Editor's Choice - Our Favorite Pettex Aquarium Sand

1. Pettex Roman Aquatic Gravel

User Ratings: 69 8

Pettex 4014 First Impressions

"You'll thank me later!"

I unloaded it into a bucket and continued to rinse several times. I found that red cherry shrimp adore diatoms. Cleaning it was easy and I just followed the directions on the bag. The sand does look nice and comes to you clean, it'll only take a minute to wash. This was a very nice sand and I enjoyed it very much! It helps eliminate deadly ammonia spikes. I love this substrate, I use it for my betta& goldfish tanks and it looks great.

  • Pettex Roman Aquatic Gravel
  • Suitable for all types of aquariums including coldwater, tropical and marine
  • Increased surface area allows for improved anaerobic activity
  • Makes the perfect planting medium due to its finer size
  • Suitable for bottom feeders and barbed fish
  • Manufacture: Pettex Limited
  • Product Dimensions: 3.15 x 5.91 x 9.84 inches; 4.41 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Pettex 4014
  • Quality [star rating='4']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.5']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.1']

Pettex 4014 Final Thoughts

"Repeated 3-4 times."

Plants are easy to plant in it as well. I've had it in my aquarium now for just about 24 hours and cycling. It helped the water clear up faster. This sand is nice and heavy, and has a nice shine to it. Just don't dump the water in the drain as its bad if sand is stuck in the drains! I still love it and maybe will return to it someday after my aquarium is settled in. I found that red cherry shrimp adore diatoms.

Overall Score
4.3

[star rating="4.3"]
(134 Points)

2. Seachem Fluorite Black Sand Substrate, 7.7 Ounces Each

User Ratings: 74 4

Seachem 67135230 First Impressions

"He digs holes."

The sand arrived dry, I'm still unclear if that's how it was supposed to arrive. If you can keep your tank clean, this is perfect for you. Used to have a dark substrate but decided to change to this. Just be smarter than me about it and you'll be very happy with the product. It looks great and it's super quality. I have yet to do a water change, but I do not anticipate any problems. Kind of sharp sand, not the soft smooth kind.

  • Seachem Fluorite Black Sand Substrate, 7.7 Ounces Each
  • Premium natural sand for the planted aquarium
  • Good for the life of the aquarium
  • Manufacture: Seachem
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 2 x 4 inches; 1 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Seachem 67135230
  • Quality [star rating='4.2']
  • Value For Money [star rating='5']
  • Affordability [star rating='3.6']

Seachem 67135230 Final Thoughts

"Sand is beautiful."

I bought the Sunset Gold color and it is a beautiful sand. This sand is almost exactly like the beach in Destin, FL. Mine play and frolic constantly, leaving happy little trails all over the tank. Will never use ugly waste trapping gravel again! This torpedo beach sand is wonderful. It has cleared up but still a little cloudy. The grain size will range from fine to medium.

Overall Score
4.6

[star rating="4.6"]
(85 Points)

3. Nature's Ocean Bio-Activ Live Aragonite Reef Sand 0.1-0.5mm, 20 lbs., White

User Ratings: 75

Nature's Ocean First Impressions

"Bottom line."

All three are inert; therefore, they do not affect ph. I added my snail and fish within about 12 hours and everyone is happy. I love this substrate, I use it for my betta& goldfish tanks and it looks great. I thought it was soap, but it's not. That is why I chose the Hydor Koralia Nano 240. They keep the surface of my sand looking pretty and white. I bought the Torpedo Beach sand hoping for a pretty white sand and it was.

  • Nature's Ocean Bio-Activ Live Aragonite Reef Sand 0.1-0.5mm, 20 lbs., White
  • 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: Nature's Ocean
  • Item Weight: 20 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 8 x 4 inches
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Nature's Ocean
  • Quality [star rating='5']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.9']
  • Affordability [star rating='5']

Nature's Ocean Final Thoughts

"So far so good."

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! Darker sand still grows algae, but hides it. Half of the bag was more than enough for my aquarium. At that point rinse the sand a couple more times. The sand causes bubbles to remain on top of the water too. If you can keep your tank clean, this is perfect for you.

Overall Score
4.8

[star rating="4.8"]
(13 Points)

4. Nature's Ocean Aqua Terra Green Sand 5 lb Bag, Natural Aquarium Sand

User Ratings: 40 14

Nature's Ocean First Impressions

"Like go overboard."

I went ahead and used it without rinsing it, which was a mistake. Bought this 50lbs bag for my 55g freshwater aquarium, boy is the white sand nice! If you have bright lights, algae will grow on this sand. We used regular tap water and water from our main tank. The filter doesn't agitate the sand either. Love the way it looks in my new aquarium. The filter doesn't agitate the sand either.

