Editor's Choice - Our Favorite Activa Aquarium Sand

1. ACTIVA Decor Sand, 28oz - Black

User Ratings: 67 6

Activa 4294 First Impressions

"Will purchase again."

My goldfish seems much happier and will dig and siphon the sand. Dumped sand in bucket and let water overflow get rid of the floating stuff. A simple pass with a siphon hose removes most all of the waste. I didn't have fish yet and decided just to chance it. I toss the cloudy water into the streets instead. I decided that I'll keep the sand after all. Have a seat and shoot the water with force down into the sand.

  • ACTIVA Decor Sand, 28oz - Black
  • Add just the right decorative touch with ACTIVA Décor Sand, the preferred choice of sand designers and home décor specialists
  • Available in a wide range of beautiful, rich, robust colors; create dramatic works of art with this color-fast, fade-proof and waterproof sand
  • The perfect color and texture embellishment for home and party décor, floral and candle design, weddings and celebrations
  • Match and enhance event color themes with the extensive color palette, find just the right color tone and statement for the perfect accent
  • Fully safe and non-toxic; no free silica or quartz, it's 100% natural and environmentally friendly; ACMI Certified, AP approved and meets CA Prop 65
  • Manufacture: Activa Products Inc.
  • Item Weight: 1.75 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 5.13 x 1 x 8.75 inches
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Activa 4294
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Activa 4294 Final Thoughts

"Hope this helps!"

Naturally, you will still want to start with hardy fish until the tank stabilizes. It's easy to clean and I didn't have an issue to floating particles. The bag is small, but the quality of sand is good. You really can't go wrong buying this sand! Plant tanks require high light levels. I did lots of research on the subject and decided to make the leap. It can shorten the life of your filter's impeller.

Overall Score
4.4


(503 Points)

2. Lot of 2 Green 10" Double Riffle Gold Pans - 2 Bubble Snuffers - 2 Gold Vials-Nuggets-Fine Gold-Rive...

User Ratings: 82

Make Your Own Gold Bars First Impressions

"Shrimp tank."

Have a seat and shoot the water with force down into the sand. Mine play and frolic constantly, leaving happy little trails all over the tank. Dont force yourself to look at a boring bare bottom tank! This is a nice color of sand and looks good under the light. I put the 5 pounds of sand straight into an empty 5 gallon tank. Perfect sand, I didn't bother rinsing or cleaning it like the directions said. My beautiful sand turned a very dark brown.

  • Lot of 2 Green 10" Double Riffle Gold Pans - 2 Bubble Snuffers - 2 Gold Vials-Nuggets-Fine Gold-River-Camping-Gravel-Black Sand-Concentrates-Clean Up-10 inches
  • This Kit contains;
  • 2-10" Gold Pans
  • 2-Bubble Snuffers
  • 2-Gold Vials
  • Manufacture: Make Your Own Gold Bars
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Make Your Own Gold Bars
  • Quality
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Make Your Own Gold Bars Final Thoughts

"Love it, great product."

It looks great and it's super quality. One bag was enough to cover my standard 10 gallon tank. I love this substrate, I use it for my betta& goldfish tanks and it looks great. There are two versions of the Crystal River Sand from Caribsea. Clear water, no chemical issues and makes the tank look sparkling clean. But like everything else, you have to make choices and compromises. It's as close to white sand as you can get!

Overall Score
4.8


(4 Points)

3. Unipac Silver Sand Fish Tank Substrate

User Ratings: 43

Unipac First Impressions

"It looks nice overall."

No need to rinse before putting in aquarium. The bag is small, but the quality of sand is good. Then swirled and dumped what didn't sink immediately. I was nervous about converting my freshwater tank substrate from gravel to sand. Naturally, you will still want to start with hardy fish until the tank stabilizes. The sand does look nice and comes to you clean, it'll only take a minute to wash. Plants are easy to plant in it as well.

