Editor's Choice - Our Favorite Live Aquarium Sand

1. CaribSea Arag-Alive 20-Pound Fiji Pink Sand

User Ratings: 86 3

Carib Sea 792 First Impressions

"This sand looks great!"

You'll be shocked at the fine particles that come out! The point is, discus and rams do not appreciate getting buffeted. It is beautiful and I'm thrilled with my purchase! It's easy to clean and I didn't have an issue to floating particles. For a Flounder tank, well, we will just have to see when they get here. But that is also something to consider with all sands. The filter doesn't agitate the sand either.

  • CaribSea Arag-Alive 20-Pound Fiji Pink Sand
  • Functional and beautiful aragonite substrate for all types of marine aquariums
  • Contains millions of beneficial marine bacteria to enhance biological filtration
  • Many styles to help recreate any marine environment
  • Manufacture: Carib Sea
  • Item Weight: 20 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 2 inches
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Carib Sea 792
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Carib Sea 792 Final Thoughts

"Incredibly fine and soft."

They keep the surface of my sand looking pretty and white. That is why I chose the Hydor Koralia Nano 240. When adding water, no dust, no mess. My beautiful sand turned a very dark brown. I was nervous about converting my freshwater tank substrate from gravel to sand. Within the bag, you will find two small packets. They keep the surface of my sand looking pretty and white.

Overall Score
4.7


(754 Points)

Peoples Choice - Other Highly Rated Live Aquarium Sand

2. Carib Sea Ocean Direct Substrates

User Ratings: 75 3

Carib Sea 00940 First Impressions

"Really happy with it."

If it clears up I'll try to remember to do an update review. Dumped sand in bucket and let water overflow get rid of the floating stuff. There are two versions of the Crystal River Sand from Caribsea. I used this sand in my 30gallon and put it into a 6. Like I said earlier, it's like beach sand. A bit more floated to the top, skimmed it off. It looks great and it's super quality.

  • Carib Sea Ocean Direct Substrates
  • This method preserves real live sand with its own original, natural bacteria
  • Package Weight: 18.37 kilograms
  • Age range description: all stages
  • Package Dimensions : 11.43 L x 50.8 H x 35.56 W (centimeters)
  • Manufacture: Caribsea
  • Product Dimensions: 4.6 x 4.3 x 2.5 inches; 4.3 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Carib Sea 00940
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Carib Sea 00940 Final Thoughts

"Make sure you rinse it."

It's what I did with the sand I had left over that I'm using in my smaller tank. There are two versions of the Crystal River Sand from Caribsea. I still love it and maybe will return to it someday after my aquarium is settled in. Come to find out the sand is somewhat dirty. If you are slack on maintenance, pick a darker sand. Dumped sand in bucket and let water overflow get rid of the floating stuff. 2 weeks later and my tank is still a little cloudy.

Overall Score
4.5


(424 Points)

3. Nature's Ocean Bio-Activ Live Aragonite Reef Sand 20 lb.

User Ratings: 78 7

WORLD WIDE IMPORTS ENTERPRISES FBA_10701 First Impressions

"Really good sand."

Used to have a dark substrate but decided to change to this. The other contains a floculant, to help clear cloudy water. Almost like a sparkle, but not bright. Clear water, no chemical issues and makes the tank look sparkling clean. When adding water, no dust, no mess. I thought it was soap, but it's not. And it is not recommended that you rinse it out.

  • Nature's Ocean Bio-Activ Live Aragonite Reef Sand 20 lb.
  • 100% natural, premium marine substrate
  • Contains natural live marine bacteria to quickly stabilize tank
  • Removes nitrogenous waste and restores natural organic balance
  • Maintains proper pH
  • Manufacture: WORLD WIDE IMPORTS ENTERPRISES
  • Item Weight: 20 pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The WORLD WIDE IMPORTS ENTERPRISES FBA_10701
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

WORLD WIDE IMPORTS ENTERPRISES FBA_10701 Final Thoughts

"Really happy with it."

There are two versions of the Crystal River Sand from Caribsea. I purchased this to use on 2 20 gallon aquarium. The filter doesn't agitate the sand either. No need to rinse before putting in aquarium. It is beautiful and I'm thrilled with my purchase! Highly recommend, found out about it on YouTube. I used about 9 lbs in my 5 gallon tank, since I wanted a deep substrate layer.

Overall Score
4.5


(229 Points)

4. Carib Sea ACS00905 Ocean Direct Natural Live Sand for Aquarium, 5-Pound

User Ratings: 80 2

Carib Sea 008479009050 First Impressions

"Very good product."

The sand causes bubbles to remain on top of the water too. This is the ideal size, in my opinion, for most situations. Some will leave the tank when you get rid of unwanted plants too. This sand is nice and heavy, and has a nice shine to it. It looks really pretty and natural. Was frustrating but nobody's fault but mine. I have yet to do a water change, but I do not anticipate any problems.

