When it comes to the aquarium, aquarists would often use various types of accessories just to make sure that their aquariums are the best environment for the fish and other habitats. As part of making the aquarium habitable, many are now using the best aquarium sand. This type of sand is essential to keep the fish comfortable in their new environment as some come from sandy habitats.
You can be sure to find various types of sand today on the market that would be suitable for the aquarium. You can have one for freshwater aquarium, saltwater aquarium, cichlids, and reef tanks. Just make sure you understand the benefits that come with using a certain type of sand for your aquarium.
We get to discuss various sand types and some of the top brands you can choose today so as to help you make that important decision about which one to choose.
Table of Contents
- Benefits of using sand in the aquarium
- Best sand for your aquarium
- Aquarium sand reviews
- 1. Caribsea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand
- 2. Nature’s Ocean No.0 Bio-Activ Live Aragonite Live Sand for Aquarium
- 3. CaribSea Arag-Alive 20-Pound Fiji Pink Sand
- 4. Carib Sea ACS00821 Tahitian Moon Sand for Aquarium
- 5. Flourite Black Sand
- 6. Carib Sea Ocean Direct Substrates
- 7. Carib Sea ACS00222 African Sahara Sand for Aquarium
- Types of sand for aquarium
- How to choose right sand for your aquarium
- What is better aquarium sand or gravel?
- What is the best aquarium sand?
- Aquarium sand – Q&A
Benefits of using sand in the aquarium
If you are new to using sand in the aquarium, it is possible that you might have some reservations. Not all people would feel comfortable about using it for the first time. To ease your mind, here are some of the benefits of using sand in the aquarium.
- Different fish types come from environments with sand. It is the reason they could use a sand substrate in the aquarium to help them feel at home. For some species, the sand might not be mandatory, but for others it might help with keeping them calm and easily adjust to the environment.
- Depending on the species you are keeping, some of them might only breed in sandy aquariums. In such a case, you have no option but to make sure that the aquarium is filled with the right amount of sand.
- For some species, they need sand to help with digestion. There is no harm now to provide the conditions that would help your fish digest its food better.
- The use of sand can be an ideal choice for different types of aquatic plants. You can get some sand types coming with nutrients important for the growth of the aquatic plants.
- The small size of the grains of the sand as compared to the gravel is important to providing more surface area for the beneficial bacteria to colonize. Having more of such bacteria is important to keep the aquarium healthy and clean.
Best sand for your aquarium
By now you understand the many benefits that sand can do for your aquarium, the question is, which is the best type of aquarium sand? This is the kind of question most people would as they look to finally buy sand for using in their aquarium.
As part of making sure that you get to make the right decision, comparison between various brands and sand types is important. You will get to learn more about what you can expect from one product to another. Below is a table giving you a summary of some of the best sand types you could buy today on the market.
|Picture||Aquarium Sand||For Aquariums||Links|
|Caribsea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand||Freshwater & Saltwater Aquariums|
|Nature's Ocean No.0 Bio-Activ Live Aragonite Live Sand for Aquarium||Saltwater Aquariums|
|CaribSea Arag-Alive 20-Pound Fiji Pink Sand||Marine Aquariums|
|Carib Sea ACS00821 Tahitian Moon Sand for Aquarium||Freshwater & Saltwater Aquariums|
|Flourite Black Sand||- Freshwater & Saltwater Aquariums|
- Planted Aquarium
|Carib Sea Ocean Direct Substrates||Saltwater Aquariums|
|Carib Sea ACS00222 African Sahara Sand for Aquarium||- Freshwater Aquariums|
- Great for African Cichlid Aquariums
Aquarium sand reviews
1. Caribsea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand
The first thing that you want from the aquarium sand is that it delivers more value than destruction. That is what you get when you pick this type as it comes with a neutral pH important for your aquarium. The product is also designed not to increase carbonate hardness while in the water. This should no longer be a worry for most people.
The manufacturer made the sand to come with unique sand sized grains that will resist the collection of detritus, food in the substrate bed, and fish waste. On overall, you should find that this type of sand makes the maintenance easier on the user.
The sand will not end up making your aquarium water look dirty, but rather it will help keep the water crystal clear. With clear water, you can always enjoy checking out your different fish types in the tank. It is also designed to resist packing and anaerobic dead spots beneath the coral and rocks. You will always end up with a good environment for your fish so that it can thrive.
Many people have adopted to using this product as it will create a supernatural experience which emulates the natural world into your home.
2. Nature’s Ocean No.0 Bio-Activ Live Aragonite Live Sand for Aquarium
This type of product is going to make the most for you when it comes to using it. The formula of the sand is important as it gets to remove most of the nitrogenous waste that is commonly found in aquariums. Such type of waste includes ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates. With such compounds removed, you should easily end up with a cleaner aquarium and better environment for the fish. In disguise, you should end up having to do less maintenance with such type of product.
There is the option of instant cycling being guaranteed by this type of sand. This means that no need to wait once the sand is added to the aquarium, you can add fish right away. That is not all, as the sand comes in handy to help with maintaining a proper pH level. With the right pH level achieved, the fish should be comfortable in such an environment.
