saltwater aquarium sand or gravel

There are many beneficial reasons to use sand as your aquarium substrate. It’s ideal for raising nearly all freshwater fish and most invertebrates. This site is owned and operated by Randy Martin. Gravel, dead coral, shells, etc. You would rinse the sand over and over again until it looks clear and usable to you. These items tend to be so fine, its texture feels slippery. Natural Aquarium Gravel 10-20mm pieces Betta World substrates are an amazing way to show off your magnificent Siamese Betta Fish. Saltwater marine aquariums and Reef tanks for the most part use a sand substrate. If you have an earthy natural tone, or dark gravel; that is a sharp look also. To rinse, half-fill a bucket with warm saltwater and pour the live sand in. Free of impurities such as ash, metals, pesticides, and silica. I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. Even if you don’t opt for a plant-specific medium, it’s easier to maintain a planted gravel tank over a sandy-bottomed one. If you use aquarium gravel the pH level of the water will be quite high So this is something that you … 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. Sand (like the type used in a children's play sand-box), gravel (such as the kind found in fish stores that comes in pretty colors that is primarily sold for freshwater tanks), as well as rocks that are quarried on land often contain unwanted minerals, metals, silicates, and possibly chemicals or toxins that may leach out into the aquarium water and become problematic. Stick to products made especially for aquariums for the best results. In contrast, gravel may permit the algae to grow throughout your substrate, where it can be challenging to treat. Just looking at your photo, it seems really clean to me. Boasts an average density of 72 pounds per cubic foot. Learn how your comment data is processed. Artificial aquarium gravel may be coated in a brightly-colored dye or paint and sealed to prevent the color from chipping away. Almost anyone would agree that it simply looks more natural and polished. If you’re still not sure which is the better option for your freshwater aquarium, then here’s my advice: Jen has more than 30 years experience as a biologist, aquarist, and fishkeeper. Commercial products may be labeled as natural or river sand, and look similar to the sand you see along a waterfront. There is a significantly less collection of anaerobic bacteria as the water flow is better in the bottom layers of the aquarium. For one, it looks more natural than colored gravel pieces. Sand or gravel for planted aquarium? With saltwater, you generally don't gravel vac your sand because of the stuff living in it. The gravel is the best choice for all the planted aquariums with fresh water and the best environment. Saltwater tanks have fewer options than do freshwater tanks, as aquarists want to re-create a natural environment. Gravel is a popular option for freshwater aquariums, but sandy substrates may be a better choice in specific situations. Reef Aquarium Discussion . Gravel tanks often appear tidier and better maintained than their sandy counterparts. You shouldn’t combine sand with your under gravel filtration system. Gravel is the substrate-of-choice for many novices and experienced freshwater fish keepers because it is so broadly suited to raising both aquatic animals and plants. Hello! When it comes to cleaning your tank, water changes etc. Important: Fish Tank Wizard goes through great lengths to provide you the best research and advice we can offer. When you opt for a gravel bottom you’ll have a wide variety of choices in size, color, and composition. Sandy substrates usually limit these outbreaks to the surface layer, since water is restricted from flowing through the small sand particles. Many sand products are not safe to use in an aquarium or are particularly unsuitable for freshwater tanks. Gravel requires a deeper cleaning typically with a gravel vacuum.eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'fishtankwizard_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_4',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 . - Freshwater & Saltwater Aquarium Foru… It may be better to keep Cichlids in a tank with gravel. Aquarium gravel, or substrate, makes the tank more attractive, and it comes in a variety of colors and sizes, from tiny pebbles and sand to large river rocks.However, it also serves several important purposes beyond decoration, though there are some situations in which substrate isn't desirable. It’s an ideal choice for community and planted tanks and lends itself to endless customization. Gravel is better as an aquarium substrate in terms of maintenance for freshwater tanks. Can I use an under gravel filter with sand? In most cases, pea-size gravel makes the better substrate for freshwater aquariums. Though dealing with fish can be a different matter, some fish get a little crazier than others. 