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Saltwater Sand & Substrates

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Saltwater Sand and Substrates

Before you bring your marine pets home, you’ll want to ensure you have all the right saltwater health and wellness supplies to create their environment. Setup your habitat and fill it with saltwater plants and decor, plus aquarium rocks and coral to mimic your saltwater pets’ natural environment. Setting up a saltwater aquarium is an exciting time. And one of the first essentials you’ll need for your tank is aquarium sand.

FAQs About Saltwater Aquarium Sand

Yes, you should wash your aquarium sand to get rid of any lingering dust. Pour the sand into a bucket, then add fresh water from the tap. Move the sand around the bucket to rinse it off, making sure there aren’t any dry pockets. If you have access to an outdoor area and a hose, leave the hose running in the bucket to circulate the water and clean the sand even more thoroughly.

You can clean aquarium sand along with the rest of your regular maintenance routine. Just take your siphon or vacuum and move it over the sand, sucking it up into the chamber. Use your hand or a tool to rake through it, then vacuum it again. Clean your sand twice a month or more, depending on the condition of your aquarium.

Aragonite sand, crushed corals and oolite are all safe options for saltwater aquarium sand. You can also choose other substrates, like clay or gravel. The sand you choose depends on the fish you plan to keep as well as any live plants you want to grow. What about sand from your local beach? Most experts wouldn’t recommend this, as it may contain microorganisms or other substances. Stick to aquarium substrate from trusted brands at Petco.

The general rule is to have a 2-inch layer of aquarium sand. For the typical 2-inch depth, you’ll need 1.5 lb. of sand per gallon. However, if you have live plants, 3-inches is recommended, while smaller tanks only need 1-inch. Also, keep in mind if your tank is particularly long and short, you may need more, while tall, narrow tanks will need less.