  • Nature's Ocean Aqua Terra Green Sand 5 lb Bag, Natural Aquarium Sand
  • Natural Coated Sands
  • 100% Acrylic Coating
  • Will not alter the chemistry of your aquarium water
  • Non-toxic
  • Colorfast
  • Manufacture: Nature's Ocean
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Nature's Ocean
  • Quality [star rating='3.9']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4']
  • Affordability [star rating='3.7']

Nature's Ocean Final Thoughts

"I couldn't be happier."

I used to use the bigger gravel, but wanted to change it up. It is beautiful and I'm thrilled with my purchase! But like everything else, you have to make choices and compromises. I think it's probably OK to use without any washing, as it says on the bag. Then swirled and dumped what didn't sink immediately. Clear water, no chemical issues and makes the tank look sparkling clean. Take my advice, which I got from someone else, and buy a mini gravel vacuum.

Overall Score
3.5

[star rating="3.5"]
(9 Points)

5. Carib Sea ACS05823 Super Natural Torpedo Beach Sand Aquarium, 5-Pounds

User Ratings: 74 5

Carib Sea 008479058232 First Impressions

"One is just the sand."

The filter we used was also established with bacteria from the former tank setup. Doing that it should be clean enough to put in your tank and not cloud up your water. Was frustrating but nobody's fault but mine. The other comes packed pre-cultured with nitrifying bacteria. I bought the Torpedo Beach sand hoping for a pretty white sand and it was. Doing that it should be clean enough to put in your tank and not cloud up your water. A bit beige mixed with white, but the crystals are still very pretty.

  • Carib Sea ACS05823 Super Natural Torpedo Beach Sand Aquarium, 5-Pounds
  • re-create natural ecosystems
  • ph neutral ; great for all aquariums
  • grain size reduces built up detritus
  • no paints or dyes used
  • 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 008479058232
  • Quality [star rating='4.9']
  • Value For Money [star rating='5']
  • Affordability [star rating='5']

Carib Sea 008479058232 Final Thoughts

"Hope it works out."

You'll be shocked at the fine particles that come out! But like everything else, you have to make choices and compromises. Take my advice, which I got from someone else, and buy a mini gravel vacuum. My Corydoras are having a field day! The bag is small, but the quality of sand is good. The other contains a floculant, to help clear cloudy water. I found that red cherry shrimp adore diatoms.

Overall Score
4.5

[star rating="4.5"]
(125 Points)

6. Carib Sea ACS00820 Marine Sand for Aquarium, 20-Pound, White

User Ratings: 57 19

Carib Sea 008479008206 First Impressions

"Back to the washing."

This sand is beautiful and incredibly soft! If you have bright lights, algae will grow on this sand. If you are starting a new tank, this is the one that I would recommend. Within the bag, you will find two small packets. I used about 9 lbs in my 5 gallon tank, since I wanted a deep substrate layer. They keep the surface of my sand looking pretty and white. Plant tanks require high light levels.

  • Carib Sea ACS00820 Marine Sand for Aquarium, 20-Pound, White
  • Use to create a natural underwater environment
  • Will not affect ph or alkalinity
  • Recommended for freshwater aquariums with external filtration
  • Do not use with under gravel filtration
  • 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 008479008206
  • Quality [star rating='4.2']
  • Value For Money [star rating='2.7']
  • Affordability [star rating='3.3']

Carib Sea 008479008206 Final Thoughts

"Like a dog."

At that point rinse the sand a couple more times. The other contains a floculant, to help clear cloudy water. The sand looks more natural and clean. It's as close to white sand as you can get! The bio magnet clarifier clears the water up at first, but then it gets cloudy again. The soft sand makes it easy to place plants without damaging them. You really can't go wrong buying this sand!

Overall Score
3.7

[star rating="3.7"]
(32 Points)

7. Caribsea Aquariam Reptilite Smokey Sands 20Lb

Carib Sea First Impressions

"I just love it!"

Half of the bag was more than enough for my aquarium. We used regular tap water and water from our main tank. The bag is small, but the quality of sand is good. If you can keep your tank clean, this is perfect for you. It can shorten the life of your filter's impeller. That is why I chose the Hydor Koralia Nano 240. It is slightly finer and it hides algae very well.

  • Caribsea Aquariam Reptilite Smokey Sands 20Lb
  • An all natural calcium substrate, ideal for desert dwelling reptiles and arachnids.
  • The naturally spherical grains won t scratch your valuable animals inside or out.
  • There are no artificial dyes or chemicals in reptilite.
  • Manufacture: CARIBSEA INC
  • Item Weight: 41 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Carib Sea
  • Quality [star rating='5']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.8']
  • Affordability [star rating='5']

Carib Sea Final Thoughts

"Won't go back to gravel!"

The Estes sand came highly recommended. Within the bag, you will find two small packets. I have yet to do a water change, but I do not anticipate any problems. I used this sand in my 30gallon and put it into a 6. I added my snail and fish within about 12 hours and everyone is happy. I still love it and maybe will return to it someday after my aquarium is settled in. A bit more floated to the top, skimmed it off.