The sand will also provide an enhanced buffering capacity. This is better for those looking for such features in the best aquarium sand. The best part is that the sand is still affordable. You do not have to spend a lot to make your aquarium look its best.
3. CaribSea Arag-Alive 20-Pound Fiji Pink Sand
This type of sand is unique and often appeals to many people. The product comes packed with millions of autotrophic, heterotrophic, and chemolithotrophic bacteria which are important for the aquarium. The bacteria will aid in the process of waste reduction and also the cycling time for the new setups. At the end, you will always have to perform less maintenance that keeps the water clean.
The product is important in suppressing the new tank syndrome as it will help in simulating the natural home for the fish. It will also work as an ammonia reducer, nitrate filter, and much more when it comes to dealing with contaminants in the aquarium. It can also be said to be a high capacity biological filter for the aquarium to keep it clean.
The product is still important to help with clearing your water fast and leaving you with better clarity of the aquarium water than before. In addition to that, it shall also naturally maintain the proper PH of the aquarium water without the need of adding more chemicals to handle the pH level.
The sand will also provide more surface area for bacterial adhesion. This is important for the bacteria to do its job of waste removal.
4. Carib Sea ACS00821 Tahitian Moon Sand for Aquarium
It always feels good when you have one of the best types of products on the market for your aquarium. That is what happens when you get this type of sand for the aquarium in your house. The manufacturer made the sand to cost cheaper so that you have not excuse why you do not have the premium type of sand for your aquarium. To start off, the sand is formulated to have a neutral pH. This is important for any type of aquarium as you do not want something that will raise or lower the pH level. Such a pH level makes the product safe for all the aquariums, whether it is freshwater or saltwater.
When it comes to the color, the black color is seen as great as it gives you a great color contrast. You can easily see it being different from a distance when used in your aquarium. Since no dyes or paints are used in making the product, you should find it being easily acceptable by many users. They know that this type of product is safe for the fish in the aquarium. It is made in the USA, which for most people means it is a high-quality product they could use.
5. Flourite Black Sand
This is one of the most important accessories you could get for your aquarium. This type of sand is made of premium substrate important for keeping your aquarium looking great. It is made to be great for the planted aquarium as it will provide all the essential nutrients that the plants need for growth. It is also made to last the plant for long so that there is a better success rate with your planted aquarium.
The design of the grains should make it easier on the plants and fish in the aquarium. It is also porous enough to all for aeration. The aeration process is always important to the roots, making sure that they get enough air for better growth.
The appearance of the sand itself makes to be great for the planted aquaria. However, you can always use it different from the other types of aquarium environment and will do its part. You will not need to remove the sand even after years as it is designed to remain effective for the life of your aquarium. As you can see, no need to spend more money to get new sand after only a few years.
6. Carib Sea Ocean Direct Substrates
This is another Carib Sea type of sand you get on this list. This just goes on to show that this is a top brand that will always deliver on the needs of a user. The model comes in a breathable bag important for the preservation of the living bacteria in it. The bag is also lined with real ocean water that is why the sand will feel damp when you get it out of the bag. With the bacterial preserved, you can be sure that they will work effectively when in the aquarium.
No chemicals or special processing has been done to this sand type thus making it as natural as possible. It will ensure faster and safer initial cycling. This is important in making the fish easily adjust to the new environment without any problems at all.
The product comes with more living bacteria per pound that most types of other sand. The bacteria help with reducing the nitrates so that you can have a cleaner environment for the fish. It will further help deal with the nuisance algae that might want to grow in the aquarium. With its many benefits, you can find it even being used in large public aquariums.
7. Carib Sea ACS00222 African Sahara Sand for Aquarium
Even from the name, you should find that this is a different type of sand than what you are used to. It is made to deliver on better performance and can help in recreating the different types of environments. Many people who have used for their aquariums can always agree that it is one top product for its money. For its formulation, you should find it being perfect for nesting feather fins in the aquarium.
The mix is great for almost different aquarium applications. With the additional bold colors that it has to offer, you should find this type of sand being great for various aquariums. The product is also important to naturally buffer the life of the aquarium. You do not need to keep on changing the sand as it will last you for years.
The product also comes with the right pH level for your aquarium. No need to add any chemicals as a way of regulating the pH as it works quite well. You should find it easy for maintaining the water quality as this sand will help improve the water quality even further.
Types of sand for aquarium
For most cases, the play sand would end up being the default option. Play sand would come as non-toxic, which is important for your aquarium to make sure it stays clean. Do not make a mistake and end up with one that has high clay content in it. It will make cleaning the aquarium quite a nightmare for most people. That being said, you can find many reputable companies offering top quality play sand you can use today for your aquarium.
This is the other type of aquarium you could use today, especially for someone who does not mind the white color of pool sand. For most people, pool sand often appears as superior to using play sand. The reason is that the sand particles in this type of sand will be more uniform creating a better surface area. The other reason is that you do not have to worry about contamination of the sand. The downside of this type of sand is that the glaring white coming from the sand can be blinding when you have a highly lit tank.
