- Hawaiian Black Arag-Alive! Live Reef Sand - CaribSea
Caribsea's Hawaiian Black 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.
- Contains live bacteria to assist with a faster cycle
- Grain size: 0.25 - 3.5mm
- High Surface Area for Bacteria
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?
BRS suggests 1 pound of sand per 2 gallons of display tank volume on average.
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|
Magnetic Sand. By Puckhog on 2/7/2020Puckhog would recommend this product to a friendLooks really nice at first. Is a little difficult to maintain its nice black color (keep clean). Be very careful if using a magnetic tank cleaner. The sand is attracted to the magnet. I put a pretty deep scratch in my front glass even though I was trying to be careful. I would recommend the sand as it looks great. Just be aware of the maintenance issues. I have no problems growing coral and my fish are all healthy after two years.
Extremely frustrated!! By Jody on 8/26/2019Jody wouldn't recommend this product to a friendI purchased this sand on 5/3/2018 for a 90g build. I have been in this hobby a long time and each time I build a new tank I incorporate what I learned in the past. I was hard set on doing things right this time. With all this being said, I have struggled heavily with this build. From well water issues to not being able to maintain a proper level of phosphates. I have gained an amazing amount of information and I am a better reefer because of it.
Now lets get into the sand.
Looks amazing in my tank especially toward the end of the daytime light cycle.
Now the bad. ICP tests showed highly elevated nickle and vanadium. The only corals I can get to live are Zoas. All other corals last about two weeks and then they die off. I have gone through all of my equipment multiple time and am unable to find the source. After some research on Reef2Reef I have found this sand has a history of causing this problem. I am ordering new sand for my tank today. Not happy with myself for not researching this problem sooner.
killed all my corals By spiraling on 7/30/2019spiraling wouldn't recommend this product to a friendI put this in my tank. It looked great!
I couldn't get any corals to grow, they kept dying almost immediately. ICP tests showed highly elevated nickle and vanadium. I checked everything and replaced all sorts of parts. Then I read a post about black sand sometimes doing this. I removed the sand and the tank immediately was better. Proven by several ICP tests that showed it was bad, and the removal completely eliminated the nickel contamination. I understand its not all bags, but avoid this product to save yourself a lot of coral deaths.
Nano reefer who lived in Hawaii By Brettward on 3/20/2019Brettward would recommend this product to a friendLiving for 5 years in hawaii made me fall in love with the ocean. Because of this, i've only ever envisioned black sand in my tank. I've heard complaints about nutrient leaching or the sand connecting magnetically to the glass cleaner. I have not found either to be the case. The sand is more coarse than I expected but my sand dwellers seem just fine with it. I filter my sand in coordinated small sections and I find it filters clean easily as well. The sand is everything I wanted from it and is beautiful in my nano system. Additionally, my captive bred blue mandarin loves that he can easily hide against the dark sand.
NOT THE SAME OLD By ACUARIO on 11/11/2015ACUARIO would recommend this product to a friendThis 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 5/30/2014Nicholas would recommend this product to a friendCool 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 3/26/2014damon wouldn't recommend this product to a friendIt'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 12/30/2013PhoticZoner would recommend this product to a friendUsed 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 8/23/2013Good stuff would recommend this product to a friendI'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 12/27/2012wintercast would recommend this product to a friendThis 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.
What are the benefits to black vs white live sand?
Can this be used in fresh water aquariums?
Provided you aren't using this sand in a tank with fish that require low pH or soft water you should be fine. Just remember to rinse it well since this is package in saltwater!
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?
Is this sand to course for sand sifters. I so are there any other options?
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.
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
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!
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
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.