  • Carib Sea ACS00905 Ocean Direct Natural Live Sand for Aquarium, 5-Pound
  • 100% aragonite supports proper ph
  • This method preserves real live sand with its own original, natural bacteria
  • re-create natural reef environments
  • more beneficial bacteria than any other product on the market
  • made in the USA
  • Manufacture: TopDawg Pet Supply
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches; 1 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Carib Sea 008479009050
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Carib Sea 008479009050 Final Thoughts

"Love love love love love!"

I put the 5 pounds of sand straight into an empty 5 gallon tank. All three are inert; therefore, they do not affect ph. For a Flounder tank, well, we will just have to see when they get here. Really nice appearance in the tank, looks very authentic. There is a black sand from the same manufacturer called Tahitian Moon. It looks really pretty and natural. But if you want actual fine sand might not be what your looking for.

Overall Score
4.6


(130 Points)

Honorable Mentions - More Top Selling Live Aquarium Sand

5. CaribSea Arag-Alive 20-Pound Special Grade Reef Sand, Bimini Pink

User Ratings: 80 3

Carib Sea 796 First Impressions

"I am so happy I did!"

No need to rinse before putting in aquarium. If you are starting a new tank, this is the one that I would recommend. 10 weeks in and I have four tanks going. I toss the cloudy water into the streets instead. I thought it was soap, but it's not. It helps eliminate deadly ammonia spikes. I used about 9 lbs in my 5 gallon tank, since I wanted a deep substrate layer.

  • CaribSea Arag-Alive 20-Pound Special Grade Reef Sand, Bimini Pink
  • Functional and beautiful aragonite substrate for all types of marine aquariums
  • Contains millions of beneficial marine bacteria to enhance biological filtration
  • Many styles to help recreate any marine environment
  • Manufacture: Carib Sea
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 2 inches; 20 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Carib Sea 796
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Carib Sea 796 Final Thoughts

"So far so good."

There is a black sand from the same manufacturer called Tahitian Moon. Just cleaned the 5 lbs in a 5 gal bucket in the bath tub. Dont force yourself to look at a boring bare bottom tank! Worried about my newts underbelly but he seems okay with it. If you get this sand rinse it, I cannot stress that enough, rinse it. I rinsed each bag separately and skimmed the small amount that floated to the top. 10 weeks in and I have four tanks going.

Overall Score
4.6


(92 Points)

6. CaribSea Arag-Alive Special Grade Reef Sand, 20-Pound

User Ratings: 83 1

Carib Sea 790 First Impressions

"It is a very fine sand."

This sand is nice and heavy, and has a nice shine to it. Perfect sand, I didn't bother rinsing or cleaning it like the directions said. This is the easiest sand and gravel I've ever cleaned. I never did get around to switching to gravel. The sand arrived dry, I'm still unclear if that's how it was supposed to arrive. No need to rinse before putting in aquarium. The sand arrived dry, I'm still unclear if that's how it was supposed to arrive.

  • CaribSea Arag-Alive Special Grade Reef Sand, 20-Pound
  • Functional and beautiful aragonite substrate for all types of marine aquariums
  • Contains millions of beneficial marine bacteria to enhance biological filtration
  • Many styles to help recreate any marine environment
  • Special Grade Reef Sand - Grain Size 0.0393701 inches - 0.0787402 inches
  • Manufacture: Carib Sea
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 2 inches; 20 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Carib Sea 790
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Carib Sea 790 Final Thoughts

"A REALLY LOT."

This is the ideal size, in my opinion, for most situations. It's absolutely beautiful and I'm very pleased with it. The filter we used was also established with bacteria from the former tank setup. Darker sand still grows algae, but hides it. It's what I did with the sand I had left over that I'm using in my smaller tank. One bag was enough to cover my standard 10 gallon tank. Dumped sand in bucket and let water overflow get rid of the floating stuff.

Overall Score
4.7


(69 Points)

7. Nature's Ocean No.0 Marine White Sand for Aquarium, 20-Pound

User Ratings: 59 7

Nature's Ocean 10791 First Impressions

"Plants love it!"

If you are starting a new tank, this is the one that I would recommend. Poured water in, ran the filter for a day. Clear water, no chemical issues and makes the tank look sparkling clean. Come to find out the sand is somewhat dirty. If you have bright lights, algae will grow on this sand. I will need 3 more bags if I want a thicker 1 inch layer to fill my entire tank. Half of the bag was more than enough for my aquarium.

  • Nature's Ocean No.0 Marine White Sand for Aquarium, 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: 20 x 12 x 2 inches; 20 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Nature's Ocean 10791
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Nature's Ocean 10791 Final Thoughts

"More like micro gravel."

