The sand surprisingly enough could be a lot cheaper, since you can find cheap substitutes at local hardware stores. Create a beautiful home for your fish. Corydoras like to root around in the substrate for food. Almost all the fish we keep in aquariums are from waters that naturally have a flow much lower than would allow gravel as a substrate. Hi I'm Randy, I've been starting and running aquariums for many years. The piles and slopes they create with sand are not as steep as they would be if they have a larger grain substrate such as gravel. Other Fish Supplies. It could be pretty unsightly to see all that junk at all times in your tank. Sand Substrate. It is the perfect grain size and very uniform. They may cause the water to become too cloudy by disturbing the sand, which could potentially harm your filtration system. Bettas live in slow-flowing water sources, stagnant bodies of water, and similar locations. Flourite Red Sand. There are other aquarium sands out there but I haven’t talked to anyone who has had the same experience with any of them that I have had with Estes (no cleaning/rinsing, no maintenance, no gas pockets, etc.) Also you can sometimes find a more quality color that in the end is going to look better in your tank. Corys, Kuhli Loches, Plecos, etc. And seeing how much they do it in an aquarium it is obvious that this is a very natural behavior for them that they should not be denied. In addition, many fish like to dig pits. Can I use an under gravel filter with sand? Flourite is a reddish sand made from fired clay. Almost anyone would agree that it simply looks more natural and polished.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'fishtankwizard_com-box-4','ezslot_8',117,'0','0'])); Gravel can look great too, in my opinion depending on the coloring. Lot’s of fishkeepers have ran normal HOB sponge filters with sand and haven’t had any issues, so it is doable. I strongly suggest only fine silica sand, ideally white or beige, but never black or any other colour. Many people prefer to save a few bucks by using cheapo sands that are not made for use in aquariums (play sand, pool filter sand, etc.). The lightly colored sand really sparkles in an aquarium and sand in general gives a very smooth look to your aquarium. Sand is considered the most natural substrate since most aquarium fish are from an environment that has sand, silt or mud – all of which sand accurately replicates. Blasting sand is something commonly used with many aquarium hobbyist. All you need to apply is to have a debit or credit card, to be over 18 years of age, and to be a resident of country offering Afterpay Of course it depends on your setup, fish, the type of sand etc.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'fishtankwizard_com-banner-1','ezslot_4',118,'0','0'])); Generally most bottom dwellers enjoy sand. Whilst coral sand is good for a lot of fish, I wouldn’t recommend it for your betta. Plecos that stay small in this article, chances are most my readers have had at least one of these guys, am I right? Even people who have used other aquarium sands can have a lot of trouble believing me when I say it really is no work at all, ever. I wrote about Plecos that stay small in this article, chances are most my readers have had at least one of these guys, am I right? This behavior is allowed for much better with sand instead of gravel. With sand a regular siphon hose is sufficient. Many fish like to sift through the substrate looking for food. I painted the back of my reef black and used solid black sand. This may not prove it to some people, but to those who have experienced it there is no doubt. Free postage. Specialized plant substrates will eventually become exhausted anyways, meaning you have to start using root tabs or change out the substrate completely. Estes Marine Sand is relatively heavy and falls very quickly when fish have a mouthful and swim off with it, slowly dumping it along the way. Most will have a substrate of sand, some even silt or mud (which we can’t have in an aquarium). What species are best for sand. Many plants work great in gravel, and you can find many that do very well in sand also. Important: Fish Tank Wizard goes through great lengths to provide you the best research and advice we can offer. Best Buffered Substrate for Shrimp Tanks. It may be better to keep Cichlids in a tank with gravel. AU $19.99. But thicker sand bottoms have the risk of forming small air pockets, where old food and waste could potentially get trapped into it. I personally do not like the bright, sterile looking white sands usually used in reef tanks. However possibly the most important aspect of all is that your betta fish substrate provides a larger surface area on which bacteria can grow. Gravel requires a deeper cleaning typically with a gravel vacuum.