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|
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.
Ask a question
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.
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!
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.