Hawaiian Black Arag-Alive! Live Reef Sand - CaribSea

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Quick Overview

Hawaiian Black Arag-Alive! Live Reef Sand contains millions of live bacteria to create a natural biological balance in your reef tank.

  • Contains live bacteria to assist with a faster cycle

  • Grain size: 0.25 - 3.5mm

  • High Surface Area for Bacteria


BRS suggests 1 pound of sand per 2 gallons of display tank volume on average

  • Quick Overview

Hawaiian Black Arag-Alive! Live Reef Sand contains millions of live bacteria to create a natural biological balance in your reef tank.

  • Contains live bacteria to assist with a faster cycle
  • Grain size: 0.25 - 3.5mm
  • High Surface Area for Bacteria


BRS suggests 1 pound of sand per 2 gallons of display tank volume on average

Hawaiian Black Arag-Alive! Live Reef Sand - CaribSea

83% Recommend this to a friend (5 of 6)

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Choose a size

10 lb. Hawaiian Black Arag-Alive
SKU: 207428
20 lb. Hawaiian Black Arag-Alive
SKU: 207429

Full Details

Caribsea's Arag-Alive! Live Reef Sand is a great choice for new aquarists and new reef tank setups. Arag-Alive sands clear quickly and contain millions of live bacteria, speeding up your tanks cycle and leading to less nuisance algae.


Selecting the right sand: When choosing the right sand for your tank, it is important to keep a few things in mind.

How much flow will be in the tank?
Aquariums with high amounts of water movement will require sand with a larger grain size. Smaller particles can be blown around easily.

What kind of inhabitants will you be keeping?
Many species do require particular types of sand, like gobies, jawfish, and wrasses. Fish and invertebrates that like to burrow or sift through the sand will do best with smaller particle sizes.

Will it be for a refugium or deep sandbed?
Sand that will be used for filtration or refugium, we suggest using smaller particles that will give bacteria more surface area to grow and thrive on.


How much sand do I need? 

Below is a table of common tank sizes and how many pounds of Hawaiian Black Sand is required to achieve a certain depth. Results may vary depending on the aquascaping in your tank, overflow styles, and the specific tank manufacturer. We always recommend getting a little extra sand to make sure you have enough on hand when you are filling your tank. 

Gallons Dimension 1" Depth 2" Depth 3" Depth
10 Gallon 20x10x12 9.1 lbs 18.2 lbs 27.3 lbs
20 Gallon 24x12x16 13.1 lbs 26.2 lbs 39.4 lbs
29 Gallon 30x12x18 16.4 lbs 32.8 lbs 49.2 lbs
30 Gallon 36x13x16 21.3 lbs 42.6 lbs 64.0 lbs
40 Gallon 36x18x16 29.5 lbs 59.0 lbs 88.6 lbs
55 Gallon 48x13x20 27.8 lbs 55.7 lbs 83.5 lbs
75 Gallon 48x18x21 38.5 lbs 77.1 lbs 115.6 lbs
90 Gallon 48x18x24 38.5 lbs 77.1 lbs 115.6 lbs
120 Gallon 48x24x24 51.4 lbs 102.8 lbs 154.2 lbs
180 Gallon 72x24x24 78.7 lbs 157.4 lbs 236.2 lbs
220 Gallon 72x24x30 78.7 lbs 157.4 lbs 236.2 lbs
300 Gallon 72x36x27 118.1 lbs 236.2 lbs 354.3 lbs


Sand Type Grain Sizes (mm) Average Density
Fiji Pink 0.5 - 1.5 90lbs per cubic foot
Special Grade 1.0 - 2.0 85lbs per cubic foot
Bahamas Oolite 0.25 - 1.0 96lbs per cubic foot
Indo-Pacific Black 0.25 - 5.0 90lbs per cubic foot
West Caribbean Reef 1.0 - 5.0 90lbs per cubic foot
Hawaiian Black 0.25 - 3.5 80lbs per cubic foot
Bimini Pink 0.5 - 5.0 90lbs per cubic foot
Natural Reef 3.0 - 5.5 85lbs per cubic foot
Florida Crushed Coral 3.0 - 5.5 72lbs per cubic foot


6 Items

  • NOT THE SAME OLD By ACUARIO on 11/11/2015

    This sand contains some white and red sand, but I’d guess 85% black. The black appears to be made of both a black sand and obsidian, which is a volcanic glass and highly reflective. The whole aquarium shimmers well under a Kessil and I can see shadows of the waves and rocks on the surface of the sand. Sand does not blow with an MP40 at 20% in a 24-inch cube.
  • Cool looking By Nicholas on 5/30/2014

    Cool looking color that breaks away from the traditional sand bed. Initially I was concerned the grains might be too big but it is perfect.
  • Not what I was looking for. By damon on 3/26/2014