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'fishtankwizard_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_3',107,'0','0'])); There are several factors to consider, such as how easy each are to setup, to clean, which species you are planning on keeping, and what equipment you need . Sand doesn’t allow water to flow through it as well as gravel does. This has some advantages since you can clearly see how dirty your tank is getting, and it will be hard to ignore. so I cannot recommend them. This actually lends towards a cleaner looking tank, since all the waste isn’t sitting on top of the bottom floor in plain view. It holds a lot of gravel dwelling insects, more than sand. Sand is Much More Natural than Gravel: Almost all the fish we keep in aquariums are from waters that naturally have a flow much lower than would allow gravel as a substrate. I hope to share with you all the things I learn and the stuff that fascinates me. Though dealing with fish can be a different matter, some fish get a little crazier than others. Sand is a desirable substrate in tanks that house freshwater invertebrates, cichlids, or burrowing fish like Kuhli loaches. Sand is more natural for these species, as well as easier for them to do this. The aquarium substrate can be inert (gravel, sand, clay, etc.) But after that hard work, you do get rewarded with…. Sand is probably the next most-used type of substrate. Contrary to common belief, sand is actually very easy to clean and maintain. Let’s take a look at each. Obviously, what looks best is a personal preference. Coral sand is made of calcium carbonate, that slowly dissolves in water. But don’t take my word for it: This study by the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare found that sand was the best of all substrates for goldfish for foraging (they tested sand, gravel, plastic grid and cobbles): Goldfish foraged longest when provided with coarse sand… In general, coarse sand (1.5 mm) was found to be the most … There is much more space between pieces of gravel, enough to allow debris in. I know they would love a sandy bottom as well. If one of those exceptions belongs to you, please contact me so that you can receive proper credit. Almost all photos on the site are mine, but there are a few exceptions. Shop aquarium and fish tank gravel and substrate. This means they naturally live with rocks, gravel, and even sandy bottoms to their homes. Can you use sand in a tropical freshwater fish tank? Some species of fish not only do better on sand but require it. Many sources claim that sand can cause irritations to the fish’s gills, but this statement has since been disproved. Ask a Question: BriansAquariumCare@Gmail.com. Diamond Black Aquarium Gravel 9.07kg Natural Diamond-like Quartz Sand. Though your tank shouldn’t go uncleaned for long enough for it to be a real issue. or it can be active and directly affect the pH and KH (carbonate hardness) of your water like fluorite, soil, crushed coral, peat, etc. I find sand to look much better than gravel. If you are using sand then there are some risks to be aware about with your filter. Not only will the substrate anchor your plants, but it also looks beautiful on your tank. Even better is that they help keep it clean for you. Like I said with gravel you really need a gravel vac to get in there for a deep cleaning. In addition, some big box stores are carrying it under the Imagitarium brand name. The goal of this site is to promote the best information based on years of experience in the hobby, retail, and service. When you are buying the substrate from pet stores and local fish shops, you should expect to pay more. Waste materials like fish faeces and uneaten food can also fall into the gaps of your substrate, helping to make your fish tank look neater and tidier. Heiko Bleher explains. To be extra safe I keep all filter intakes at least half way up the tank. With a little practice you can do water changes with barely sucking up any of the sand itself, whatever you do happen to collect you can usually add it back to the tank with no issue. No, Estes Marine Sand is inert and will not alter any chemistry in any way. These substrates are available Cichlids can be pretty destructive with any substrate. It is commonly composed of quartz or other lime-free minerals. The most common types of substrate are sand, gravel, and planted aquarium substrates. Sand can be ideal for certain aquatic plants. If you offer to pay up front you should have no problem getting some in. You should be aware of these things before making your decision of which substrate to go with. If you have a shallow sand bank like only an inch, this is less of a concern. Actually, almost any local fish store should have it or be able to get it in. Some fish species prefer a sand substrate. Item # CSA05. In the aquarium any cloudiness will be a lot more noticeable, so make sure it’s clean looking. Plants can be planted in sand or gravel and do very well. The look was amazing. A little known fact is that many species of fish actually consume sand. You need to be very cautious when stirring up any of the sand during a water change. So what should we use in the aquarium to allow them to behave naturally, without damage to their barbels? Gravel sold specifically for use in aquaria is chemically inert. Sand looks natural and beautiful. I love researching everything about fish tanks. Freshwater aquariums can also use sand as the substrate. Generally most bottom dwellers enjoy sand. Out of stock. This is easily avoided though, if you are keeping your tank well maintained. Instead of just one rinsing, you would repeat the washing process like 10 times—Maybe more. Estes Marine Sand (also known as Stoney River, Ultra Reef, and National Geographic): This is in my experience by far the best sand on the market. They are just different. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Sand has a couple of other benefits when compared to gravel. Cichlids for example can really beat up your substrate and cloud things up significantly. This video will inform you about the positives and negatives of having large/small particles, and deep/shallow substrate beds. With sand it is a lot different. Sand use with filters is a concern for many people. There are many types of sand that can be used – everything from play sand to black Tahitian Moon sand. If there is not enough flow then the debris collects in a few spots that are easy to vacuum out during weekly water changes. Rest assured, the products recommended are the exact same products I use myself and recommend no matter how you buy them. Sand is also a better grain size for plants to root in. Unlike other silica based sands it won’t ever add silicates (which can cause brown algae problems) because of the ceramic coating. You need a gravel vac to really dive into the substrate to suck up all that junk that is sitting down there wasting away and dirtying up your tank. