Aquarium Substrates

Best Sand For Aquarium

What is the best aquarium sand on the market?

Within the recreation of Biotopos, the aquarium sand plays a fundamental role. With the sand we manage to provide a greater degree of naturalness, and sometimes (and why not), provide a certain degree of sophistication, beauty and originality to our aquarium.
In aquariums, the most used sand is white, but in certain themed aquariums, with certain species of fish or shrimp ( in shrimp ), it is much more attractive to use sand of different colors, to highlight the coloring of the shrimp or fish. . 
By adding sand in the aquarium decoration, in addition to the obvious aesthetic benefits, we are also improving the health of the aquarium.
In the sand many of the beneficial bacteria for the nitrogen cycle are housed , the so-called nitrifying bacteria, responsible for eliminating and deteriorating the remains that reach the bottom of the aquarium.
To help you choose the most suitable aquarium sand for you, I have analyzed and verified which sands are for sale, selecting the aquarium sands that offer the best results , taking into account their composition, granulometry, price and the opinions of buyers. I hope this comparison is useful for you.

Comparison, best sands for aquariums 2020

What aquarium sand to buy? Best quality price aquarium sand

There are different types of sand on the market. Some are suitable for all types of aquariums, they are quartz sands, but some sands are specific for marine aquariums and have their origin in the marine substrate and / or are obtained from crushed corals.
It is important to have previously decided what type of aquarium we are going to have, to choose the aquarium sand that best suits us.

Quartz sand for aquariums

Quartz sand is one of the most typical in the assembly of aquariums , and one of the best sellers.
Its color is very white, which provides a lot of light, creates a feeling of cleanliness and spaciousness in the aquarium.
All sands for freshwater aquariums should only be for decoration, since if we want to incorporate plants, we must add a substrate rich in nutrients at the bottom.
There is another reason why the sand is only decorative, since when it has been in the aquarium for a while, it tends to cake and prevents proper oxygenation.
For this and the rest of the arenas, the ideal is to mount them at the end, only as decoration


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  • Sand type: Quartz
  • For aquarium: Fresh water and marine
  • Color: Classic White
  • Granulometry: 1 mm maximum
  • Presentation: 10 kg bags
  • Neutral: Does not alter the chemical composition of the water

Buyers’ opinions of fine aquarium sand

I was not sure which sand to buy, I am a newbie and I did not want to spoil the aquarium from the beginning.
They recommended the silica sand, which is the cheapest option, it is neutral and easy to find.

When I saw it I didn’t like it at all.
I wanted something whiter, I have set up a Malawi cichlid aquarium and I wanted the colors of the fish to stand out with the background, in the end I decided on this white quartz sand and I am delighted, the result has been spectacular, 0 problems and no alteration of parameters …. and cheap.


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  • It is very cheap and decorative
  • Does not alter any of the water parameters


  • If the grain is not fine enough, it can injure groundfish, such as corydoras

Silica sand for aquariums

  • Silica sand for fresh water aquariums: Silica sand is totally inert, it does not modify the water parameters so it can be used in any type of aquarium, fresh water or marine aquarium.
  • Silica sand for planted aquariums: It is necessary to use it in combination with other substrates, if we use it in a freshwater aquarium with plants, since it is so fine, it tends to become caked, preventing the correct growth of the plants.
  • Buy silica sand for aquariums: The appearance of silica sand in the aquarium is fantastic, fine and uniform. As for the price of silica sand, it makes it a cheap alternative to quartz sand.


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  • Sand type: Silica
  • For aquarium: Fresh water and marine
  • Color: Beige
  • Granulometry: Fine grain
  • Presentation: 4 kg bags
  • Neutral: Does not alter the chemical composition of the water

Buyer’s Opinions of Silica Freshwater Aquarium Sand

I was looking for black silica sand for aquarium, but the truth is that it is difficult to find.
As I was clear that I wanted silica, in the end I decided on the classic silica sand for aquarium and the truth, the result has been better than I expected.

The sand came with some dust, I cleaned it well before putting it in the aquarium and it has worked quite well for me.
I’m happy, in addition, the price is quite affordable, with a 4 kg bag you have a 30-liter aquarium perfectly.


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  • It is a cheap alternative to quartz sand
  • Does not alter the water parameters
  • Serves for all types of aquariums


  • This sand is free of impurities that could alter the quality of the aquarium water, but it is not dust-free. It must be cleaned before putting it in the aquarium
  • It is necessary to use it in combination with other substrates, if we use it in a freshwater aquarium with plants, since it is so fine that it tends to cake.

How to wash aquarium sand?

Silica sand contains dust and should be washed, although my advice is to wash any sand before putting it in the aquarium.

The process is very simple.
You put the new sand in a clean bucket and cover it with tap water, stir it so that it soaks up well and releases all the dust.

After you remove the water and drain, repeat the operation as many times as necessary so that the water comes out clean, and you will have your sand ready to introduce into the aquarium.

Crystal sand

Crystal sand is an inert material, like quartz or silica sand , that can be used in all types of aquariums, whether they are freshwater or marine.
This sand is blue in color, but there is a wide variety of glass aquarium sands, so that you can provide the personality you are looking for or the contrast you want, depending on the recreated Biotope or the varieties of fish or prawns. 
Some very electric colored prawns look especially good with black aquarium sand  and do not affect their health at all.

  • Designed to provide originality and contrast with species of fish or prawns in very striking colors
  • It is totally inert , it does not modify the water parameters
  • There is no danger of ground fish getting scratched or injured


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