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How to Choose the Right Sand for Your Aquarium

June 07, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 227

Introduction

When looking for the right sand for your aquarium, you will need to look at the different categories there are. By understanding the different categories before you buy it will save you trouble down the road.

Substrate

To begin with the stuff at the bottom of your aquarium is called substrate, whether it be sand or gravel. The term substrate is preferred because it is acted upon by the bacteria culture you need to grow in your aquarium.

Fish

The first thing you will need to do is ensure that the sand you put in your aquarium is compatible with the fish you are going to keep. For example, some fish have a natural environment of sand and when they are placed in an aquarium, would love to have the same substrate in their new home.

Some bottom feeders need it to protect their soft underbellies. Some fish will even need it to help them bury themselves in it. These fish are mainly salt-water fish such as such as sting rays, some sharks and invertebrates. Also some will need it to lay their eggs,

Types Of Sand

Basically sand can be categorized into two different categories, and of course with in each category there are subsets of different sands, usually based on the color of the sand. The two different categories are silica and calcium sand:

  • Silica - This is the most common type of sand in the world and is basically ground up quartz. If you select this type of sand it will not change the chemistry in your aquariums water. The different types of silica based sand you can choose from are black beauty, sandblasting, play and pool filtration sand. All have different advantages and disadvantages, so do some research before you select a particular type.
  • Calcium - Unlike silica sand, calcium sand will actually buffer the pH in the water of your aquarium. Two types of calcium sand are crushed coral and aragonite. Unlike silica sand, calcium sand is much more expensive.

Conclusion

When choosing sand for your aquarium there are two categories to select from. Silica sand that will not affect the water and is relatively cheap or calcium sand that will buffer the water in your aquarium and is much more expensive.

You will also need to consider the type of fish you are going to put in your aquarium, the color of the sand you want, whether you need to buffer your aquarium and the expense.

J.W. Chase is an amateur Aquarist who has successfully been keeping aquariums for over 35 years. Over 75% of people who start aquariums fail in the first month for lack of knowledge. If you want more information on how to keep an aquarium, go to his web site and download a free eBook on "15 Tips On Building And Maintaining An Aquarium" at http://www.squidoo.com/homefreshwateraquariums.

Source: EzineArticles
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