Why Choose Dry Sand for Your Saltwater Aquarium Sand Bed? CaribSea's Special Grade Dry Sand
Once you have decided to use sand in your saltwater reef aquarium, your faced with the option of using dry sand or live sand. Dry sand is exactly that, all moisture is removed and the sand comes dry. Live sand on the other hand comes wet because it contains LIVE beneficial bacteria that needs that water to stay alive. Here at BRS we stock two types of Caribsea dry aquarium sand, Special Grade Reef Sand and Fiji Pink.
Dry sand is often far more economical and will cost somewhere around $1.25 per pound compared to your live sand that averages around $1.95 per pound. In many cases your using 0.5 - 1.5 lb per gallon of tank water for a typical sand bed meaning those cost savings will add up! Being there are a variety of bacteria additives available such as Dr. Tim's One and Only or Brightwell Aquatics Microbacter 7 or Microbacter Start XLM, you get to make the choice and still get that benefit of live beneficial bacteria in your new reef tank when using dry sand.
One caveatte to using dry sand over live sand is you really should rinse it because its dusty. If you were to forego the rinse, nothing terrible is going to happen your just going to experience cloudy tank water that will take some time to clear up and will coat rocks and other surfaces in your tank with fine silt. Thankfully rinsing is easy, just us a 5 gallon bucket or pale, add the sand and fill with RO/DI water. Agitate it to stir up the dust and drain off the dirty water. Repeat this a few times and your good to go. If you use tap water to rinse it, you can use dechlorinator to be sure your not transfering any chlorine or just pour the sand out on a tarp and let it air dry for a few days before use.