Aquarium Sand vs Gravel is a common question for many new fish owners. These questions often go beyond the practicalities of a tank and into the aesthetics. We want to help you decide which one is best for your fish tank!
Table of Contents
Aquarium Sand vs Gravel
Aquarium Sand Pros
Aquarium sand is easy to mechanize and maintain. It’s helpful in reducing the amount of water that needs to be added or changed, making it an environmentally friendly substrate. Its compact size makes it quick and easy-to handle compared to gravel which doesn’t allow for efficient feeding work when dealing with large quantity plants where you need high speed movement from the filter areas mirroring their movement on a larger scale back toward your glass .
Aquarium sand is lightweight and absorbs water in the form of filtration, reducing excessive humidity levels in the tank’s ecosystem. The filters function maintaining proper bacteria population cleanliness to keep your reef properly adapted for its inhabitants. Aquarium sand also keeps itself evenly distributed where sometimes gravel may settle into areas that are inconvenient or harm-your plant life by lack of oxygen or exposure do algae blooms that can become problematic when oxygenated water is desired.
Aquarium Sand Cons
Aquarium sand tends to stick between the glass for small fish tanks. A lower filtration power means you will need more aquarium water in order to keep your habitat adequately sustains., with less effective filtration dirt and algae from the substrate poses a greater measure of risk because it is an optimum location for bacterial growth, encouraging nuisance algae blooms which can be seen as greenish or blue-green spots on your tank’s surface in or in water in your tank. These algae blooms can become well established to the point where plants begin channeling into it becoming extremely harmful for fish health and coral reefs alike (and subsequently not yielding desired results when transformed via regular maintenance).
Aquarium sand also typically tends to hold dirt particles making methods to prevent excess amounts of dirt accumulation less than desirable, so you may wish deal with extra filters, impellers or even use an air pump. If you keep goldfish, the more enjoyable option of course would be water filter beneficial to their delicate neurological systems. Filters will also need regular renewing as your tank has a big requirement for filtration and its pretty imperative that it always runs well which is tricky when using aquarium sand due to how compact it is .
Types of Aquarium Sand
1. Sea sand
This is one of the most typical types of aquarium sand available and usually found in your average pet store. It comes in a range sizes, medium to coarse grains that can be placed either inside or outside your vegetable tank through drainage holes . While it’s totally possible for sea sand to work fine, its pebble-like structure may possibly cause problems with maintaining ideal water parameters if you want anything too delicate such as cichlids and other native freshwater fish, comb jellies and molluscs.
2. Reef sand
This type of aquarium sand is slightly different from sea sand. While you can use it in either a veg or aquascape tank, reef sand will be finer than normal and very much not suitable for high water usage such as sps bettas , ryukin, etc . It’ll also be semi-porous which aids to absorb bacteria and chemicals easier when the occasional certain chemical levels dip too low after placing an algae species .
3. River sand
This sort of aquarium sand is normally long grains that are generally sterile to some degree though algae may start to develop over time since it sometimes gets into water or scraps from other bowls getting added within the tank too . This spawns occasions you will need extra biological filtration so treat your filters appropriately which ought not be difficult on a regular basis
Aquarium Gravel Pros
Aquarium gravel is commonly available and can be used to mimic river sand, so it makes sense that many people prefer this over aquarium sand. It increases the appearance of a larger fish tank as well as accentuating special effects such as layers of color providing more depth than most other types baggy surface since its permeable with water thereby enabling fauna thoroughness for viewing conditions without having difficulty or exposure to pathogens which ought not affect larger fish species. This also could potentially aid in making aquarium decorations appear more natural when used around the ground level or nooks and crannies of an established tank because it tends to discourage unwanted standing water such as algae “grass”. For supplementary use, gravel may maintain liners for smaller tanks without inflicting injury by prohibiting circulation along with other organisms like snails and likely causing damage if they do exist (that will be bad).
Aquarium gravel can also be used to reduce flow and suction well as the rest of the aquarium (assuming this is needed for an established tank) however, you cannot make optimum use of rectangular water movement in place or shape your substrate. The effectiveness depends on several factors such simulating a natural streambed with rocks creating eddies forming “holes” which will trap fish until settled down by steady, clear visibility. If using pressed sand simulates these conditions , it is produced using pressures that exceed what you would experience in nature however, this increases cost.
Having adequate amount of gravel ensures the correct water circulation which aides in waste removal inside your tank resulting can protect against disease or worse replacement despite sterility due to airborne pathogens possibly infecting tanks because they are not entirely “clean”. The natural flow comes from four directions formed by the aquarium’s surface suggests even streams after all!
Aquarium Gravel Cons
No, there are no grounds or reasons of any kind necessary to not use gravel that properly designed for your particular tank. It is something that can be modified into the more subtle appearance of certain corals and plants, stimulate fish behavior. A lot more than just about anything else on this section were ever likely ever do! Actually, it may even help sort out some issues with slimy algae forming on acrylics which appears like hangers but otherwise bizarrely ad heres to surfaces (a significant problem which can be resolved with an improvement in aquarium aesthetics).
Types of Gravel
1. Acrylic Gravel
This is the most expensive type of gravel but still very popular. Acrylics are not toxic, disintegrate easily to allow rapid water movement and hold their shape after being placed into aquariums. Hold up incredibly well against tremendous amounts of penetration however–even if it does begin to splinter off edge at first glance because they have cemented together for greater durability – or stay perfectly neat even in heavily-populated tanks so it doesn’t make a mess unless there is want to make.
2. Coral Safe Gravel
Coral Safe Gravels are available in a wide range of textures. They might be used for specific purposes if they are given certain features, which you can read more about below! Specifically designed with the idea to make sure that their bodies won’t eventually become an extended consequence or even yourself, many of these gravel pieces have different qualities intended specifically for this purpose – though there is no way know precise container conditions before trying them out.
3. Crystal Clear Gravel
In contrast with the previous two types, Crystal Clear Gravel is not to be used for leisure time in a reef aquarium. In other words, it’s harmful! You must make sure that all things are safe and pure prior to using them inside your tank. With advance top quality products you’re able to use this filter medium without worry too long-term ramifications while still being incredibly clear during viewing from above which can improve otherwise upsetting lighting contexts . When it comes to buying once try this system consider Crystal Clear Gravel which will aid you create a perfect aquarium setting.
4. Eco-Friendly Aquarium Gravel
Last but not least, there is Eco-Friendly Aquarium Gravel. As the name implies, this type of gravel will contain little or no phosphate to minimize its usage within an aquarium so it won’t be capable of impacting on overall levels of phytoplankton in the water if utilized with crystal clear mysis shrimp bio balls.
Which one is better for your fish tank?
While the benefits of both alternatives are outlined in detail above, since water movement is such an important factor it’s still recommend you select tank gravel that has been treated to protect against pathogens. Otherwise, tracking substrate down with debris or worse contamination can decrease overall health levels and life expectancy of your fishes.. If you do opt for another option (such as colored pebbles) bear this in mind but ensure accessibility is not impeded by placing them in sections which trap other materials due to tighter areas such as tight corners.
Gravel should be secure and strong enough to hold little bits of gravel later while setting up your aquarium so needs filing down occasionally depending on the quantity required in the actual tank itself.