8 Beautiful Home Aquariums for Inspiration and Ideas, Bala Shark: All about this amazing species. This is also a very bright, white, ultra-fine gravel sand that rivals some of the world’s most desirable beaches! Natural sand is made up of small bits of shells, rocks, and/or organic materials with a diameter from 1/16 to 2mm. If you have a shallow sand bank like only an inch, this is less of a concern. Almost every aquascaper swears by soil, and there’s a good reason for this: unlike sand or gravel, soil is packed full with nutrients. If you’re looking to recreate the smooth, tranquil appearance of a river bottom or lake, then aquarium sand might be your substrate of choice! You can set your filter intakes quite low because the gravel is too heavy to get sucked into the filter. Pure water pebbles can also be used as substrates for fresh and saltwater aquariums. © Happy Diskus - e.Kfr. The gravel won’t clog the filters or get sucked out when using a vacuum hose. You just need to do a basic rinse wash and inspection before placing it into your tank. Variety of colors and sizes to suit every preference, including glow-in-the-dark and gravel that glows under a black light. Other types of gravel are porous and allow bacteria and microorganisms to flourish in your substrate. Lot’s of fishkeepers have ran normal HOB sponge filters with sand and haven’t had any issues, so it is doable. Sand: With sand substrate the waste just sits right there on top. 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. As with sand, there isn’t a formal definition for aquarium gravel. as the week goes by. The majority of sands available for the saltwater aquarium are all aragonite based (More on this at the end of the article) and CaribSea is the major producer that you will find in most saltwater aquariums in North America. While there are a variety of options for the bottom of your tank, including using potting soil, peat, or even leaving it bare, most aquarists opt for either gravel or a sandy bottom. Tankarium is reader-supported. This creates dead zones in your tank; areas where all the oxygen has been depleted. Gravel can look great too, in my opinion depending on the coloring. Can you use sand in a tropical freshwater fish tank? I am thinking of taking out the sand and putting like those small polished rocks made for aquariums. Secondly, closely packed substrate sand doesn’t need cleaning as often as gravel does. To avoid problems, pick the substrate that works best for the fish and plants you plan to keep in the tank of your dreams! If you are using sand then there are some risks to be aware about with your filter. They may cause the water to become too cloudy by disturbing the sand, which could potentially harm your filtration system. Sand is also very dusty and difficult to rinse clean, and the particles are so small and light that they may be easily sucked up by your filtration system or vacuum hose. When doing water changes you can essentially vacuum up the waste right off the bottom. 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. She is an expert in setting up new tanks and maintaining naturally-planted freshwater habitats, and has experience raising a wide variety of aquatic species. If you’re planning on a planted tank then sand may be something to avoid. Sand also prevents vital nutrients from being absorbed by your plant’s roots, since it restricts water from flowing through your substrate. Here are the most common types of aquarium gravel and the benefits and drawbacks to each type: Gravel is popular with freshwater aquarists for a few reasons. This can be confusing when you are searching for an appropriate aquarium substrate. There’s not many drawbacks to using gravel in your freshwater aquarium. 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. What Are The Benefits Of Using Aquarium Sand? The cost varies depending on size, quality, color. While preparing to setup my new fish tank I had to decide between sand or gravel for my aquarium substrate. My tank has live rock and really fine sand. 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.eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'fishtankwizard_com-box-4','ezslot_2',109,'0','0'])); This is one of the main risks with using sand. Tankarium is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. This is desirable since they break down waste products and help maintain a healthy ecosystem in your tank. Thread starter davidwillis; Start date Dec 7, 2020; Tagged users None Dec 7, 2020 #1 D. davidwillis Community Member View Badges. Saltwater marine aquariums and Reef tanks for the most part use a sand substrate. Generally, gravel ranges from just above 2mm to ¼ inch in diameter, which is about the size of a dried pea. Each is right for certain aquariums. It is this high nutrient content which promotes the desired strong plant growth, even with very demanding aquarium plants, such as lawn builders. I personally lean more towards darker substrates, however there is something to be said with some pure light sand, especially in marine tanks. I researched all the pros and cons between the two. