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Is K&E sandblasting sand same as Black diamond?

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Is K&E sandblasting sand same as Black diamond? Empty Is K&E sandblasting sand same as Black diamond?

Post by Grandscale on Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:14 am

Hello and thank you for having me in your group.
I've seen a few posts about this but nothing really definitive.

In Ontario, black diamond sand doesn't seem to be available. I've read that many people had success using black diamond back sand as a great cheap alternative to other black substrates.

Anyone used k&e and what was their experience with it. Especially if I want bottom feeders who will be burrowing.

I've found the composition of it but I'm no chemist.
Perhaps someone could let me know if it's equivalent to black diamond sand and as safe.

Thanks 😊
Cheers

Grandscale
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Is K&E sandblasting sand same as Black diamond? Empty Re: Is K&E sandblasting sand same as Black diamond?

Post by alexmtl on Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:54 am

Hi @Grandscale,

Welcome to the pond Very Happy

I am not familiar with K&E

In my experience I prefer to have an understanding of the inert sand composition, as well as size, and the texture. I have had issues in the past with "sharp" edged substrates where it irritated the bottom feeders as they move the substrate with their mouth. I threw out the substrate when I discovered that it caused the barbels/whiskers to inflame.

What is the composition? Does it contain rock which will leach or increase hardness?
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Post by jjohnwm on Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:33 pm

Black Diamond blasting sand is actually coal slag, a by-product of commercial coal-burning plants. I've never used it myself, but a friend in Ontario brought a couple bags across from Detroit a few years ago while shopping. We had both read how useful it was as a dark substrate.

It looked pretty nice, but it produced an oily film on the surface of the water...which is what actually made me do a bit of research into its origins. Other blasting sands are made of silica and are completely inert, no film. I have no idea which type K&E is, but if it's black I'd be concerned about it as I don't recall ever seeing black silica sand.
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Post by Grandscale on Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:56 am

Is K&E sandblasting sand same as Black diamond? Screen14
Is K&E sandblasting sand same as Black diamond? Screen13

Grandscale
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Post by Grandscale on Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:59 am

This was what I've been able to find so far.
Have I found the needed information to answer your questions?

I also heard that as long as you do a good proper rinsing prior to placing it in the tank you won't get that oil or dustines

Grandscale
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Post by Grandscale on Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:49 am

This was what I've been able to find so far.
Have I found the needed information to answer your questions?

I also heard that as long as you do a good proper rinsing prior to placing it in the tank you won't get that oil or dustines

Grandscale
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Post by jjohnwm on Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:19 am

I can't seem to see that entire sheet, so not really sure what it's telling us. I must say that the mere fact that this stuff even has or requires the existence of an SDS is enough to make me shy away from using it, but maybe I'm just too much of a "nature boy".

A bit of random googling last night led me to the website of the manufacturer...or, rather, the distributor. After all, it's not manufactured per se...and it's not collected in nature and then cleaned/processed for sale...it's industrial waste which some enterprising businessman realized could be recycled for use as an abrasive. Then some other imaginative cheapskate (I know the type very well...) looked at it, looked at his aquarium, and went "Hmmmmm...." Smile And the rest is history.

Anyway, the website makes it sound as though the stuff is inert, safe, so harmless that you could probably pour it into a bowl with some milk and eat it like cereal. Of course, a good spin doctor could probably make re-cycled sewage sludge appear to be the perfect salad dressing; but so what?

IMHO, aquariums are all about nature. This stuff just doesn't "feel" right to me, but as always, your mileage may vary. It'll probably work fine; just make sure all your fish read the SDS and preferably get each one to sign a waiver. Smile
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Post by alexmtl on Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:20 am


Not having used this product I would suggest that you do some checking on the iron oxide content.

To me, the iron is leachable. You may notice the reddish stains in some rock formations and the reddish colour in soils are a result of leached iron. I am not sure if the iron will precipate out or stay in form as is.

The calcium, magnesium and potassium are contents which will make your water hardness higher than what you may have. However if you are using well water you most likely have hard water. People in cities have municipal supplies so the water is treated towards neutral or soft. The calcium has a wide range, which may mean that you get a 3% or as high as 20% by weight content. The iron has an even wider range, and up to 31% means this type of rock may be almost a third of the substrate.

I guess that if you are keeping hard water fish, like Tanganyikan and African cichlids you should be fine (except I am not comfortable with the iron). Saltwater may be okay but again I worry about the iron creating an reddish tinge.

Please keep in mind that I have no experience with this substrate only the point of view of the potential for minerals. A higher silica content would be better since this is inert. The high variance on the iron and salts may be of concern.
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Post by alexmtl on Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:48 am

For some aquarists who use an RO system to create acidic water (such as for shrimp, rare type labyrinth fish and South American cichlids) and treat with peat, the iron may be driven out of the substrate. The key would be if a reaction in water would cause release of iron into solution. 

Is the iron harmful? Highly unlikely, but it can be unsightly. Iron is fairly abundant however remains bound in the form. As a metal it will chelate and sink and therefore not be part of the dissolved content. Rarely does the iron cause problems in drinking water unless there is something to cause it to be driven into free form.
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