite the variance. 
 

I agree and know limestone isn’t necessarily a danger, but it’s always something we want to know if it’s there or not due to the buffering. 

Well, it is a “naturally occurring aggregate”.

The only thing I see is 90+% of silaceous materials, 10+% of aluminum oxides, then very small fractional percentages of other minerals on the first SDS.  The Cemex brand SDS shows the limestone.

It’s up to you if you want to risk it.  I suspect you will see similar results if you looked at a SDS for most any mixed sand product.  But products sold as blasting material have additional risks associated due to the higher risk of aerosolization.  I haven’t looked for SDS on Black Diamond but I’d bet it’s fairly nasty reading, too.  Yet thousands are having success with it and no apparent issues.  🤷🏻‍♀️ 

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On 6/28/2022 at 1:24 PM, FirstClassFish said:

The Cemex is the same brand. 

It wasn’t completely clear to me that they were identical products since they are aimed at different markets and the SDS are significantly different.  Just like different brands of shredded cheese where some will have anti-clumping agents added.  😆 

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On 6/29/2022 at 11:34 PM, Odd Duck said:

It wasn’t completely clear to me that they were identical products since they are aimed at different markets and the SDS are significantly different.  Just like different brands of shredded cheese where some will have anti-clumping agents added.  😆 

You’re right, I think the Basalite one may have been a file that was incorrect under one of the product pages. It’s hard to do all this research on a phone. I’ll have another look and I’ll make some more phone calls. I’ve made one so far. The ones right form Cemex seems to be correct. 

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