Home Aquarium How many Pounds of Sand per Gallon? (Detailed!)

How many Pounds of Sand per Gallon? (Detailed!)

by gvald

The floor is an element that is also part of the decor of the aquarium and aesthetics, but not only. Indeed, it hosts plants, but above all, it must be adapted to the fish kept in this tank.


How much sand should be put in the aquarium according to the gallons?

To determine the amount of sand to put in your aquarium, there are two ways to calculate depending on the type of sand you are going to choose: if the amount of sand is expressed in liters or if it is expressed in kilograms.


To calculate the volume of sand needed, it is actually quite simple, there is a rule of thumb to follow:


1.5 Lbs per gallons, so if you have a 50 gallon aquarium, we do the calculation 50×1.5=75.


The amount of sand to put in our 50 gallon aquarium is therefore 75 lbs.


What type of sand to choose for your aquarium?

For an aquarium without plants, it will be composed exclusively of sand and can be between 1 and 2 inches thick. You can choose between natural or artificial sand, quartz, gravel or even limestone sand for aquariums with fish species that live in water with a high pH.


It is preferable to choose a sand with an adapted granulometry, neither too fine to allow exchanges between the soil and the water, nor too coarse to avoid the accumulation of waste between the gravels. These too large quantities of organic matter in decomposition in the aquarium can generate imbalances in the physico-chemical parameters of the aquarium water.


How to put sand in your aquarium in the best way?

You have chosen your sand? It is time to proceed with its installation in your aquarium. But be careful, this manipulation requires some precautions for the launching of your tank to be successful:

  1. First, rinse your sand with tap water and sift it to drain it. Repeat the operation until the rinsing water is clear.
  2. Next, pour the sand into your bin. Arrange it evenly and create a gentle slope towards the front of the aquarium.
  3. Before pouring the water to fill the aquarium, place a flat saucer that will prevent the sand from shifting and forming a hole under the water jet.
  4. Wait until all the sand has settled before turning on your filter, pump and heater. Suspended sand can block your equipment.


Why is sand in the aquarium important?

It is important to know that the soil is very important for the balance of your aquarium and has many advantages.


Firstly, and undeniably important, aquarium flooring is an aquarium decoration. It is possible to choose aquarium floors with multiple natural colors (black, white, orange, red, gray, etc.). Indeed, it is also possible to play on the different granulometries in order to form a specific decoration (this is often the case in aquascaping). However, we will avoid a ground with a large granulometry on the surface in order not to hurt the fish with barbels.


Secondly, the aquarium soil serves as a support for good bacteria. These bacteria will eliminate waste (organic waste, fish food, etc.) and ensure the stability of the ecosystem. During the nitrogen cycle, there is a creation of bacteria (anti-nitrite and anti-nitrate bacteria, commonly called “good bacteria”). These bacteria are mainly found in the soil and the filter of your aquarium.


Therefore, having a good soil is very important to maintain these bacteria. Finally, with the arrival of plants and fish a micro fauna is created. This micro fauna mainly comes to live in the soil and is very important to bring a biological balance.


Moreover, many reef aquarists use the DSB Deep Sand Bed method which consists of putting a large amount of sand to guarantee the ecosystem of the aquarium.


Third, it is a support for all other decorations in your tank. Whether it is a support for the roots of your aquarium plants or a support for rocks and roots. Because of its modular nature, soil is ideal for structuring the future decor of an aquarium. 


What are the different types of sand for your aquarium?

The sand for your aquarium creates the basis for your aquarium’s decor and layout. To help you make your choice, here is an overview of the different types of sand:

  • Quartz: Quartz aquarium sand is one of the most common types. The rounded grains do not hurt your fish. Moreover, this stone resists well to the wear caused by water. It can be black, pink or white.
  • De Loire: This is a river sand found in the Loire River. This gravel has pink and brown colors that can give the appearance of a river bed. It is particularly suitable for cold freshwater aquariums.
  • Artificial: The advantage of this artificial gravel is mainly the range of colors it offers: from turquoise blue to fluorescent yellow through purple, everything is possible. Moreover, the artificial sand allows you to choose the diameter of the grain (information usually written on the bag).
  • De Meuse: this aquatic sand from the Meuse region has fine ochre colored grains. It is generally recommended for warm freshwater or saltwater tropical fish, such as discus. Beware, if you want to create a community aquarium, some of your fish may ingest this fine sand. Prefer species of the same family.
  • For coral: created for your reef aquarium, it blends in particularly well with a marine setting and is thick enough to hold your corals. Its calcium and magnesium composition makes it perfectly adapted to your tank. Moreover, it is nitrate and phosphate free.

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