Gravel is typically made from rocks such as quartz or sandstone that have been crushed, smoothed and rounded into shape. I hope to share with you all the things I learn and the stuff that fascinates me. It is easier to maintain a gravel tank than an aquarium with sand. Nature's Ocean® Aquarium Saltwater sand for reef tanks, fish tanks and saltwater aquariums. Cichlids can be pretty destructive with any substrate. 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! © Happy Diskus - e.Kfr. When you are buying the substrate from pet stores and local fish shops, you should expect to pay more. Variety of colors and sizes to suit every preference, including glow-in-the-dark and gravel that glows under a black light. Following that guidance alone will help protect your filter. They may be contaminated with toxins or heavy metals and can poison your tank. Almost every aquascaper swears by soil, and there’s a good reason for this: unlike sand or gravel, soil is packed full with nutrients. Aquarium sand is usually made from crushed quartz, coral, or minerals such as aragonite, or is manufactured artificially from a silica base. Natural sand is made up of small bits of shells, rocks, and/or organic materials with a diameter from 1/16 to 2mm. When you opt for a gravel bottom you’ll have a wide variety of choices in size, color, and composition. Tankarium is reader-supported. For example stem plants should do great in the sand as the root is mainly located on the stem itself. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Gravel. You can also carefully vacuum the debris up with a hose. I wrote up a review and some filter recommendations here to help you avoid the filters that will give you the biggest problems. Saltwater marine aquariums and Reef tanks for the most part use a sand substrate. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. - Freshwater & Saltwater Aquarium Foru… Sand that has been collected, dried and then packaged. With sand it is a lot different. I remember setting up my first aquarium as a child. 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. There weren’t many commercial options for substrate in the 1980s, so it’s probably no surprise my 8-year-old self gravitated towards the bags of sparkling blue and green gravel. 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. To rinse, half-fill a bucket with warm saltwater and pour the live sand in. For saltwater aquarium keepers, you’ll need to be diligent with your maintenance to keep the algae growth down. In contrast, gravel may permit the algae to grow throughout your substrate, where it can be challenging to treat. Thread starter ... . It creates an ocean blue like color that is definitely pleasing in the eyes. Ideal for culturing Live Sand and 100% from the ocean floor. can go with either fine gravel or sand, but dwarf species such as dwarf loaches do need sand. Aquarium sand is usually made from crushed quartz, coral, or minerals such as aragonite, or is manufactured artificially from a silica base. Reef Aquarium Discussion . Many sand products are not safe to use in an aquarium or are particularly unsuitable for freshwater tanks. Silt - Out of the other two primary categories, silt is made of very fine particles. Gravel tanks often appear tidier and better maintained than their sandy counterparts. While preparing to setup my new fish tank I had to decide between sand or gravel for my aquarium substrate. Fish such as jawfish, blennies and burrowing crustaceans can dig, burrow and create their own unique homes. 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. But thicker sand bottoms have the risk of forming small air pockets, where old food and waste could potentially get trapped into it. 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? Secondly, closely packed substrate sand doesn’t need cleaning as often as gravel does. Gravel is also the ideal choice for growing aquatic plants since it allows roots to take in nutrients from the water flowing through the substrate. The gravel is the best choice for all the planted aquariums with fresh water and the best environment. It’s very important to keep the pH levels in the tank balanced and stable. It was nothing fancier than a bowl with feeder goldfish and African dwarf frogs. With sand a regular siphon hose is sufficient. Saltwater tanks depend in part on the substrate you select for proper water balance and chemistry; the materials used are calcium-based and this mineral is vital to the health of the tank. 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. Gravel, dead coral, shells, etc. You can mitigate these problems by using a product specifically designed for planted tanks. This is more than just an aesthetic choice; it also impacts your aquarium’s set-up and longevity. Each is right for certain aquariums. My tank has live rock and really fine sand. 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. If you have bottom feeders and scavengers this will give them more opportunity to help you clean. Plus, the gravels are coated with 100% acrylic for greater water effect. I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. 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. I know they would love a sandy bottom as well. Sand or gravel for Cichlids? Sand looks natural and beautiful. But it usually takes more work to get all of that cleaned out. It’s not easy to change the substrate in your tank once you’ve established an aquatic community. Like I said with gravel you really need a gravel vac to get in there for a deep cleaning. When doing water changes, it’s very easy to vacuum debris without picking up the gravel as well. Though your tank shouldn’t go uncleaned for long enough for it to be a real issue. I am thinking of taking out the sand and putting like those small polished rocks made for aquariums. Instead, they remain on the top layer of sand where your filter intake can grab and remove them. Freshwater aquariums can also use sand … 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. In some cases, it almost feels like slime. Here’s a list of the types of aquarium sand you’ll encounter and some notes on the benefits and drawbacks of each type: The primary benefit of using sand substrate in your freshwater aquarium is the smooth, natural appearance. 1998-2021. Commercial products may be labeled as natural or river sand, and look similar to the sand you see along a waterfront. 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