  • Unipac Silver Sand Fish Tank Substrate
  • Disposable
  • Material: Fine grade silica.
  • Silver sand is a popular substrate for aquariums and helps create a natural environment for your fish.
  • For use in freshwater tropical and cold water systems.
  • Fine grade makes it ideal for planted aquariums and is also great for bottom feeding fish, offering a smooth surface to swim over and potential damage to barbels.
  • Manufacture: Unipac
  • Item Weight: 4.41 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Unipac
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Unipac Final Thoughts

"I am so happy I did!"

I love this substrate, I use it for my betta& goldfish tanks and it looks great. Color in the pic looks pretty true to the real thing. I used this sand in my 30gallon and put it into a 6. The sand looks more natural and clean. I unloaded it into a bucket and continued to rinse several times. The water was clear by the next day. It's as close to white sand as you can get!

Overall Score
3.7


(7 Points)

4. Aqua World Up Aqua stainless sand scraper for plant substrate

User Ratings: 61 11

Aqua World G-022 First Impressions

"4 lb bags."

I think it's probably OK to use without any washing, as it says on the bag. I used it in my fire bellied toad enclosure, it is cloudy but that's expected. There is a black sand from the same manufacturer called Tahitian Moon. You really can't go wrong buying this sand! Good thing I'm not in a rush so it will have time to settle. It's absolutely beautiful and I'm very pleased with it. We used regular tap water and water from our main tank.

  • Aqua World Up Aqua stainless sand scraper for plant substrate
  • Manufacture: Sevenports, Inc
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 2.75 x 0.13 inches; 2.4 Ounces
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Aqua World G-022
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Aqua World G-022 Final Thoughts

"Bottom line."

I added my snail and fish within about 12 hours and everyone is happy. Some people might have time to, but I do not. This sand is almost exactly like the beach in Destin, FL. It looks great and it's super quality. I'm setting up another tank and this will be the substrate. The other comes packed pre-cultured with nitrifying bacteria. If you get this sand rinse it, I cannot stress that enough, rinse it.

Overall Score
4.1


(25 Points)

5. uxcell Black Plastic Aquarium Fish Tank Garden Gravel Sand Scraper Cleaning Pan Shovel

uxcell a17042100ux0711 First Impressions

"Worked beautifully."

It's what I did with the sand I had left over that I'm using in my smaller tank. Some people might have time to, but I do not. My Corydoras are having a field day! But I have to give it to this sand. The sand causes bubbles to remain on top of the water too. Poured water in, ran the filter for a day. Naturally, you will still want to start with hardy fish until the tank stabilizes.

  • uxcell Black Plastic Aquarium Fish Tank Garden Gravel Sand Scraper Cleaning Pan Shovel
  • Color: Black; Package Content: 1 x Sand Shovel
  • Product Name: Sand Shovel
  • Material: Plastic
  • Net Weight: 79g
  • Size: 20.6 x 8.2 x 10cm/8.1" x 3.2" x 3.9"(L*W*H)
  • Manufacture: uxcell
  • Editor's Impressions Of The uxcell a17042100ux0711
  • Quality
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uxcell a17042100ux0711 Final Thoughts

"I really like it!"

Darker sand still grows algae, but hides it. The point is, discus and rams do not appreciate getting buffeted. Like I said earlier, it's like beach sand. We used regular tap water and water from our main tank. I found that red cherry shrimp adore diatoms. I rinsed each bag separately and skimmed the small amount that floated to the top. I'm probably only going to use this brand from now on.

Overall Score
5.0


(1 Points)

6. Bon Tool 84-804 14-Inch by 26-Inch White Gravel or Sand Bags, 25-Pack

User Ratings: 62 5

Bon Tool 84-804 First Impressions

"Make sure you rinse it."

It is slightly finer and it hides algae very well. Half of the bag was more than enough for my aquarium. If it clears up I'll try to remember to do an update review. The other comes packed pre-cultured with nitrifying bacteria. If you get this sand rinse it, I cannot stress that enough, rinse it. When adding water, no dust, no mess. I went ahead and used it without rinsing it, which was a mistake.