    It's not really black. it's a mix of black, red, and white. I don't know what the above people are saying, but it's very light for it's size. Over all I'm pretty disappointed and will not end up using it in my tank.
  • Nice color, not purely black By PhoticZoner on 12/30/2013

    Used this for substrate in a reef tank. Found it to be nice, with flecks of brown and scant white to add depth to the black. Provides a nice backdrop to lighter colored fish - beautiful. I didn't think this was too large grained. Has a few small pebbles, and certainly not fine like oolite, but stays in place nicely even with pretty high flow. I mixed it with Tahitian moon.
  • I'd buy more! By Good stuff on 8/23/2013

    I've used many types of sand, from Lowes play sand to this stuff. I personally think this is the best sand you can buy. Its expensive and its worth it just alone for not having to spend hours washing sand in a 5 gallon pail.

    I sliced the bag open and dumped it straight into my new tank (90 gallon). I did so at 8PM and used 4 20lb bags. By 10Pm the water was nearly clear again. By the morning. I couldnt even tell it was every murky. I was only running the circulation pump during this time, no filter pads anywhere on my system or even live rock at the time to catch the "dust".

    Needless to say, sand is sand, but if you dont like screwing around with muddy water and rinsing dust for hours... BUY THIS!
  • Good but a little misleading By wintercast on 12/27/2012

    This is not really 'live sand". The sand is packaged in a slightly wet state, and comes with little packages of bacteria that i cannot even state was live. I used this sand to set up a new Salt Water tank. I used 2 10lbs bags in my 29 gallon tank. This gave me perhaps about 1-2 inches of sand on the bottom of the tank, however with rock placement and a very active goby, the sand has different heights.

    The black color does help the tank to stand out and overall i do like the color. I have white live rock, and over time, pieces of live rock has fallen onto the sand. This gives it a little bit of a salt and pepper look (which is natural, in that there are black and white sand beaches).

    The sand does have a fine particle size, but even with a small powerhead blowing across the bottom of the sand, it does not move much. It is easy for my diamond goby to sift and move around. My nassarius snails have no issues hiding in the sand.

    I have found it is difficult to use a vacuum on the sand, as it easily gets sucked up into the tube, so for most of my water changes, i will lightly move the top layer of sand around, and then syphon out the water.

    I have accidently gotten the sand caught in my magnetic scraper and scratched my glass tank. So caution should be used when cleaning the tank. The sand does not stick to magnets, but it can get lodged into the hooky part of the scraper and be difficult (but not imposible) to remove.


Ask a question

Product Questions

What are the benefits to black vs white live sand?
Question by: William Deich on Dec 24, 2016 11:35:00 PM
Great question! The biggest difference will be mostly aesthetics between the two. As far as their ability to house beneficial bacteria, their surface area will be very much similar. :-)
Answer by: Randy (Admin) on Dec 26, 2016 3:56:00 PM
This bag is larger than my tank needs. If I take some out, can I save the rest for later? How should I store the sand after is has been opened?
Question by: William Deich on Jan 24, 2017 12:58:00 PM
Great question! You can store sand indefinitely, however the bacteria that is in the sand may not survive. You can still use the sand in the future, you will just have to allow the tank to cycle and repopulate the sand with beneficial bacteria. :-)
Answer by: Randy (Admin) on Jan 28, 2017 7:40:00 AM
Is this sand to course for sand sifters. I so are there any other options?
Question by: John on Apr 29, 2017 2:06:00 PM
Hey there,
This sand has a wide range of grain sizes mixed in, but should be fine for the majority of sand sifters. If you prefer a more uniformly small grain size, the Fiji Pink is another great option.

Happy reefing!
Answer by: Zack (Admin) on May 2, 2017 12:56:00 PM
BRS, I have a question about your Caribsea Hawaiian black reef sand. I had seen this product in local aquarium shops and it appeared to be a mixture of black and white particles. I am curious if the product you are selling here on the website is the same as I've seen in the shops. I would like a substrate of pure black particles only. Can you describe what this product looks like? Are there any white particles mixed into this product? Thanks, John
Question by: John on Oct 27, 2013 12:42:00 PM
Hey John,
I happen to have this sand on the tank sitting on my desk. It is like the other sands you have seen, a mixture of black and white (and I would say a few redish brown) particles. I haven't seen a purely black one myself but that does sound cool!
Answer by: Bulk Reef Supply on Oct 27, 2013 12:42:00 PM
I bought a bag of this stuff can I add in my reef tank if I already have inhabitants such as fish coral ect.? Help! Please
Question by: alan on May 3, 2014 6:11:00 PM
Hi Alan,
Its certainly possible to add sand to an existing tank though it is a bit messy. The best thing to do is is fill a cup with sand, lower it all the way down to the bottom of the tank and then pour it out. It will help keep as much sand from blowing around.
Answer by: Bulk Reef Supply on May 3, 2014 6:11:00 PM