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Where can I get 'good' quartz sand from in the UK?


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#1 mobile

 
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Posted 09 August 2011 - 17:34 PM

Over the years I have received a few plants from German growers and one thing that I've noticed it that the sand used in the soil mix seems to be somewhat different from what I have seen in the UK stores. It is often light coloured, with most of the grains being opaque white and a grain size of 1 - 1.5mm diameter and quite spherical. The sand available in UK garden centres is always brown, with a very mixed grain size and often irregular shaped. Even when washed, the UK sand seem to have grains of various colours, with few being white.

Does anyone know where I can get sand in the UK, similar to that I have described from Germany?

#2 gardenofeden

 
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Posted 11 August 2011 - 11:22 AM

never managed to find it myself. I got some sandblasting sand,but it is a bit too fine than I wanted. looking online I did find a specialist sand company who did some interesting types, and although I managed to get some samples of them I never managed to get chemical analysis e.g. specialist sands
I was seriously considering ordering a half ton...

#3 mobile

 
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Posted 11 August 2011 - 11:41 AM

I'm really not that happy with the current horticultural sand I have and it appears that my plants aren't either. I would much prefer to have clean quartz sand, as described above, or something similar. I too have looked at blasting materials, but I looked at glass rather than sand. The blasting suppliers sell blasting glass grit in various grades from fine to coarse. There are some sellers on eBay but it's only available in 25kg, which is expensive to post, so I'm trying to source a local supplier.

#4 Ian Salter

 
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Posted 11 August 2011 - 12:00 PM

We have been doing a small experiment with crushed glass which we managed to get from our neighbour who bought it as ballast from a builders merchants. It comes in varying sizes from very fine to 1-2mm. With my very little knowledge or use of sand, it has similar properties of sharp sand. At the builders merchants near us we can get it for £7.00 per ton if we collect it, making this a very cheap alternative to sand. Mobile if you would like a little sample to look at pm me, we would be more than happy to send some to you.

Ian

#5 mobile

 
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Posted 13 August 2011 - 08:56 AM

Thanks for the offer Ian. I think that I will try to source some locally. I work in Aberdeen, which has a thriving oil equipment industry, thus lots of industrial suppliers, so I'm sure I will be able to get some from somewhere... just a matter of finding where.

#6 An D Smith

 
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Posted 15 August 2011 - 12:33 PM

Hi there

I too have been wanting some decent quality quartz sand for a while, and the other day I found the perfect stuff in an aquarium shop being sold as a substrate. Mined in the Philippines, this sand is pure white and quite coarse (2mm grain size) with a very small quantity of shiny mica added to give it a sparkle. It cost £2.50 for a bag around the size of a bag of sugar. The only problem was that when I enquired about its availability, I was told that what they had in stock (very little) was all there will ever be as the mine in the Philippines has now shut!

I guess it is time to start looking again, but I would highly reccomend looking in aquarium supply/tropical fish shops.




Cheers

Andy

Edited by An D Smith, 15 August 2011 - 12:33 PM.


#7 gardenofeden

 
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Posted 15 August 2011 - 19:43 PM

how about this?

#8 mobile

 
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Posted 02 January 2012 - 19:30 PM

After finding that the 'lime free' horticultural sand I have fizzes like crazy when acid is added, I decided to re-instigate my search for a decent sand or alternative. Whilst wandering around my local B&Q store today I found the sand below for £2.28. It consists of varying grain sizes and I approximate it to sharp sand. I rinsed some, to use in an experimental potting mix, and found various colour plastic pieces floating to the surface of the water. These were easily removed by just letting the bucket overflow with water, taking the plastic bits with it.

Posted Image

#9 Ian Salter

 
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Posted 06 April 2012 - 12:16 PM

A good buy for a smaller quantity at £2.28.
If you sift and grade it you can use the larger fragments for mixing with perlite and or peat or use it as a funky top dressing.
You are no doubt also aware from using sand mixes that if you use a very sandy mix it can wash right out of the bottom of pots with this stuff.
Regards.
Ian.

