Sand Bed Calculator

Choose the tank shape that closely resembles the shape of your aquarium. Enter the desired depth of your sand bed and select the sand type to find out how much your tank will need. We recommend 1" - 2" for most aquariums.

Sand Bed Estimates:





Flat Back Hexagon


Half Cylinder

Corner Cylinder


Corner Pentagon


Corner Prism


Sand beds are extremely beneficial for your Saltwater Aquarium Systems, they will provide a large amount of surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow and will also house beneficial microorganisms such as copepods, marine worms, and various other creatures that work to keep the tank clean.

Dry Sand - The sand is packaged dry and does not contain live beneficial bacteria of any kind.  This is the most economical option but does require that you rinse it before use. 

Live Sand - Contains live beneficial bacteria to help cycle your aquarium and does not require rinsing before use.


If you’re on the fence about whether or not to use sand in your tank, keep this in mind. Tanks with sand will experience a faster, more stable cycle presumably because of more robust biofiltration.

We recommend a sand bed depth of 1-2 inches in a majority of reef tanks to maintain that natural appearance, support the biofilter, and remain easy to clean without trapping a lot of waste.

We would only recommend a deeper sand bed if you are keeping something special that requires it. Some species of Wrasse, Jawfish, Gobies, Garden Eels, and Sand Sifting Sea Stars will require deeper sand beds, sometimes up to 6 inches or more. As you should with any pet, just do some research about the exact animal you plan to keep to choose the right sand bed depth, it will vary depending on what exactly you plan to keep.

You should be lightly cleaning your sand bed with a siphon and gravel vacuum to remove detritus weekly. In larger tanks, just clean a portion of the sand (roughly 25%) each week so as not to disturb the entire sand bed each week.

Download Bulk Reef Supply Saltwater Aquarium Water Parameters Chart

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