Special Grade Reef Sand

Best Selling Sand of 2023

Caribsea Special Grade Reef Sand


Hands down the best-selling sand on our website is the Caribsea Special Grade Sand. It is available in both a dry and live sand version and creates the perfect substrate for a saltwater reef aquarium. The individual grain size is small enough to create that tropical white sand aesthetic while not being so small that it constantly shifts and blows about the tank. 


Ocean Direct Live Sand

Best Live Sand for Cycling and Biome Diversity

Caribsea Ocean Direct Live Sand


Ocean Direct is a unique live sand that is naturally collected and bagged without any sifting or sterilization with the goal of capturing that natural ocean biome. Throughout our BRStv Investigates Biome Series, we were able to identify increased diversity and various beneficial microbes in the Ocean Direct sand that ultimately helped to establish a more stable ecosystem when setting up a new aquarium. 


Oolite Sand

Best for Sand Sifting Fish and Invertebrates

Caribsea Oolite Reef Sand


Oolite is a fine-grain sand that is the ideal size for sand-sifting fish and invertebrates. It is one of the best-looking sands to use inside a saltwater aquarium but the small size can be troublesome in areas of high flow as the sand is easily moved around. 


Special Grade Dry Sand

Best Sand for High-Flow Tanks

Caribsea Special Grade Reef Sand or larger grain size


For higher flow situations, a medium to large grain size is the best choice. Special Grade sand contains a mixture of particles ranging in size from 1-2mm which is the absolute smallest size you would want to use in high-flow SPS aquariums. 


Foundation Rock in sandbed

Best Trick to Keep Sand in Place

Foundation Rock under the sandbed


A clever trick to help prevent bare spots in the sand bed is to create "sand dunes" using foundation rock. Place the foundation rock, flat side down, directly on the bottom panel of your aquarium, and then cover it with sand only leaving the tips of the rock exposed. 


Crushed Coral

Best Sand for Mixing

Caribsea Special Grade Reef Sand plus Crushed Coral


Mixing sand is another approach that can help add a more natural look and feel to your reef aquarium and prevent those pesky bald spots from forming in areas of higher flow. 


Hawaiian Black Sand

Best Sand to Create Contrast

Hawaiian Black Sand


Hawaiian black is volcanic-based sand that will create a very unique appearance and a great contrast with brilliantly colored corals. The downside is this volcanic sand also contains magnetic minerals that can easily attach to your magnetic algae cleaner which will then leave scratches in your aquarium glass.