10 Best Substrate For Reef Aquarium

Updated on: July 2021

Best Substrate For Reef Aquarium in 2021


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. 1 in 2021

Carib Sea ACS00110 Crushed Coral for Aquarium, 10-Pound

Carib Sea ACS00110 Crushed Coral for Aquarium, 10-Pound
BESTSELLER NO. 2 in 2021
  • Caribe crushed coral 10lb per case
  • A solid and economical performer
  • Economical Performer

CaribSea Arag-Alive 20-Pound Fiji Pink Sand

CaribSea Arag-Alive 20-Pound Fiji Pink Sand
BESTSELLER NO. 3 in 2021
  • Functional and beautiful aragonite substrate for all types of marine aquariums
  • Contains millions of beneficial marine bacteria to enhance biological filtration
  • Many styles to help recreate any marine environment

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

Carib Sea ACS00050 Aragonite Reef Sand for Aquarium, 40-Pound
BESTSELLER NO. 4 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 ACS00905 Ocean Direct Natural Live Sand for Aquarium, 5-Pound

Carib Sea ACS00905 Ocean Direct Natural Live Sand for Aquarium, 5-Pound
BESTSELLER NO. 5 in 2021
  • 100% aragonite supports proper ph
  • This method preserves real live sand with its own original, natural bacteria
  • re-create natural reef environments
  • more beneficial bacteria than any other product on the market
  • made in the USA

CaribSea Dry Aragonite Special Grade Reef Sand 15 lb

CaribSea Dry Aragonite Special Grade Reef Sand 15 lb
BESTSELLER NO. 6 in 2021
  • A grade of aragonite specifically for plenum type nitrate reducing beds
  • Use where a deeper bed is needed
  • Allows maximum pH support and dissolution of calcium Carbonate
  • Grain size is 10-20 mm
  • Made in the USA

Carib Sea Arag-Alive Substrate, Hawaiian Black, 20 lb.

Carib Sea Arag-Alive Substrate, Hawaiian Black, 20 lb.
BESTSELLER NO. 7 in 2021
  • May also be used in marine or African cichlid aquariums
  • Contains millions of beneficial marine bacteria to enhance biological filtration
  • Ideal for most freshwater aquaria, including discus, tetras, angelfish, water turtles, rays, plants, cichlids and more

Nature's Ocean Bio Activ Live Aragonite Aquarium Sand- Pink Reef Sand 20 LB.

Nature's Ocean Bio Activ Live Aragonite Aquarium Sand- Pink Reef Sand 20 LB.
BESTSELLER NO. 8 in 2021
  • Collected in its natural environment and packaged in its natural state (U.S. Patent #'s: 6,376,299 & 6,939,708)
  • Immediately removes nitrogenous waste (Ammonia, Nitrite and helps remove Nitrate).
  • Instant Cycling guaranteed. No Waiting...Just Add Fish!
  • Reduces harmful nitrate
  • Maintains proper pH, Provides enhanced buffering capacity

Caribsea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand, 20-Pound, Sunset Gold

Caribsea Super Naturals Aquarium Sand, 20-Pound, Sunset Gold
BESTSELLER NO. 9 in 2021
  • Create a supernatural experience by re-creating the natural world in your home
  • soft sand great for soft belly fish and turtles
  • ph neutral ; safe for all aquariums
  • no paint or dyes used
  • made in the USA

Nature's Ocean Bio-Activ Live Aragonite Reef Substrate, 8 lbs

Nature's Ocean Bio-Activ Live Aragonite Reef Substrate, 8 lbs
BESTSELLER NO. 10 in 2021
  • Immediately removes nitrogenous waste (Ammonia, Nitrite and helps remove Nitrate)
  • Grain size 1.0 to 2.5 mm diameter
  • Reduces harmful nitrate, maintains proper pH
  • Provides enhanced buffering capacity, instant Cycling guaranteed
  • Use a minimum of 1 pound Bio-Active Live Aragonite Sand per gallon of saltwater, with appropriate filtering system allow it to circulate, during the first month introduce fish less than 1 inch per 5 gallon saltwater

Vodka for Your Marine Aquarium

Vodka is an ideal way to help rid your aquarium of dissolved organics to make your tank better.

Nitrates and phosphates have always been in the back of our minds when dealing with marine aquariums. We are always trying to reduce these nutrients from causing algae blooms or decreased growth by many of our hermatypic corals that demand nutrient poor water. Sand bed and sulfur fluidized filters, carbon based denitrators, enzymatic compounds and resins have all been tried with various degrees of certainty and success. One form of possible solution to elevated nutrients is the employment of VODKA! Yes, Vodka as a source of carbon to help rid your tank of nutrients.

If you don't know this by now, bacteria is responsible for the break down of ammonia to nitrite and then to its least toxic form of nitrogen as nitrates then nitrogen gas into the ambient atmosphere. A plethora a bacteria from nitrosomanas to nitrobacter and various strains of each provide the ideal source of biological weaponry to retard the elevation of nutrients.

A source of carbon is the important part of the equation in establishing and maintaining the right growth and stimulation of suitable bacteria, both heterotrophic and autotrophic, to assimilate nitrogen and phosphorus in their living biomass, ultimately lowering the amount of these nutrients in the pelagic areas of aquariums.

Vodka contains a source of carbon known as ethanol. It is this bi-product of vodka that is responsible for the reduction of nutrients in marine aquariums. Not only does the vodka stimulate the growth of heterotrophic bacteria in the water, but it is responsible for polyp expansion as well. Tests have been performed by (Mrutzek and Kokott, 2004) which shows that soft corals, especially, display expanded polyps, either as a result of the available dissolved organic matter in the form of ethanol that the corals may feed on or the fact that bacterial biomass production may be consumed by the corals.

The addition of vodka to an aquarium can be directly to the water in the main tank or sump. However the vodka dosing should be done slowly and in small amounts to reduce the chances of nuisance algae growing. 5-10ml of vodka per 260 gallons of aquarium volume per day is a good starting point based on the readings of (Delbeek and Sprung-2005). This will help to ensure that the maintenance of low nutrient levels in your tank are administered.

While dosing vodka to your tank, be aware that your skimmer or other mechanical filtration means will go spastic as a result of the extensive bacterial biomass biofilms. The clogging of mechanical filtration is not uncommon and must be monitored religiously because of this. Tanks with a deep sand bed and those with little to no substrate will heed different results. Moreover, cloudiness of the water may be evident, especially in the introductory phase of vodka dosing. This is due to the bacterial bloom, though authors such as Eric Borneman suggests that the cloudiness may be the precipitation of calcium carbonate rather than bacterial bloom.

One thing to remember regarding nutrients is that phosphates are a source of energy to cells. The reduction of all nutrients, though unlikely, is not a good thing. Soft corals such as Xenia are very good assimilators of phosphate as are Tridacna Clams and other filter feeders, so nutrients in your water aren't all that bad, especially under closely monitored levels for both your stony and soft corals to thrive under the same environmental conditions.

Source: The Reef Aquarium(volume 3)

J. Charles Delbeek and Julian Sprung

Copyright 2005 (pp. 274-276)

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