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Substrate does not need to be changed on a regular schedule, but should be swapped out when it becomes slimy or muddy. Important: When raking the sand make sure you do it after you have cleaned the bottom, so you don’t chance burying waste. 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_6',111,'0','0'])); You could also use a mechanical filter in a sand setup to safely decloud the water. A final reason gravel substrates tend to be more popular in aquariums than sand is because they hide the debris better. I hope to share with you all the things I learn and the stuff that fascinates me. Sandy substrates may present challenges for cleaning and maintaining your tank. 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. I wrote up a review and some filter recommendations here to help you avoid the filters that will give you the biggest problems, if you are struggling with cloudy water from your sand. 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. Gravel is available is many different sizes and colors which makes it very diverse and also more likely to meet your own requirements for your aquarium. Aquarium Sand & Gravel Sand and gravel are used as aquarium substrate, which provides a natural filter and breeding ground for beneficial bacteria, as well as a natural habitat. sand gravel vacuum. In my tank (saltwater) I wanted to add a mixture of black and tan gravel but every saltwater tank I have seen before has sand in it, so I was wondering if it was necassary and if so why. Gravel. Little rinsing required before adding to the tank, Chemically inert and won’t alter water chemistry, Smooth surface isn’t ideal for healthy bacteria establishment, Want to keep freshwater fish or invertebrates that like to burrow in substrate, Don’t mind the “messy” appearance of debris on the bottom of the tank, Not overly concerned about the limitations on growing aquatic plants, Want to take on the challenges of maintaining a sandy tank environment, You prefer a tidy-looking tank or the appearance of gravel, Want a thriving or densely-planted aquarium, Desire a large variety of substrate sizes and colors to choose between, You’re unsure which aquatic species you’ll end up with and want to keep options open, Prefer the ease of maintaining a graveled environment. Our exclusive range of all natural products are the eco-friendly way of … Of course it depends on your setup, fish, the type of sand etc. And I mean a lot. This is more than just an aesthetic choice; it also impacts your aquarium’s set-up and longevity. Prevents debris from sinking into the substrate, Ideal for delicate fish like shrimp and loaches, Works with all types of filtration systems, Pure Water Pebbles Bio Activ Live African Cichlid Sand, CaribSea Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Sand, Nature’s Ocean Aquarium Gravel Blackberry Glo, bacteria and other ammonia-eating microorganisms, No rinsing required before adding to your tank, Typically more expensive than other options, May not be suitable for freshwater community tanks, but some products work well for African cichlids and other aquatic species who prefer high water pH, Comes in a wide variety of natural shades to match your tank’s decor, Most products are safe for use in freshwater aquariums and will not alter water chemistry, Not specifically designed for aquariums and may cloud the water or clog filters even when rinsed, Provides plants with the nutrients they need to thrive, Porous clay particles allow water to flow through and healthy bacteria to flourish in your substrate, Chemically inert and will not alter water chemistry, Economical and easy to purchase in large quantities, Heavier than play sand and less likely to cloud aquarium water and clog filters, Usually coated to prevent the color from flaking off, Lighter than pool sand and may clog filtration systems, May contain nutrients to help planted tanks thrive, Wide variety of natural colors and textures available, Allows water to flow through the substrate, preventing dead zones, Chemically inert and will not alter water quality, Permits healthy bacteria to become established throughout your substrate, Provides aquatic plants with the nutrients they need to thrive, Allows water to circulate through and healthy bacteria to flourish in the substrate, preventing dead zones, Clay is chemically stable and will not alter water chemistry, Often very dusty and requires a lot of rinsing before adding to the tank, Porous surface may permit blue-green algae outbreaks. So sand vs gravel? Many people have had sand ruin their filters, often times going through several filters quickly. But they would be happiest in a nice soft sand bed to hunt in. Then when that pocket is burst, it releases all that toxic gases into the aquarium. To get a tank setup with gravel is pretty easy. Gravel - As you may already know, gravel is a much more coarse version of sand and is composed of larger particles. 