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Re: Tex-Blast

> Date: Sat, 18 Dec 1999 23:17:46 -0500
> From: "Leah Neuhauser" <Leah_Neuhauser at brown_edu>
> Subject: Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V3 #1458
> Hello,
>      Someone recommended that I use Tex-Blast sand blasting sand to mix with
> flourite.  Where would I find this sand?  In a fish store (I've never seen
> it there)?  Hardware store?  home depot place?
>      Thanks,
>      Leah

Leah, gravel is simply too cheap to ship very far, so it differs all over
the country. [Only in your lfs does it become ludicrously expensive. (^_^)]

Tex-Blast is Texas-Colorado area specific, I think. Out here, we have RMC
Lonestar's "Lapis Lustre" and SRI gravels. The SRI, and I think Tex-Blast,
are free of limestone or shells, so they don't change your water very much.
Others, like the RMC stuff, cause it to gradually harden. That may be a good
thing for your plants in really soft-water areas, providing calcium and
buffering that would otherwise be missing.

Since limestone (or shell chips) are a disaster for a few Amazon or other
rain-forest fish, you can always test by dropping some in some pool acid to
see if it "fizzes." Soak it in pool acid until the bubbling stops, and it
will be almost inert after that. [I have killed fish by failing to get *all*
the acid rinsed out, so beware of that.]

Here's the way to go. Go to your local sand and gravel supplier to the
building trades (Home Depot as a last resort). Look through what they have
and pick the grade (mesh range) and colors you like. If you *must* maintain
soft water, do the acid test/treatment. Otherwise, rinse well and use as is.

Avoid dolomite and other "white" materials unless you test with acid, but
otherwise you shouldn't have any problem with most commercial builder's

If you are really paranoid, first test your tap water for hardness (both GH
and KH, if possible), and pH. Soak a cup of the suspect gravel in a gallon
of *your* water for a few days. Test again. The changes will tell you 99% of
the things the gravel is going to do to your tank. The other 1% probably do
not matter or are benefits (like add iron).

Wright Huntley, Fremont CA, USA, 510 494-8679  huntleyone at home dot com

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