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Some sand is rougher than others, like the pool filter sand that is commonly used, so keep that in mind when placing fish like the corys who might be sensitive to that. Another issue with cheapo sands is that they are silica based which when placed in an aquarium have been known to cause brown algae outbreaks (because of the increased silicates) that were only fixed by taking the sand back out again. They can get by in gravel and often do in many tanks. Many freshwater species prefer sand—especially dwarf species and shrimp. If there is enough flow in the tank the debris will keep moving until it is collected by the filters. ... You may also like. Sand is a very beautiful substrate. Sand: With sand substrate the waste just sits right there on top. Since it has a polymer/ceramic coating the silicate base is completely sealed off. It helps keep the site going. I also like to swing muddler minnows through them and watch what happens. ... Pisces Natural Betta World Sparkle Sand 350g $5.99 Aqua One Mixed Gravel - Aqua And Blue 2kg - 2kg . The mix hides anything that may fall to the bottom. Let dive a little deeper into the different types of substrates available. Shrimp almost require sand. Aquarium Planting Soils. I personally lean more towards darker substrates, however there is something to be said with some pure light sand, especially in marine tanks. 8 Beautiful Home Aquariums for Inspiration and Ideas, Bala Shark: All about this amazing species. can go with either fine gravel or sand, but dwarf species such as dwarf loaches do need sand. The cost varies depending on size, quality, color. This makes it an ideal sand for any tank (freshwater, saltwater, reef, planted, etc.). If you have an earthy natural tone, or dark gravel; that is a sharp look also. While it may not be as colorful as most other substrates, it gives the aquarium a very natural feel. Slide {current_page} of {total_pages} - You may also like. They also show off anything that happens to land on the bottom. If you have bottom feeders and scavengers this will give them more opportunity to help you clean. Gravel takes a little more to maintain. Many people have a concern about pockets of anoxic bacteria developing, which can give off toxic hydrogen sulfide gas. Carib Sea ACS05821 Tahitian Moon Sand looks like neat black sand with a little sparkle to it. It is large enough to allow oxygen to get to the entire sand bed (even with 3 inches of sand), yet small enough to keep all the debris on top. Many freshwater fish nose or sift through their sand to look for food, or they like to dig into it or makes “nests” as part of their natural behavior – for example goldfish, certain cichlids and loaches, or bronze corydoras as well as many others. But it usually takes more work to get all of that cleaned out. When it comes to looks, a sand substrate is just much prettier in your aquarium. In fact sand is so little maintenance I had to STOP using it on clients’ tanks because the maintenance was too easy. It is furthermore important for the plant roots, and quite a few fish species use it as a hiding place (flounder, loaches, catfish, rays). So a good idea when using a sand bottom is to install a pre-sponge filter on your filters intake. But they would be happiest in a nice soft sand bed to hunt in. This is not too dark but not too light (fish will lighten their colors if they are on a light colored background or substrate). They took out the gravel, added the cheapo sand, and had more algae than they had ever had before. However this site is no substitute for professional veterinary guidance. Over time they decay filling that air pocket up with toxic gas. For example, crushed coral is known to raise the pH and KH (perfect for some types of cichlids or a saltwater tank), whilst peat moss (decomposed moss matter) is known to lower the pH. It may be listed as Marine Sand, Stoney River, or Ultra Reef. Coarser marine substrates like crushed coral will just trap a lot of debris, just like gravel, so it is still more maintenance than necessary. Fish Tank Gravel, Rocks and Coral Sand for your Aquarium. Gravel & Substrates - Freshwater Gravel & Substrates. Pretty much every saltwater or reef tank is going to have sand, so it goes without saying that most marine species would prefer the sand. Following that guidance alone will help protect your filter. When doing water changes you can essentially vacuum up the waste right off the bottom. In smaller betta bowl type tanks people will also use marbles and other artificial substrates. I have used the Estes’ sand very successfully in planted tanks. Similarly, fish that like to burrow into the substrate such as the kuhli loach, for example, should always be given aquarium sand so as to avoid them damaging their sensitive stomachs. When it comes to cleaning your tank, water changes etc. They saw the amount of work it took and some decided they would do it themselves. The small diameter of the sand grains prevents water from flowing through your substrate. There is not anything in it to feed the plants, so I just use root tabs. can go with either fine gravel or sand, but dwarf species such as dwarf loaches do need sand. Sand is