Although using sandstone in aquariums has always been controversial, more and more people have been starting to use sandstone in their tanks recently resulting in a number of people reaching out to ask if they should use sandstone in their aquariums or not.
Now, only you are able to make this choice but we wanted to publish this article going over the reasons that the use of sandstone in aquariums was discouraged for some many years.
In addition to that, even experienced fish keepers who have been in the hobby for decades can still end up having problems when they try to integrate sandstone into their tanks.
Due to this, we would highly recommend that you avoid putting sandstone in your tank if possible, especially if you are a beginner but here are our reasons to back that up…
Sandstone Can Change Your pH!
One of the main reasons that sandstone is not recommended for use in aquariums is because it can drastically change your pH levels.
Sandstone is very alkaline and will often times raise the pH in your tank to unsafe levels if you are not careful.
This can be extremely dangerous for your fish as it can cause them a number of health problems and in some cases, death.
If you absolutely must use sandstone in your aquarium, we would highly recommend that you test your water frequently and adjust accordingly to make sure that your pH levels stay where they need to be.
Sandstone Can Be Sharp!
Another reason why sandstone is not recommended for use in aquariums is because it can be very sharp.
This is obviously not good for your fish as it can cause them to get cut or scraped which can lead to infection.
In addition to that, the sharp edges on the sandstone can also damage your aquarium filter which can cause a number of problems down the road.
Sandstone Can Cause Cloudy Water!
Finally, one of the last reasons why sandstone is not recommended for use in aquariums is because it can cause your water to become very cloudy.
This is usually caused by the sandstone leaching minerals into the water which can then turn it cloudy.
Not only does this make your aquarium look bad but it can also be very dangerous for your fish as it can clog their gills and make it difficult for them to breathe.
Sandstone Can Release Calcium Into Your Water!
Another problem that can occur when using sandstone in your aquarium is that it can release calcium into your water.
This is not only dangerous for your fish but it can also cause problems with your plants as too much calcium can prevent them from being able to absorb nutrients.
Too much calcium in your water can also make it very hard and uncomfortable for your fish to swim.
Sandstone Can Be High In Iron!
Another problem that can occur when using sandstone in your aquarium is that it can be high in iron.
While a little bit of iron is actually good for your plants, too much iron can cause a number of problems such as algae growth and plant die off and cause serious issues for fish.
It can also discolor your water and make it difficult for your fish to see.
In most cases, sandstone that is high in iron is obvious due to its red look to it but in other cases, the sandstone that is high in iron may be covered in regular sandstone making it difficult to work out until it is too late.
Sandstone Contains Many Other Trace Minerals!
In addition to the problems that we have already mentioned, sandstone also contains many other trace minerals that can be harmful to your fish.
Some of these minerals include lead, arsenic, and mercury which can all be very dangerous for your fish if they are exposed to too much of them.
While a little bit of these minerals is not going to hurt your fish, it is still best to avoid using sandstone in your aquarium if possible.
Even store bought sandstone can still have these trace minerals in it as they can be very difficult to get out of the sandstone in most situations making it an absolute pain to make sure that your sandstone is aquarium safe.
Sandstone Can React To Fertilizer Products!
In addition to all of the other problems that we have already mentioned, sandstone can also react with many fertilizers and other products that you may use in your aquarium.
These reactions can range from your sandstone dissolving to it rendering the fertilizer produce useless with possible reactions potentially being a risk to your fish.
Sandstone Can Be Difficult To Clean!
Last but not least, sandstone can be very difficult to clean once it has been used in your aquarium.
This is because the sandstone is very porous and tends to hold on to dirt, grime, and other things that can be very difficult to remove.
In some cases, you may even need to replace your sandstone if it becomes too dirty as it can be very difficult to clean it properly.
All of these problems are why we generally recommend avoiding sandstone in your aquarium unless you are absolutely sure that it is safe for your particular setup.
If you do decide to use sandstone in your aquarium, make sure to rinse it thoroughly before adding it to your tank and keep a close eye on your water parameters to make sure that everything is staying in line.
Do you use sandstone in your aquarium? Let us know in the comments below!