The Facts About Freshwater Aquarium Sand

The substrate of a tank, whether it is gravel, sand, pebbles, or plastic chips is an important part of the tank’s delicate ecosystem. It is typically the desire of enthusiasts to create an aesthetically pleasing environment which displays the fish to their best ability. Freshwater aquarium sand provides a wider selection of possibilities for the look of the aquarium. It adds to the ease of overall maintenance and makes it much simpler to grow live plants.

What many people do not consider is that the type of substrate used has a direct impact on the health of the fish and the balance within the tank. Bottom feeding fish use the substrate for eating and other purposes. The surface material on the bottom of the aquarium also acts as a guide for fish, providing them with an orientation of their environment. Studies have shown that fish placed into a tank with a reflective or shiny bottom surface become stressed and disoriented.

A great benefit of sand in a freshwater tank is that it can be easier to clean the water. The waste material does not fall beneath the surface as it does with gravel and other forms of substrate, making it a simple matter to siphon off. This material is also a great way to maintain plants. By placing a nutritional dirt beneath a layer of sand, live plants are given what they need to thrive and the ability to develop a root system without the complication of contaminating the tank water.

The choice of material is an important consideration when planning the tank environment. The pH, calcium, and other minerals can be changed with the introduction of the incorrect type of material. For instance, aragonite is high in calcium making the water harder and altering the pH level. This is not necessarily a bad situation if you have the appropriate type of fish, such as cichlids.

This surface material can also cause a rapid growth of algae. It is important to understand and prepare for the possibility of an overgrowth by adding an acceptable algae eater to the tank community. There are a number of snails, fish, and shrimp which can add to the viewing pleasure of the aquarium without harming the ecosystem.

Since it is much finer than gravel or pebbles, the filter capability will have to be considered. A filter capable of handing 2 to 3 times the size of your tank is advisable. With the added filtration, the particulates will be kept to a minimum and provide good quality water to the inhabitants.

While it is tempting to scoop from a beach or river, this is inadvisable. These types of substrates can harbor parasites and other substances that will be detrimental to the residents of the aquarium. Instead, commercial, processed playground or other sand that has been sanitized and sterilized is a better choice.

A beautiful tank can be created which is easily maintained and balanced with a number of different substrates. Freshwater aquarium sand is an excellent selection to diversify the tank environment. Plants and water life both benefit with a good substrate.

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