Choosing the Best Saltwater Aquarium Substrate

Let's learn about "Saltwater aquarium". according to Wikipedia

Aquarium fishes, Angelfish (Pterophyllum altum)

The aquarium substrate is much more than simply "stuff on the bottom of the tank." It is an essential component of any saltwater aquarium system. Substrate mediums offer a variety of functions in addition to improving the appearance of a tank:

  • The substrate in a marine aquarium is a vital part of the biological filter base of an aquarium, and if you choose to use a non-living media over live sand, it will become " alive" as the tank goes through the as the aquarium matures.
  • Fine-grained mediums (1.0 to 2.0 mm diameter grain size) are used for NNR (Natural Nitrate Reduction) in conjunction with denitrification filtration setups, such as , fluidized and deep sand bed filters, while courser grain sizes (2.0 to 5.5mm) may be used in wet/dry trickle filters, or when a UGF (Undergravel Filter) is present.
  • Fine-grained mediums (0.5-1.7 mm grain size or sugar-sized sand) is best for sand sifting fish such as .
  • It provides refuge for many types of bottom-dwelling marine fish and invertebrates that either build burrows or bury themselves in the substrate, like various species of , , , Mandarinfishes, , and such. A somewhat fine to small grained medium is good for these types of animals as the heavier substrates may damage the animals as they plow through it. Wrasses, in particular, seem to incur external infections when kept in the heavier substrates.‚Äč
  • Certain types of sand-sifting invertebrates ingest substrate and extract organic matter from it, like sea cucumbers. Animals such as these rely on the substrate as a source of nutrition, and therefore a rather fine-grained medium should be provided.
  • The substrate houses other smaller critters, such as amphipods, copepods, and marine worms, which are a source of food for some other marine animals.
  • Natural ocean mediums are calcium-based, which is beneficial to saltwater systems in many ways.
  • A calcium-based media of the right consistency makes a good material for use in a calcium reactor.
  • It is a material used for making DIY rocks.

There can be quite a between different grades and brands of substrates.

As you can see, when deciding on what "consistency" of substrate to buy, you must consider not only what it will look like, but also what it will be used for, as well as whether it will be appropriate for the type of system you are setting up and conducive to the specific types of marine life that will be kept in it.

Before you go out and buy your substrate, take in mind that heavier substrates have a propensity to stick to the bottom of your tank. You'll need a heavier substrate if you're planning to have a lot of powerheads in your tank for a lot of water circulation.

Last but not least, think about "where" the medium originates from. Sand, gravel, and rocks mined on land sometimes include undesired minerals, metals, silicates, and perhaps chemicals or poisons that can leak into aquarium water and cause problems. As a result, land-based products are not advised.

The greatest sort of substrate to use is one that comes from the ocean and is naturally high in calcium. The leading choices are aragonite, coral/reef, and shell-based media, which are available in a variety of hues, including pink, black, white, and neutral tones, and in a variety of consistencies, from extremely fine to tiny grain, and medium to coarse textures.

  • Tip: For aquariums where no "sand" sifting or dwelling animals are present, a somewhat large or coarse-textured shell media can be very eye appealing, such as in a specific fish-only predatory tank community that houses Triggers, Lionfishes, Puffers, Hawkfishes, Eels and such.