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Has anyone found a good "Coarse" silica sand?

I've scoured google and seen many posts on the topic, most of the are pretty old but im looking to repot some pings into a at least Mostly mineral based media.

I've seen pool filter sand mentioned (#20 I believe), but i've also heard people say it's too fine. But apparently the coarser stuff is harder to find. I don't mind ordering offline if anyone knows of a good place to find some good coarse sand?

I plan on mixing it with Perilite (Maybe vermiculite, although i've heard this breaks down fast), APS or Turface, and maybe some sort of other inert minerals (Maybe pumice stone or lava rock). Doing an equal part of each. And putting everything in 4 inch pots.

But yeah this elusive sand seems quite difficult to find (Def. not anywhere around any home depot or lowes i've been too) but i'll try the pool filter sand if it works (As I know of a couple of pool supply shops).
I've seen people post about using playsand for sandboxes.

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I have not been able to find anything other than fine sand which is a shame. Ever since they switched away from silica for sand blasting it's really difficult to find.
Have you looked at bonsai shops? I got my #12 silica sand at one.
Personally, I'd love to get ahold of sand that's larger grit than that product. Unfortunately nobody seems to sell the coarse version of it. The medium grade shown here varies between 20 and 50 grit which is quite small. The coarse version varies from 12 to 30 grit. I've seen 12-16 mentioned as the ideal range for CP use and to avoid compaction.
nimbulan, you might find Ebay or Amazon interesting. I just looked up coarse sand, 2 gallons of 12 mesh silica sand is going for 20~30 dollars. More than half the cost is due to shipping but it's heavy so it's to be expected.
Now to figure out how to convert gallons into pounds, since sand is usually sold by the pound...
That is sort of my hangup with the Coarse sand sold on Amazon. Im curious about fish store/aquarium sand but haven't found anything definitive.
  • #11
You could call sand blasting or paint shops to ask for a local source. I ended up finding #16 silica sand (2075: 75% retention in 20 mesh) in a building material supply shop (they sell concrete, bricks, etc). Here is a link so that you can have some ideas about what kind of items they deal with:
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  • #12
Seems like pool filter sand isn't a bad option thats at least somewhat available. I mean really......the only negative to perilite is that it's just sorta a PITA to deal with correct?
  • #13
I think it can be. It floats in water and can get green with algae after time.
  • #14
I like that perlite is really lightweight, but I always get this brown/orange buildup on it unless it's being rained on regularly so I never use it indoors anymore. I love it for outdoors though.
  • #15
In the uk I use unipac maui course quartz sand that is 2mm to 3mm grain size, it's used in aquariums and is compelling inert. It also comes in a fine grade that is 1 to 2mm. These sizes are known in the aquarium trade as micro gravel. Hope this helps.

Best regards
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  • #17
The finest grade chick grit works pretty well, its made from crushed granite. Very uniform in size but its about 10 bucks for a 5 pound bag though.
  • #18
You could use Aquatic Planting Soil (Turface). Just soak it thoroughly to leach stuff out. Walmart supposedly sells them im 20lb bags. Also it is often available in local nurseries.


I had thought of using this as the "Sand" alternative in my mix. I have a TDS meter coming in so i'll make sure I wash it well. (or do I need to soak it overnight). It'll be used with repotting pings.
  • #19
wash it with tap water until the water runs clear and leave soaking overnight in distilled water. It will leach out more minerals. Rinse once more after that with distilled water and you are good to go. I use it for pings and cephs.

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  • #20
Im guessing the Turface (I see the MVP brand or w/e mentioned a lot) and the APS are practically the same thing (They seem to look the same).