I know you're supposed to keep quiet and be thought an idiot, rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt...but! I was thinking that I could ground the piles of sand somewhere to get rid of the static build up. I suspect it builds up in the clear PVC pipe it moves through so I thought maybe I could ground that or use different material. The end of the project involves the sand being carried through that pipe almost 8 feet so I need to solve that if it's the source of static build up. I think static electricity builds up from items rubbing against one another and electrons being traded but not returned. There must be a way to remove static up build up (is that degaussing?).
The sand is Estes' Stoney River Premium Aquarium Black Sand. I got the first back off Amazon but a somewhat local (30 miles) pet store has some in stock so I'm going there to buy more rather than pay for shipping dead weight (I don't have or want Amazon Prime). The Estes' website says they have other colors and sizes. I'm happy with it. Like I said, the cost kind of stinks but the operational gains are well worth it for me.