Edited by Ian Salter, 06 April 2012 - 12:19 PM.


#10 nicklott

 
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Posted 24 April 2012 - 20:31 PM

Over the years I have received a few plants from German growers and one thing that I've noticed it that the sand used in the soil mix seems to be somewhat different from what I have seen in the UK stores. It is often light coloured, with most of the grains being opaque white and a grain size of 1 - 1.5mm diameter and quite spherical. The sand available in UK garden centres is always brown, with a very mixed grain size and often irregular shaped. Even when washed, the UK sand seem to have grains of various colours, with few being white.

Does anyone know where I can get sand in the UK, similar to that I have described from Germany?


I know it's been mentioned above but a fish shop is definitely the place to look for "fancy" sands. Have a look in your local Maidenhead Aquatics if there is one or somewhere online, eg http://www.swelluk.c.../sand-1696.html or http://www.thegreenm...aterials/sands. Postage is normally fairly steep for sand though and if you really want your sand shipped in from Sarawak you're going to pay through the nose ;)

#11 mobile

 
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Posted 24 April 2012 - 20:44 PM

I know it's been mentioned above but a fish shop is definitely the place to look for "fancy" sands. Have a look in your local Maidenhead Aquatics if there is one or somewhere online, eg http://www.swelluk.c.../sand-1696.html or http://www.thegreenm...aterials/sands. Postage is normally fairly steep for sand though and if you really want your sand shipped in from Sarawak you're going to pay through the nose ;)

The Maui quartz sand looks somewhat similar to the sand I described. I might get some to test.

#12 will9

 
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Posted 24 April 2012 - 22:26 PM

32Pound for 25kg sand?
I think you must search for sand that used for building,i used breakersand 1,50Euro for 25 kg,i think it s the same like Germans used.
It s sand from rock mines,i supoose there are rocks to in UK.
For building you need sand ,i supoose in England to?You must look for sand that used for the floor,meaby you can find very good for a few pounds,
Cheers Will

#13 mobile

 
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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:22 AM

32Pound for 25kg sand?
I think you must search for sand that used for building,i used breakersand 1,50Euro for 25 kg,i think it s the same like Germans used.
It s sand from rock mines,i supoose there are rocks to in UK.
For building you need sand ,i supoose in England to?You must look for sand that used for the floor,meaby you can find very good for a few pounds,
Cheers Will

Yes, the sand comes from fluvial-glacial deposits, but I have tested some with lactic acid and particles mixed within it fizz, suggesting it contains lime deposits.

#14 will9

 
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Posted 25 April 2012 - 07:17 AM

Yes, the sand comes from fluvial-glacial deposits, but I have tested some with lactic acid and particles mixed within it fizz, suggesting it contains lime deposits.


Is there only 1 kind of sand in UK?Here in Belgium we have a lot of kinds white,yellow ,sand from the rijn ,breakersand from stonegroves,fine sand ,all used for another thing to make,some of this can not be used because there is lime in ,but some of them are very good.
I think you must look for the right in firmas that sell for building,you can test this whit acid like you say,meaby you have lucky to find some good,i think buy sand from 32 pound for 25 kg is not an option,match to spended,then you can better used something els,it s only for make the peat more aery,the sand do notting els.I have seen ones ,some guy used the rest of rice,(kaf)i not know the name in Englisch,very good stuf to,
Cheers Will

#15 gardenofeden

 
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Posted 25 April 2012 - 13:25 PM

there is almost no choice of sand in the UK, and even then sand advertised as lime free often is not.

#16 mobile

 
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Posted 25 April 2012 - 16:28 PM

there is almost no choice of sand in the UK, and even then sand advertised as lime free often is not.

I've tested two brands of horticultural sand and both fizz.