10 Best Aquarium Sand For Cichlids

Updated on: September 2021

Best Aquarium Sand For Cichlids in 2021


Pure Water Pebbles African Cichlid Bio-Activ Natural White Aquarium Live Sand for African Cichlids 20 LB.

Pure Water Pebbles African Cichlid Bio-Activ Natural White Aquarium Live Sand for African Cichlids 20 LB.
BESTSELLER NO. 1 in 2021

Caribsea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand, 20-Pound, Crystal River

Caribsea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand, 20-Pound, Crystal River
BESTSELLER NO. 2 in 2021
  • Create a supernatural experience by re-creating the natural world in your home
  • grain size reduces built up detritus
  • no paints or dyes used
  • ph neutral ; safe for all aquarium systems
  • made in the USA

CaribSea Aquatics Eco-Complete African Cichlid Zack Sand, 20-Pound, Black

CaribSea Aquatics Eco-Complete African Cichlid Zack Sand, 20-Pound, Black
BESTSELLER NO. 3 in 2021
  • Mineralogical and Biologically complete
  • Eco-Complete maintains the high pH that African Cichlids need while helping to resist pH drops associated with Cichlid systems
  • Eco-Completes high internal porosity maximizes biological capacity, which keeps your fish healthier

Worldwide Imports AWW88420 Bio-ACountive Live Cichlid Gravel, 20-Pound

Worldwide Imports AWW88420 Bio-ACountive Live Cichlid Gravel, 20-Pound
BESTSELLER NO. 4 in 2021
  • Worldwide Imports Bio-Active Live Cichlid Gravel
  • Contains live bacteria to quickly stabilize your tank
  • Restores natural organic balance.
  • Worldwide Imports Bio-Active Live Cichlid Gravel
  • Contains live bacteria to quickly stabilize your tank
  • Restores natural organic balance
  • Restores natural organic balance

Onyx Sand, 7 kg / 15.4 lbs

Onyx Sand, 7 kg / 15.4 lbs
BESTSELLER NO. 5 in 2021
  • Fracted Porous substrate for the aquarium
  • Specially fracted Porous substrate for the aquarium; Suitable for most marine and freshwater environments including reef and planted aquariums
  • Most effective when used alone as an integral substrate bed but may be mixed with other gravels or Sands
  • Not chemically coated or treated but does have a slight buffering capacity

Carib Sea ACS00940 Ocean Direct Natural Live Sand for Aquarium, 40-Pound

Carib Sea ACS00940 Ocean Direct Natural Live Sand for Aquarium, 40-Pound
BESTSELLER NO. 6 in 2021
  • Caribe Ocean direct natural live sand 20lb 2 pack
  • This method preserves real live sand with its own original, natural bacteria
  • Ocean direct is different

Carib Sea ACS05832 Super Natural Peace River Sand for Aquarium, 5-Pound

Carib Sea ACS05832 Super Natural Peace River Sand for Aquarium, 5-Pound
BESTSELLER NO. 7 in 2021
  • Grain size reduces built up detritus
  • May Also Be Used In Marine Or African Cichlid Aquariums
  • Ideal for most freshwater aquaria, including discus, tetras, angelfish, water turtles, rays, plants, cichlids and more
  • Re-create natural river environments
  • Made in the USA

Carib Sea Eco-Complete African Cichlid Substrate, 20-Pound, Live Sand for Aquarium

Carib Sea Eco-Complete African Cichlid Substrate, 20-Pound, Live Sand for Aquarium
BESTSELLER NO. 8 in 2021
  • Product quality and customer service have been our highest priority
  • Manufactured by Caribbean
  • Made in United States

Carib Sea ACS00050 Aragonite Reef Sand for Aquarium, 40-Pound

Carib Sea ACS00050 Aragonite Reef Sand for Aquarium, 40-Pound
BESTSELLER NO. 9 in 2021
  • 100% aragonite sand supports stable ph
  • For use in marine aquariums and hard water freshwater aquariums
  • grain size reduces built up detritus
  • re-create natural reef environment
  • made in the USA