Overall Score
5.0

[star rating="5"]
(1 Points)

8. Royal Ram 2 pounds Natural White Marble Decorative Real Sand - for Interior Decor, Vase Filler, Sand...

User Ratings: 77 3

Royal Ram First Impressions

"Arrived well."

Just cleaned the 5 lbs in a 5 gal bucket in the bath tub. I put the 5 pounds of sand straight into an empty 5 gallon tank. Have a seat and shoot the water with force down into the sand. I did lots of research on the subject and decided to make the leap. The sand does look nice and comes to you clean, it'll only take a minute to wash. I've had it in my aquarium now for just about 24 hours and cycling. It's absolutely beautiful and I'm very pleased with it.

  • Royal Ram 2 pounds Natural White Marble Decorative Real Sand - for Interior Decor, Vase Filler, Sand Crafts, Aquariums & More
  • 100% Natural white marble sand.
  • Natural crushed marble sand, not coated with any color.
  • Medium grain size, suitable for various arts and crafts projects.
  • Safe for most aquarium and pet habitats.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. We stand by our products.
  • Manufacture: Royal Ram
  • Item Weight: 2 pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Royal Ram
  • Quality [star rating='4.7']
  • Value For Money [star rating='3.8']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.8']

Royal Ram Final Thoughts

"Make sure you rinse it."

Mine play and frolic constantly, leaving happy little trails all over the tank. I still love it and maybe will return to it someday after my aquarium is settled in. I received this aquarium sand yesterday. My mystery snails and Malaysian trumpets love it too! You'll be shocked at the fine particles that come out! Half of the bag was more than enough for my aquarium. Love the way it looks in my new aquarium.

Overall Score
4.6

[star rating="4.6"]
(1343 Points)

9. Dennerle Shrimp King Active Soil - 4L Bag

User Ratings: 70 3

Dennerle 6177 First Impressions

"This sand is gorgeous!"

10 weeks in and I have four tanks going. If you get this sand rinse it, I cannot stress that enough, rinse it. Was frustrating but nobody's fault but mine. I used to use the bigger gravel, but wanted to change it up. That is why I chose the Hydor Koralia Nano 240. Kind of sharp sand, not the soft smooth kind. My Corydoras are having a field day!

  • Dennerle Shrimp King Active Soil - 4L Bag
  • The irregular shaped grains, with a diameter of 1-4 mm also give a natural appearance
  • The dark black colouring provides excellent contrast with the vibrant colours of the shrimps
  • Promotes growth – bacteria, single-cell organisms, single-cell algae and other microorganisms - as valuable, natural nutrition, especially for young shrimps
  • Binds harmful substances for healthy living conditions
  • 4 Liter Bag
  • Manufacture: Dennerle
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 7.87 x 3.15 inches; 7.63 Pounds
  • Editor's Impressions Of The Dennerle 6177
  • Quality [star rating='3.9']
  • Value For Money [star rating='4.5']
  • Affordability [star rating='4.4']

Dennerle 6177 Final Thoughts

"Just be careful."

If you are slack on maintenance, pick a darker sand. This was a very nice sand and I enjoyed it very much! Dumped sand in bucket and let water overflow get rid of the floating stuff. Kind of sharp sand, not the soft smooth kind. This sand is beautiful and incredibly soft! The sand looks more natural and clean. Color in the pic looks pretty true to the real thing.

Overall Score
4.5

[star rating="4.5"]
(54 Points)

10. African CICHILD Aragonite 10LB Sand for Aquarium

AquaNatural ARAGAF010 First Impressions

"But its natural SAND."

I toss the cloudy water into the streets instead. Plant tanks require high light levels. I have yet to do a water change, but I do not anticipate any problems. I was nervous about converting my freshwater tank substrate from gravel to sand. Cleaning it was easy and I just followed the directions on the bag. If it clears up I'll try to remember to do an update review. I used about 9 lbs in my 5 gallon tank, since I wanted a deep substrate layer.

  • African CICHILD Aragonite 10LB Sand for Aquarium
  • Unsurpassed buffering capability
  • 98% pure calcium carbonate
  • Naturally renewable oolitic aragonite
  • Sustainably sourced
  • Phosphate free
  • Manufacture: Pisces USA
  • Editor's Impressions Of The AquaNatural ARAGAF010
  • Quality [star rating='5']
  • Value For Money [star rating='5']
  • Affordability [star rating='5']

AquaNatural ARAGAF010 Final Thoughts

"I just love it!"

Come to find out the sand is somewhat dirty. I'm probably only going to use this brand from now on. This is the easiest sand and gravel I've ever cleaned. My mystery snails and Malaysian trumpets love it too! Was frustrating but nobody's fault but mine. The sand does look nice and comes to you clean, it'll only take a minute to wash. All three are inert; therefore, they do not affect ph.

Overall Score
5.0

[star rating="5"]
(10 Points)

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