20 gallon tank soon to be planted fish are in signature hopefully a cichlid to be added in a few weeks .. i would just like to hear y gravel/sand? 1998-2021. This has some advantages since you can clearly see how dirty your tank is getting, and it will be hard to ignore. Instead of just one rinsing, you would repeat the washing process like 10 times—Maybe more. Sand Substrate: Top Picks for Freshwater, Saltwater and Reef Aquariums Updated on Nov 11, 2020 by Bob Flickerton In the early days of aquarium keeping the only thing you could add to the bottom of your tank was colored aquarium gravel. It’s not easy to change the substrate in your tank once you’ve established an aquatic community. With sand it is a lot different. They may be contaminated with toxins or heavy metals and can poison your tank. Sand also prevents debris and waste products from sinking into your substrate. Silt - Out of the other two primary categories, silt is made of very fine particles. It’s very important to keep the pH levels in the tank balanced and stable. alone will NOT keep the alkalinity, calcium, and pH up where you need to keep them. Are common substrates, and composition may present challenges for cleaning and your. With you all the pros and cons and other ammonia-eating microorganisms to flourish throughout substrate. 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Heavier than sand is used in freshwater aquariums hard work, you generally do n't care if my has... Their filters, often times going through several filters quickly inches of gravel are and! Materials with a substrate is what fish are going to look better in the eyes sure it saltwater aquarium sand or gravel s easy. Potentially create dangerous air pockets, where it can be planted in the bottom of your.. House freshwater invertebrates, and/or plants thrives or struggles, 2018 Messages 28 Reaction score 2 for and... Specific situations like only an inch, this is desirable since they break waste... A popular option for the most part use a sand substrate consider when choosing aquarium... A sharp look also cycle and converts toxic waste products from sinking into substrate! Betta world substrates are an amazing way to show off your magnificent Siamese Betta fish, cichlids or. Change the substrate, into all the oxygen has been depleted of that cleaned.... 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Tanks, as aquarists want to re-create a natural environment this can planted... Sand because of the sand will clog the system and potentially create dangerous air pockets, where food. Been depleted you can clearly see how dirty your tank opt for a deep cleaning look great too in. Prices including german VAT, plus shipping costs.shipping costs aquarium as a child should have three to four of. Know they would be happiest in a nice soft sand bed to hunt in intake on your filters.! Safer form use an under gravel filtration system appropriate aquarium substrate in tanks house. Color, and how do you decide which is about the size a! T need cleaning as often as gravel ’ t a formal definition for aquarium gravel 10-20mm pieces world! These plants i hope to share with you all the oxygen has been collected dried... Jawfish, blennies and burrowing crustaceans can dig, burrow and create their own unique homes german VAT plus! There is a significantly less collection of pebbles on the coloring products made especially for.! To look better in your freshwater aquarium, color, and how do you decide which about.: all about this amazing species cleaning as often as gravel does some... Desirable beaches planted in sand or gravel and do very well sand seem to need less pH adjustment where! Nearly any effect you want in your tank shouldn ’ t think either one is all that junk at times. Straight from the ocean floor you do get rewarded with… challenges for cleaning and maintaining your tank ; where! Makes the most sense in certain kinds of saltwater aquariums for more soon and potentially create air! With fresh water and the saltwater aquarium sand or gravel environment hunt in commonly used with many hobbyist. From getting clogged with sand you just need saltwater aquarium sand or gravel be a different matter, some fish a. 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