It helps eliminate deadly ammonia spikes. There is a black sand from the same manufacturer called Tahitian Moon. The water was clear by the next day. Clear water, no chemical issues and makes the tank look sparkling clean. If you are starting a new tank, this is the one that I would recommend. Just don't dump the water in the drain as its bad if sand is stuck in the drains! It helps eliminate deadly ammonia spikes.

Overall Score
4.1


(62 Points)

8. Carib Sea Eco-Complete African Cichlid Substrate, 20-Pound, Live Sand for Aquarium

User Ratings: 68 3

Carib Sea 84043 First Impressions

"But its natural SAND."

I didn't have fish yet and decided just to chance it. If you can keep your tank clean, this is perfect for you. The Estes sand came highly recommended. This torpedo beach sand is wonderful. I never did get around to switching to gravel. I went ahead and used it without rinsing it, which was a mistake. I used about 9 lbs in my 5 gallon tank, since I wanted a deep substrate layer.

  • Carib Sea Eco-Complete African Cichlid Substrate, 20-Pound, Live Sand for Aquarium
  • Product quality and customer service have been our highest priority
  • Manufactured by Caribbean
  • Made in United States
  • Manufacture: TopDawg Pet Supply
  • Item Weight: 20 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11 x 2.3 inches
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Carib Sea 84043
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Carib Sea 84043 Final Thoughts

"Get an unused bucket."

A bit more floated to the top, skimmed it off. Was frustrating but nobody's fault but mine. It helps eliminate deadly ammonia spikes. Except for and axolotl owner this Sand is veryyy hard to keep clean! I think it's probably OK to use without any washing, as it says on the bag. It has cleared up but still a little cloudy. It has cleared up but still a little cloudy.

Overall Score
4.3


(35 Points)

9. Caribsea Arag-Alive Fiji Aquarium Sand, 10-Pound, Pink

User Ratings: 74 9

Carib Sea 008479017925 First Impressions

"They love it so far!"

For a Flounder tank, well, we will just have to see when they get here. This sand is almost exactly like the beach in Destin, FL. It looks really pretty and natural. My aquarium was so beautiful with this sand! Darker sand still grows algae, but hides it. I used about 9 lbs in my 5 gallon tank, since I wanted a deep substrate layer. It looks really pretty and natural.

  • Caribsea Arag-Alive Fiji Aquarium Sand, 10-Pound, Pink
  • You can now bring the world's most exotic reefs into your home with CaribSea Arag-Alive
  • It is developed from CaribSea cooperation with public aquariums and zoological parks, where authenticity is a must
  • Arag-Alive helps maintain a proper pH for the life of your aquarium without the constant addition of chemicals
  • Manufacture: Caribsea
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 10 inches; 10 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Carib Sea 008479017925
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Carib Sea 008479017925 Final Thoughts

"Bottom dwellers love it."

Just be smarter than me about it and you'll be very happy with the product. Very fine for sensitive bottom dwellers like Cory Cats. It looks great and it's super quality. This could very well be the perfect substrate, except for one thing. This was a very nice sand and I enjoyed it very much! I bought the Torpedo Beach sand hoping for a pretty white sand and it was. This could very well be the perfect substrate, except for one thing.

Overall Score
4.4


(35 Points)

10. CaribSea Arag-Alive 20-Pound Special Grade Reef Sand, Bahamas Oolite

User Ratings: 65 8

Carib Sea 793 First Impressions

"He digs holes."

It's easy to clean and I didn't have an issue to floating particles. Have a seat and shoot the water with force down into the sand. If you get this sand rinse it, I cannot stress that enough, rinse it. But like everything else, you have to make choices and compromises. My aquarium was so beautiful with this sand! If you can keep your tank clean, this is perfect for you. This is the easiest sand and gravel I've ever cleaned.

  • CaribSea Arag-Alive 20-Pound Special Grade Reef Sand, Bahamas Oolite
  • Functional and beautiful aragonite substrate for all types of marine aquariums
  • Contains millions of beneficial marine bacteria to enhance biological filtration
  • Many styles to help recreate any marine environment
  • Manufacture: Carib Sea
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 12 x 2 inches; 20 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Carib Sea 793
  • Quality
  • Value For Money
  • Affordability

Carib Sea 793 Final Thoughts

"I really like it!"

Plant tanks require high light levels. The point is, discus and rams do not appreciate getting buffeted. I toss the cloudy water into the streets instead. Do that over and over till the water finally is clear in the bucket. Just be smarter than me about it and you'll be very happy with the product. I used to use the bigger gravel, but wanted to change it up. Half of the bag was more than enough for my aquarium.

Overall Score
4.3


(35 Points)

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