Carib Sea ACS05820 Super Natural Moonlight Sand for Aquarium, 5-Pound

Carib Sea ACS05820 Super Natural Moonlight Sand for Aquarium, 5-Pound
BESTSELLER NO. 10 in 2021
  • natural white creates great color contrasts
  • ph neutral ; used in salt and freshwater aquariums
  • no dyes or paints used
  • made in the USA

African Cichlids: 7 Tips for Setting Up Your Tank

While there are many things you should consider when setting up an African cichlid tank, these 7 tips will point you in the right direction to ensuring you have happy and healthy cichlids.

1. Always get a large enough tank that gives your fish plenty of room to swim around, and create "lairs." A 55 gallon tank should be the minimum, although it is possible to set up a successful 30 gallon cichlid tank. Cichlids are notorious for digging out places to hide, which they will defend from the other fish in the tank. For this reason, it is better keep them in a long tank, instead of a deep one. This gives you more room to decorate the tank, and the fish have more room to create and defend a lair. The "one-inch of fish per gallon of water" rule is not recommended with cichlids. They tend to grow pretty large, some even up to 12 inches or larger, and many are very aggressive. In a 55 gallon tank, expect to have around 5 to 8 fish max, depending on their size, temperament, and the number of possible hiding places they have.

2. Do not mix African Cichlids with any other kind of fish. Cichlids need a different kind of water temperature and pH than normal aquarium fish, and they are aggressive and will kill the other fish that occupy the tank.

3. Try to acquire cichlids that are all around the same size. Cichlids have a pecking order, and the largest male usually runs the tank. He will pick on the smaller fish often, and eat them if he can. Having all your cichlids around the same size will lessen the chance of any of them getting eaten or picked. They will also be able to defend themselves better.

4. If you are thinking about setting up an African cichlid tank to encourage breeding, try to have one male for every two or three females. And get these fish from different sources to discourage inbreeding. The obvious place to purchase fish is from the pet store, but you do have other options. Try going to your local fish store, attend fish auctions, or check out online fish auctions. These places often specialize in Cichlids, and the quality of the fish is almost always superior to the "fish mill" fish available at your local pet shop.

5. When decorating your tank, skip the live plants and go for plastic. Cichlids love to uproot real plants and chew on them. Save the $30 you were going to spend on live plants and buy fake ones. There are many real-looking fake plants on the market today, and their variety far exceeds the live ones available. Don't forget the little weights they sell to weigh the plants down, as this will save you hours of sticking your hand in the tank to replant them.

6. When choosing gravel, always buy the special substrate for cichlids that raised the pH of the water. It is usually crushed up coral and shells that have buffering capabilities to maintain a higher pH, and save you from having to add chemicals to adjust the pH. There are a lot of arguments about whether to use sand or gravel for African cichlids, but gravel has two important qualities: it is a lot easier to clean, and the fish like to move it around to make hiding places. If you want to add some color to the gravel, since the cichlid substrate is usually white, just mix one or two bags of colored aquarium gravel into it.

7. The most important thing any cichlid owner should do before they add any fish to an aquarium is to research the habits and aggressiveness of the particular kind of cichlid they are considering. Cichlids have varying degrees of aggressiveness, and it is better to keep highly aggressive cichlids with other highly aggressive cichlids, and keep the quieter and less aggressive cichlids with other cichlids of the same temperament. This will reduce stress in your tank, and give all the fish a chance to thrive.

There are a lot of things to consider when starting an African cichlid tank. They require a lot more work and attention than a regular tank, but they are very rewarding. There is nothing better than turning off your lights, turning on the aquarium lights, and just sitting and watching your cichlids interact with each other and their environment. Good luck with your aquatic adventures, may they provide you years of enjoyment.

DuHamel, Douglas

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