• Hello guest! Are you an Apistogramma enthusiast? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's a great place for Apisto enthusiasts to meet online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your fish and tanks and have a great time with other Apisto enthusiasts. Sign up today!

Sand as Substrate


5 Year Member
Morning all,

My tanks at this stage all have the smallest available gravel as a substrate.
I now have available in a natural fresh water river, sand as substrate. Clean, no polutants etc, it come from a semi rainforst river around my area.
As sand is very dense, I intend to only have 3cm as a sustrate and then plant all plants in pots.
I would like to use sand as Apistos are sometimes sifters.
does anybody else use sand and could give me some advice please ?
cheers Jan-Kurt :)


New Member
5 Year Member
i use sand too. boil the sand first for not getting parasites into the aquarium and be sure that the sand will not raise the gh and the kh (it is the problem with every stone or sand we collect here in greece) you can test it by spilling on the sand a strong acid,if the sand bubble then it is not suitable for fish that need soft water


5 Year Member

My apistos love sifting through the sand, taking some in the mouth and spitting them out again.

I use pool filter sand which is pure silica sand and is therefore inert. I bought mine from Clark Rubber. Nice and cheap - I think less than $20 for a 20kg bag.

The colour is very light, see pic below:



5 Year Member
I use just sand (construction sand) in my breeding tanks (0.5 inch deep).

There, you can see why this lovely fishes are Geophagine (earth eaters)