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Sakrete Play Sand


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After breaking down a 75 gallon tank which developed a leak, I was amazed at the amount a detritus build up even with me vacuum the tank every change. I prefer the look of gravel but it's time to change and use sand. This will be a planted (Anacharis) barb tank (tigers and Odessa barbs) and I prefer to use a darker substrate. But finding a darker sand is difficult. 

The Sakrete Play Sand I bought 2 years ago at Lowes is a darker grey color but the original specs said "not for aquarium use". This warning is no longer on their web site. I believe the reason was, it could affect the pH. 

Not sure if this is a valid test but I put some sand&water in a jar which has been sitting there for 2 years. I tested the pH, it is the same as the water currently in a tank (pH is ~7.8). 

Another option, 2-3 inches of sand with a 1/2" layer of gravel. I just don't want white white or black sand in this tank. 

Suggestions or opinions?

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29 minutes ago, Mmiller2001 said:

I would avoid play sand and look for pool filter sand. Some play sands are a bit too fine 

I agree.  And if you get the pool filter sand from a swimming pool supply store instead of a big box home improvement store it likely won't need any rinsing, which in my opinion is a big bonus.  (I've used two different brands.  One didn't produce any clouding, and the other one produced an insignificant amount that had cleared up by the morning after I put water in the tank.)

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I would prefer to use pool filter sand, I just want a darker substrate for the barb tank. This tank will be near my Mbuna tank which will have white sand (pool or aragonite), I want a contrasting look for the barb tank.

A 1/2 inch of gravel over the sand may be the right solution for me.

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