Which sand for a freshwater aquarium?

It is essential, before you start, to define the type of aquarium you want. As much as you will be able to modify your equipment (pump, filter or heating) according to the evolution of your ornament, as much as you will not be able to modify the floor once the aquarium is filled. Two types of grounds must be distinguished:

  • aquarium grounds with artificial plants
  • aquarium grounds with live plants

In the second case, the installation will be more delicate and will require several preparations.

Freshwater aquarium floor with artificial plants

The installation of an ornamental floor without live plants is very simple to achieve. The layer of sediment serves to stabilize the aquarium floor, it also serves as a background for the decoration and prevents the substrate from rising and clouding the water. You can choose between three types of gravel:

  • The Loire sand is proposed in different granulometries. It is considered to be the most natural: it is similar to the sand generally present in the initial environment of the fish.
  • Quartz is available in many colors and various grain sizes. It is used to enhance the color of the fish.
  • Aquarium sand can be either river sand or sold in specialized stores. But never construction sand (its too fine grains prevent the ground from breathing) or beach sand (too calcareous).

The choice of type and color of gravel remains a matter of taste. In any case, NEVER choose aquarium gravel that is too large, as groundfish can be injured. It is strongly recommended to choose fine aquarium sands, or with rounded granules. Before placing your aquarium sand or gravel in your aquarium, it should be thoroughly rinsed.

  • Place a layer of sediment of 3 to 4cm minimum.
  • Make a small slope by putting a thicker layer at the bottom of the aquarium: more aesthetic, it will also be more practical to regularly clean the bottom of your aquarium (debris settles on the front of the aquarium).

Price aquarium floor

  • A 15 kg bag of aquarium sand costs from 12 to 15 $.
  • The more expensive aquarium gravel costs from 15 to 20 $ per 10 kg bag.

Freshwater aquarium floor with live plants

Do you dream of a beautiful, well planted and green aquarium? Whether you want to plant only a small amount of vegetation, or create an aquarium of the Amazonian forest type, there are some important basics to know. A very planted aquarium will require additional equipment for CO2 and regular fertilizer additions. As soon as live plants are inserted, the constitution of a quality nutritious soil is essential to the success of your planted aquarium. Various arrangements exist to set up a planted aquarium: A fairly easy solution is to cover the plan of your aquarium with a mixed substrate. It is a gravel that provides essential nutrients to the aquatic vegetation, all while decorating your aquarium. This kind of gravel is recommended for an ornament not much planted. Arrange it on a large thickness so that your plants are well rooted and proliferate.

A more difficult installation, but recommended for heavily planted ornaments, is to form a complete nutrient compound in two layers :

  • a nutrient base, called substrate, provides the nutrients needed for aquatic vegetation. To put the substrate in place, you must place a layer of about 5 cm at the bottom of the aquarium. For an aquarium of 120 liters, plan 6 kg of substrate (about 18€).
  • A layer of gravel, allows to cover the substrate bed, for the aesthetic side of the aquarium. For this kind of compound soil, prefer a thick granulometry to prevent the substrate and the sand from mixing. A grain size of 2 to 5mm is ideal.

For the installation of this enriched aquarium floor, we therefore recommend the following procedure:

  • place the nutrient compound at the bottom of the aquarium, on a thickness of 5cm. Spread a wider thickness over the aquarium plan if you plan to install a large number of plants.
  • Then lay out the sand evenly with a slight slope from back to front. Allow for a thickness of 5 to 7cm at the back of the aquarium and 2 to 4cm at the front. Creating a slope will give a much more natural effect to your aquarium.

Now you can create the ideal floor for your aquarium! But be careful before you start: make sure you take the time to think about what kind of aquarium you really want.

How many bags do I need?

In order to determine this, a small calculation is necessary:

Aquarium length X aquarium width X desired sand height. If you take your measurements in centimeters, you will just have to divide the result by 1000. For example, for an aquarium of 60cm*30cm with 5 cm of sand :

60cm x 30cm x 5cm = 9000

9000/1000 = 9L

So you will need at least 9L of sand. If you want to make a slope, plan to take more sand than expected.