  • Bon Tool 84-804 14-Inch by 26-Inch White Gravel or Sand Bags, 25-Pack
  • The largest selection of tools manufactured to the highest quality standards
  • Leader in professional construction tools
  • Innovative, durable
  • High UV rating
  • Manufacture: Bon Tool
  • Part Number: 84-804
  • Item Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 4 x 4 inches
  • Power Source: Solar
  • Batteries Required?: No
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Bon Tool 84-804
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Bon Tool 84-804 Final Thoughts

"Highly recommend."

If I remember correctly, it's normal for new sand to do this. The bag is small, but the quality of sand is good. My mystery snails and Malaysian trumpets love it too! For a Flounder tank, well, we will just have to see when they get here. I used this sand in my 30gallon and put it into a 6. If you have bright lights, algae will grow on this sand. That is why I chose the Hydor Koralia Nano 240.

Overall Score
4.2


(64 Points)

7. CaribSea Aquatics Ocean Direct Sand, 40-Pound, Oolite

User Ratings: 41 11

CaribSea Aquatics 008479019400 First Impressions

"Great product."

But that is also something to consider with all sands. It's as close to white sand as you can get! I will need 3 more bags if I want a thicker 1 inch layer to fill my entire tank. This is the easiest sand and gravel I've ever cleaned. Color in the pic looks pretty true to the real thing. If you are starting a new tank, this is the one that I would recommend. One bag was enough to cover my standard 10 gallon tank.

  • CaribSea Aquatics Ocean Direct Sand, 40-Pound, Oolite
  • Caribe Ocean Direct Iolite 20 pound
  • Every grain of Ocean Direct is coated with bacteria and encapsulated by capillary action in a thin film of real ocean water
  • The thin film is open to the atmosphere for unparalleled gas exchange
  • Manufacture: Caribsea
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 16 x 10 inches; 40 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The CaribSea Aquatics 008479019400
  • Quality
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CaribSea Aquatics 008479019400 Final Thoughts

"No harm to the filters."

The sand causes bubbles to remain on top of the water too. My Corydoras are having a field day! This is the easiest sand and gravel I've ever cleaned. I used it in my fire bellied toad enclosure, it is cloudy but that's expected. The bag is small, but the quality of sand is good. But I have to give it to this sand. And it is not recommended that you rinse it out.

Overall Score
3.8


(18 Points)

8. U-BCOO Aquarium Water Changer, Aquarium Gravel Clean Fish Tank Aquarium Siphon Vacuum Pump for Water...

User Ratings: 43 21

U-BCOO First Impressions

"This sand is very light."

I toss the cloudy water into the streets instead. I thought it was soap, but it's not. Half of the bag was more than enough for my aquarium. I'm probably only going to use this brand from now on. The sand looks more natural and clean. You probably need more if you are planning on planting live plants. Some will leave the tank when you get rid of unwanted plants too.

  • U-BCOO Aquarium Water Changer, Aquarium Gravel Clean Fish Tank Aquarium Siphon Vacuum Pump for Water Washing And Sand Washing, Built-In Filter Outlet Valve, Which can Adjust Water Flow of Airbag
  • √Ideal gravel cleaner: The fish tank vacuum cleaner has an exquisite appearance, is equipped with a filter pump and a water flow control valve, and has three functions in one. The fish tank vacuum gravel cleaning machine uses a vacuum siphon to change water, filter gravel, and remove fish manure, so as to effectively perform water washing, so it provides the best environment for your fish.
  • √Easy to use: Just put the water change suction tube in the fish tank, put the other end of the water tube into the bucket, open the water valve, squeeze the air cavity until it works automatically.
  • √Flow control faucet design: Our enhanced fish tank vacuum cleaner has a shut-off valve that can easily and quickly clean the aquarium. It is easy to use to ensure that water will not splash on the ground during cleaning, effectively keeping your house tidy Ideal for water changes and gravel cleaning.
  • √High-quality materials: made of high-quality BPA-free materials, its soft PVC hose can transfer liquid faster, which can ensure long-term use and will not harm your fish or plants. In addition, with the design of the micro filter, when cleaning the gravel bed or regular water changes, water and debris will flow quickly, while gravel, fish, and plants will effectively stay in the aquarium.
  • √User-friendly: We also have a hose holder for this water changer, let you free your hands, and will help you a lot when transferring water. Each part has been carefully designed to provide you with the best aquarium cleaning experience.
  • Manufacture: U-BCOO
  • Editor's Impressions Of The U-BCOO
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U-BCOO Final Thoughts

"Highly recommend."

