Pool filter sand can be rough, it depends upon the sand. There is also the colour aspect; most of it seems to be white, and this is something you should avoid.
I switched my tanks (6 of 7) over to Quikrete Play Sand and I have had no issues with it. It takes a lot of initial rinsing, but the end result is well worth it. Substrate fish (corys, loaches, and substrate feeding fish like cichlids) do very well with this; it is safe and pure. Plants grow well in it. And as a bonus, it replicates the sand in Amazonian streams so it is natural in appearance. And it is certainly inexpensive.
Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]