With the growth of the aquarium industry, you can be sure new and innovative accessories will come up. This is how we end up with the specialty sand. They are made to be good for the aquarium in all aspects, thus you might find them being expensive. One of the best features with such type of sand is the neutral PH. This is important for making sure that the sand does not affect the pH level of the aquarium water.
How to choose right sand for your aquarium
Not all types of sand would be perfect for freshwater aquariums or saltwater aquariums. There is the need to make sure that you get the best sand type for your aquarium. This kind of information can be found from the product description so that you can buy the right sand. Sometimes you can get different types working for several types of aquariums. It can be better to get such types if you have multiple aquariums.
Keeping in mind that sometimes the price becomes the ultimate decider for some people, then it is better to consider something within your budget. Before you can settle on one product, compare it to various sand types and their prices. Sometimes you can get a model that is less expensive, but still have the features of some of the expensive types.
There is no doubt that you will feel comfortable using a product from a certain brand then the other. It is crucial that you understand some of the top brands you can get on the market today. All the types reviewed above come from top brands so you can take them as reference to the others. You can be sure that the top brands will always give you value for money when it comes to using their products.
There is no problem when it comes to doing some research before you can settle on one product. People who have used the product before you will always share their experiences. Instead of you ending up to make similar mistakes, you can always avoid the sand if it has many negative reviews. Also, make sure that you are reading the reviews from a reputable source.
pH level and beneficial bacteria
These two are important to any aquarist. We all know how the sudden change in the pH level of an aquarium can be disastrous. You want to get sand type with a neutral pH level. This is important so that you can have an easy time just adding it to the aquarium without worrying about consequences. The same goes for the beneficial bacteria. Having the beneficial bacteria can lead to various benefits such as removing the waste and nitrates from the aquarium. Make sure to consider sand type with such features from the manufacturer.
What is better aquarium sand or gravel?
These two are important substrates that you can find in any aquarium, but people often have a hard time choosing between the two. Starting with gravel, you will find it being better for freshwater aquariums. The benefit is that it allows water to easily flow through it as compared to sand. This further helps prevent the build-up of harmful bacteria and amoeba on the substrate. If the build-up is let to happen then you might end up with a sick fish and other accumulation of contaminants.
Gravel is still heavy and hence does not get pulled into the aquarium filters. If this was not the case, the filters would easy clog and thus making them work less efficiently. Gravel can also come in different colors so that you can customize the tank and make it complement the fish just as you want.
The sand substrate on the other hand might not allow water to easily flow as gravel, but it can be great for the fish species that like to scavenge and burrow in the sand. This type of fish can be great for filtering the substrate. Sand still has many other benefits over gravel such as making the tanks look natural and mimicking the riverbeds.
Since sand is closely packed, there is no need to keep changing it frequently. The old food and plants can easily stay on top of the sand and rot rather than going into the sand.
Between the two, sand can have more applications as compared to gravel. It is the reason you will find more people looking to get themselves sand for their aquariums.
What is the best aquarium sand?
From the different models mentioned above, you could pick Caribsea Super Naturals Aquarium sand as the best. It is seen to deliver many benefits and still come at a fair price. You should end up with better clarity of your aquarium water when you get this type of sand today.
Aquarium sand – Q&A
1. What is aquarium sand made of?
Depending on the type of sand, the materials can vary. You could have some made from hard rock while others a combination of hard rock and other materials to create aquarium sand.
2. How much aquarium sand per gallon?
There are various methods you could use for approximation, but in general you need about 1 pound of sand per gallon. This means that if you have a 10-gallon tank, you need to get 10 pounds of dry sand. This is often seen as enough to give you impressive results.
3. How to add sand to an established aquarium?
If you are setting the aquarium for the first time, start by scooping the sand with a plastic cup and add to the bottom of the tank. Keep in mind not to dump large quantities in a single area as it can cause stress that leads to the breaking of the glass.
For an already-setup tank, you need to scoop the sand in a plastic cup and then dip the cup into the water and dump it at the bottom. Dumping the sand at the top of the water, it will make it cloudier and look dirty.
4. How long does aquarium sand take to settle?
The settling can take from a few hours to a few days. This will depend on the size of the aquarium and how you put sand in the water. If you just dumped it, it can take up to 3 days to fully settle.
5. How to clean sand for aquarium?
Start by pouring the sand into a bucket and fill it with water. What follows is to mix the sand and water in a circular motion in the bucket. This is important to remove any piles of sand at the bottom and make water effectively reach it. Give it about 30 seconds to settle. This is where the good sand will quickly sink leaving you with bits of dirt from the sand floating.
Slowly pour the water out so that you remain with clean sand at the bottom. Repeat the process about 5 times or until you are happy with the resulting sand after washing. By now you should have clean sand ready to go back into the aquarium.
Maintaining A Sand Substrate In Your Aquarium! KGTropicals!! Youtube Video
There you have it. With some of the top products reviewed, you do not have to get confused about the type of product to choose today. You can have the best aquarium sand for plants or any type by checking out the reviews above. With the many benefits that sand has to offer, you can always find a way of adding sand to the aquarium to serve its purpose. With many benefits to be gained rather than risks, you should find it easy to see why sand is better for your aquarium.