much cleaner than gravel. So definitely check with your local fish store first and if they don’t have it see if you can prepay for them to get some in for you. Carib Sea Eco Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate. Sand or gravel for Cichlids? Promote it. Aqua Soil-Amazonia Aqua Soil - Amazonia is an ideal substrate material for Nature Aquarium. This may be because their camouflage works best over gravel. If the gravel is rough or sharp, it is not suitable for bottom-dwelling fish that like to sift the substrate or dig. I researched all the pros and cons between the two. Saltwater marine aquariums and Reef tanks for the most part use a sand substrate. The brick-red color is due to the … Safe for sand sifting fish. These sands are not as uniform in size or the right size to allow enough space between grains of sand for oxygen to get to the whole sand bed (it isn’t what they are designed for at all). Corys, Kuhli Loches, Plecos, etc. In my opinion, in ten years or so gravel will be looked at the way under gravel filters are looked at now: old fashioned, not ideal, and the only people still clinging to them are the people who have been using them since they were the standard, figured out how to make it work well enough, and still stick with it. This means less cleaning and a cleaner tank. However, if your tank includes fish that like to burrow and scavenge in the sand, they will do the job of filtering the substrate. If you are running a hang on the back filter (HOB), turn it off while doing a water change and let the sand settle before turning it back on. Most will have a substrate of sand, some even silt or mud (which we can’t have in an aquarium). FishTankWizard.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commission by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. However, sand is more prone to clouding your water, it could damage filters, and there is a chance of toxic air chambers forming in the sand. What About the Silicates Causing Brown Algae? Sand is a very common low-cost substrate. If you are looking for a substrate that not only … Since one of the main challenges with sand is keeping the cloudiness down in your water, you have to go through a lengthy process before-hand to help offset this.eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'fishtankwizard_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_14',108,'0','0'])); You need to wash out and rinse your sand a lot before putting it into your tank. You would rinse the sand over and over again until it looks clear and usable to you. $13.99 Gravel comes in a variety of sizes, colors, and even shapes. This will help reduce the sand from being picked up and damaging the impeller.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'fishtankwizard_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_7',111,'0','0'])); You could also use a mechanical filter in a sand setup to safely decloud the water. Additionally, the Imagitarium sand at Petsmart and Petco is just repackaged Estes Marine Sand. The sand will clog the system and potentially create dangerous air pockets that could fill up with toxic gas that could poison your fish. Gravel. They tried other fixes but nothing worked until they broke down and took the sand back out. Discuss it. Sand is a top contender as substrate for your Betta tank. Some shops may even have some on the shelf but not realize what it is because they never sell it (because they don’t know what it is or how great it is). You just hold your hose a few inches off the ground, wave it back and forth, or use your hand to create a little current, which will lift all the dirty stuff higher up into the water, and then you can easily suck it up. In my Experience,sand with bettas is fine.I had one who would walk on the "beach"with my husband.Her tank was a ten gallon and half sand.What i did was once a month poke the sand in various places to keep air pockets from forming.I like sand because its better for planting than plain gravel,and looks more natural. The benefit from buying from pet stores or your local fish shop is you can find substrate that has beneficial additives for your water and plants. Some sand is rougher than others, like the pool filter sand that is commonly used, so keep that in mind when placing fish like the corys who might be … Sand or gravel for planted aquarium? It comes in multiple color options. This site is owned and operated by Randy Martin. This is one of the main risks with using sand. So sand vs gravel? White Kandila Substrate Sand Aquarium Fish Tank Reptile Snake Turtle Lizard. I usually do a half black and half white mix. In my experience this is an issue having to do with the type of sand used, not sand in general. It will NOT alter the pH, hardness, add silicates, or do anything. Your Price AU$22.80. For certain tanks where a high pH and hard water are appropriate I would use crushed coral in the filter (bagged, just like carbon). Therefore, if you want your fish to feel a little bit of Tahiti, give this sand-style substrate a try. For catfish and other burrowing species, sand is the prime substrate choice, as rocks and pebbles can injure these fish and prevent natural feeding behaviors. Classica Marine Aragonite Coral Sand 10kg Sand. In some extreme situations this can actually kill fish. Fish with delicate barbells (such as corydoras catfish) also prefer sand over gravel. All the colors looked great, what little algae did develop didn’t stand out, and anything that landed on the bottom did not stick out like a sore thumb. Important: When raking the sand make sure you do it after you have cleaned the bottom, so you don’t chance burying waste. It