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Re: funny white spheres and gravel
Thayer Syme asked:
> This afternoon my brother in law and I tore down a planted 10 gallon
> desktop tank. we discovered a good number of funny little white spheres,
> about 1/8" in diameter. At first I thought they were small snails, but
> upon closer inspection, realized that they were completely sealed. The
> outer surface was hard, but a squeeze with a fingernail crushed the wall,
> and produced a small white cloud which quickly disipated. Neither of us
> has seen anything like it before and we are quite curious about them.
They sound like Osmocote (or similar) beads. The shells are
permeable plastic and usually a little less than 1/8" in diameter.
Originally they coated the fertilizer bead, but the fertilizer gradually
dissolves out, leaving a hollow, white or yellowish brittle sphere.
> Today I visited 3 different pool supply shops and none of them had this red
> flint any more. Instead they all were selling silica sand for swimming pool
> filters. From my understanding this is the same consistancy.but is silica
> not red flint.
> Has anyone used this stuff? Is it as good as the stuff I used in the past?
> Is it safe? And what possible adjustments will I have to make if I switch to
> the silica?
Flint is another form of silica (color due to stable impurities), so you
shouldn't have any chemical problems switching to silica sand. Silica
sand is very light-colored. If you don't like the lighter color then you
might consider mixing it with a darker sand or just using an entirely