I used to use the bigger gravel, but wanted to change it up. Except for and axolotl owner this Sand is veryyy hard to keep clean! Very fine for sensitive bottom dwellers like Cory Cats. If I remember correctly, it's normal for new sand to do this. I will need 3 more bags if I want a thicker 1 inch layer to fill my entire tank. I will need 3 more bags if I want a thicker 1 inch layer to fill my entire tank. You'll be shocked at the fine particles that come out!

Overall Score
3.4


(24 Points)

9. Gerbil Sand Chinchilla Bath Dust Hamster Bathing Sand Pure Pumice Dust Sand Toys for Degus Guinea Pi...

User Ratings: 66 9

Hamiledyi First Impressions

"HOW TO WASH SAND."

I think it's probably OK to use without any washing, as it says on the bag. The sand causes bubbles to remain on top of the water too. Cleaning it was easy and I just followed the directions on the bag. That is why I chose the Hydor Koralia Nano 240. All three are inert; therefore, they do not affect ph. Dumped sand in bucket and let water overflow get rid of the floating stuff. Color in the pic looks pretty true to the real thing.

  • Gerbil Sand Chinchilla Bath Dust Hamster Bathing Sand Pure Pumice Dust Sand Toys for Degus Guinea Pigs Bunny Rabbits (2LB)
  • ❤100% natural volcano dust and is totally free from bacteria.Great chioice for chinchilla,bunny hamster bath.
  • ❤ It is the choice of many owners of show chinchillas for ideal coat condition.
  • ❤Pet will thoroughly enjoy themselves and the sand will help keep their coats healthy by removing excess oils.
  • ❤Keeps your pet entertained for hours.This small animal grooming sand an also be used as a potty training kit for degus,gerbil, chinchilla, hedgehog, guinea pig,etc
  • ❤Package including:1 bag*2LB bathing sand
  • Manufacture: Hamiledyi
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Hamiledyi
  • Quality
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Hamiledyi Final Thoughts

"Great product."

Almost like a sparkle, but not bright. I'm setting up another tank and this will be the substrate. This is a nice color of sand and looks good under the light. The item is as pictured and described. Come to find out the sand is somewhat dirty. My mystery snails and Malaysian trumpets love it too! Plant tanks require high light levels.

Overall Score
4.3


(44 Points)

10. Nature's Ocean Australian Gold Sand, 20-Pound

User Ratings: 43

Nature's Ocean 10501 First Impressions

"They love it!"

Just be smarter than me about it and you'll be very happy with the product. Almost like a sparkle, but not bright. Doing that it should be clean enough to put in your tank and not cloud up your water. I unloaded it into a bucket and continued to rinse several times. Except for and axolotl owner this Sand is veryyy hard to keep clean! This sand is almost exactly like the beach in Destin, FL. The Estes sand came highly recommended.

  • Nature's Ocean Australian Gold Sand, 20-Pound
  • 100% From The Ocean Floor
  • Increases Carbonate Hardness
  • Provide Marine Trace Elements
  • Heat Sterilized
  • Ideal for culturing Live sand
  • Manufacture: WORLD WIDE IMPORTS ENT., INC.
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 12 x 2 inches; 20 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Nature's Ocean 10501
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Nature's Ocean 10501 Final Thoughts

"Highly recommend."

I never did get around to switching to gravel. This sand is nice and heavy, and has a nice shine to it. Just be smarter than me about it and you'll be very happy with the product. This is the ideal size, in my opinion, for most situations. This is the ideal size, in my opinion, for most situations. Mine play and frolic constantly, leaving happy little trails all over the tank. I did lots of research on the subject and decided to make the leap.

Overall Score
4.4


(3 Points)

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