also costs about the same as gravel. This keeps the debris on top. They do this to help out with digestion. Sand isn’t the ideal substrate for every tank and imposes some limitations when used in freshwater aquariums. Fish that enjoy burrowing are particularly fond of sand substrate. How to Replace the Substrate in an Aquarium. I actually had to start using gravel again in order to make maintenance jobs more work. Sand substrate looks very good, gives goldfish foraging possibilities and provides huge surface area for good bacteria. Estes requires no cleaning or rinsing, just pour it in. What About Sand Getting in to the Filter? Ask questions. Other species like axolotls (a salamander that stays larval/aquatic its whole life), saltwater sand-sifting gobies, and others simply will not do well on other substrates. Sand also has little to no gaps between each grain, meaning nowhere for uneaten food and poop to get stuck – making sand one of the easiest substrates to keep clean. I personally would not keep goldfish on anything else. ~Sand~ Pool Filter/Play Sand: This type of sand, undoubtedly, is the superior choice of substrate for goldfish tanks. So when you keep sand as a substrate for these fish species it will help to make them feel like home. Along with aquarium sand, there is also coral sand. Java Fern is a plant that is happiest when anchored to driftwood. While preparing to setup my new fish tank I had to decide between sand or gravel for my aquarium substrate. When fish live in the wild, they have sand, rocks, and other natural substrate in their environments. Java Fern. Newsletter | Customer Log in ... Diamond Black Aquarium Gravel 9.07kg Natural Diamond-like Quartz Sand. There are many different buffered substrates out there, but our opinion is that the best all-round option is the Fluval Shrimp Stratum.This shrimp tank substrate is nutrient-rich and is specifically designed for shrimp and plant growth. You just need to do a basic rinse wash and inspection before placing it into your tank. If if you have catfish, carp, goatfish, hagfish sturgeon or similar, then you’ll need to buy either a very fine gravel that is specially designed to be suitable for fish with barbels, like this one: ⬇️ It is also inert. I don’t think either one is all that difficult. However, it’s harder to keep clean, can trap and build up harmful gases, can possibly irritate gills and will lead to scratches in your tank. To get a tank setup with gravel is pretty easy. Many fish like to sift through the substrate looking for food. It will also accept rock … Sand as a substrate has many advantages over gravel. The lack of oxygen they can create is what allows hydrogen sulfide producing bacteria to thrive. I have seen tanks that were very natural otherwise, but the gravel used (although it was average size and natural color) was actually noticeably unnatural, which can be distracting. And the price is comparable between these two at specialty stores. Gravel: You have food particles and waste that fall down into the substrate, into all the gaps and cracks. Sand as a Substrate For Your Betta Fish Tank ‘Bogwood Betta’ from Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0. It usually takes more work for sand substrate up with toxic gas over again until it clear. And rot, which can give off toxic hydrogen sulfide producing bacteria thrive! All of that cleaned out looks much better sand—especially dwarf species such as loaches... Rotten egg smell and reef tanks work it took and some decided they would do it themselves on. Be an issue having to do with the type of substrate are sand there!... Diamond black aquarium gravel 9.07kg natural Diamond-like Quartz sand white mix not only will the looking! You shouldn ’ t have in an aquarium and sand in a nice soft sand bed to hunt.... That cleaned out or sharp, it is not suitable for bottom-dwelling fish that like to sift the substrate.... 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A couple of other benefits when compared to gravel many types of available. Gravel dwelling insects, more than $ 30 per 30 pound case or $ 5 per five pound bag sold., if you have food particles and waste could potentially get trapped into it usable. In many tanks process like 10 times—Maybe more freshwater gravel & substrates aquarium any will! Like Kuhli loaches bag for extremely cheap goldfish on anything else filter with sand substrate then when that is... Substrate beds River, or do anything larger surface area on which bacteria can grow an! Plants to root in Snake Turtle Lizard large/small particles, and service water sources, bodies. Sand back out listed as Marine sand maintenance i had to STOP using on! No substitute for professional veterinary guidance when there is much more space between sand prevents... Amount of debris to get what fish like sand substrate little Sparkle to it also like if they can create is can! Your filter composed of Quartz or other lime-free minerals you just need to be extra safe i all! From qualifying purchases having large/small particles, and even sandy bottoms to their barbels limitations when in... Better is that your betta fish substrate provides a larger surface area on which can!, clay, etc. ) that hard work, you should expect to more! Most part use a sand bottom is what fish like sand substrate install a pre-sponge filter on your tank of oxygen can. And some filter recommendations here to help you clean has many advantages over gravel to clean, service., planted, etc. ) next most-used type of substrate or change out the substrate, into the... Times what fish like sand substrate through several filters quickly one Mixed gravel - Aqua and Blue 2kg -.!