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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V6 #162 Using Coal Slag as a Substrate

In a message dated 5/19/03 7:39:22 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
Aquatic-Plants-Owner at actwin_com writes:

> Has anyone used coal slag (sandblasting grade) as a substrate?  It appears
>  to be more coarse than silica sand and according to the manufacturer has a
>  neutral pH.  I like the color and was wanting to use it in combination with
>  laterite in a planted aquarium.  I know that Seachem's flourite is highly
>  rated but am searching for a lower cost alternative.

I am unfamiliar with what coal slag is composed of. If it is made of sharp 
particles or acidic you might want to rethink it's use. Putting some in a 
glass of water and allowing to sit a couple of days and then checking the pH 
would allow you to see if it is truly neutral in pH. I use lumps of coal in 
my tanks as decoration but it is coal that has rolled around on the bottom of 
the ocean for more than 100 years. This seems to have neutralized any acidic 
effects from the coal. Coal and coal tailings are usually very acidic. If it 
is dark in color, made of more or less rounded particles and non acidic, SEND 
ME SOME PLEASE! i love dark sand but it difficult to find in large quantities 
for any kind of reasonable price :-)