Aquariums provide a unique insight into the underwater world that lets you stock a variety of fish and other creatures in a safe environment. Before you buy any living creatures for your aquarium, though, you need to prepare the bottom with appropriate bedding material.
For instance, a half gravel half sand aquarium design has become a popular option for many people over the last few years.
These aquariums consist of the exact blend of sand and gravel that the term implies. You have to mix about half gravel on the bottom of your aquarium and half sand to produce a unique blend that will go well with many types of fish and aquatic creatures.
Finding the best combination for this type of aquarium can require a little work if you’re uncertain of how to handle the steps involved with this process.
Thankfully, we have created a simple article that should help you get the blend that you need for your aquarium.
We’ll suggest the most robust mix of high-quality gravel and sand available on the market for your needs and will also help you figure out how to separate your sand and gravel for cleaning. In this way, you can set up your half gravel half sand aquarium with little difficulty or challenge.
The Best Sand And Gravel For A Half Gravel Half Sand Aquarium
When choosing the best half gravel half sand aquarium, you must identify excellent gravel that doesn’t change the pH of your water or affect your fish’s health.
Proper aquarium gravel also helps to provide a substantial bed for plants and other elements to grow throughout your aquarium. At the same time, the sand helps to anchor many of these items and keep them in place so that they don’t float too far away.
In our research, we found that Spectrastone Shallow Creek is your best bet for a freshwater aquarium because it does not affect your water’s pH levels or cause any other changes in your water’s quality.
We also believe that it blends well with Carib Sea Super Naturals as the sand because both are non-toxic, easy to pour, and simple to clean and remove if necessary for your fish’s health.
Typically, you need to clean these items when the water starts getting murky in your tank because algae and other growths may be spreading across their surface.
Unfortunately, this problem can lead to sick fish and other concerns, which could trigger a potent odor and other concerns with your aquarium. Before you try this process, though, it is vital to understand how to prepare your aquarium in this way.
Can You Do Half Gravel Half Sand Aquarium?
While it is true that many aquarium owners typically do 25% sand and 75% mix gravel, it is possible to do a half gravel half sand aquarium.
You’re just going to have more sand on the bottom of your tank, which could create a slightly murkier texture throughout the water. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, though, as long as you’re prepared to clean out your aquarium a little more often.
When creating this type of aquarium, you should anticipate pouring the sand at the bottom first because it will naturally sink through the cracks of your gravel anyway.
The amount you pour should be enough to cover the bottom of your tank up to an inch or two, minimum. Then, you can pour in the gravel on top of it or mix it in with the sand to create a blend of the two material types.
After performing this step, you can add any plants or other growths you need, including your fish. The fish will bed on the bottom of your sand and gravel mix and feel more at home because it will likely mimic the natural blend typical at the bottom of most lakes.
But when it comes time to clean up this material, you need to separate the two materials to make this process easier. In the section below, we’ll examine how you can handle this step without a lot of difficult work or specialized equipment.
How Do You Separate Sand And Gravel In An Aquarium?
Separating sand and gravel in an aquarium requires a careful approach and a handful of simple tools you may already have in your home.
For example, you’ll need a large bucket or container and a funnel that can fit on top of this container snugly and without slipping. You’ll also probably need one or two other people to help steady the aquarium as you pour out the sand and the gravel into the funnel.
Start by removing your fish, placing them in a separate container, then siphoning the water out of your tank with a hose, and putting the open end into a sink where the dirty water can rinse away.
Next, remove any plants or decorations in your tank and then carefully and slowly pour the sand and the gravel into the funnel. The funnel opening should have a filter at the bottom that lets out sand but not gravel.
As you pour, the sand will pass through the filter and into the bucket, while the gravel will stay in the funnel. You may find that the gravel ends up filling the funnel quickly, as you need to make sure that you pour slowly and pour the gravel into a separate container.
Repeat this process to separate the sand and gravel: don’t worry about any slight mixes between the two, as these can be easily removed by hand later.
Set Up Your Aquarium Today
If you’re interested in a half gravel half sand aquarium, it is a good idea to find an option that makes the most sense for your needs.
You can work with your pet shop to identify a large-enough aquarium for your fish and the best gravel and sand for your needs.
They can particular order any items that you may need and even ship them directly to you if necessary, providing you with the help you need to set up any items required for your aquarium’s needs.