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Aquarium Substrates

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Help and advice on shopping for: Aquarium Substrates

Create the perfect foundation for your aquarium

Choosing substrate for your fish tank can be a fun experience and a big part of designing your tank's look. Whether you opt for gravel, sand or pebbles, substrate can be beneficial to your aquarium to aid positive bacterial growth and create a more natural environment for your fish. Part of the fun is choosing different colours and textures to customise your tank from our range of products, featuring top brands like CaribSea and Tropica.

What are aquarium substrates?

Aquarium substrates are the layers of sand, gravel, or soil added to the base of a fish tank. Substrate acts as a natural filter, trapping small bits of waste produced by fish, and is also the perfect habitat for beneficial bacterial colonies, which are capable of filtering the water on the molecular level. They also help anchor plants and give fish a place to forage.

Why should I buy aquarium substrate?

With the right aquarium substrate, you will be able to keep your tank cleaner for longer. Although substrate doesn’t prevent the build-up of waste completely, the combination of mechanical filtration and biological filtration will reduce the amount of maintenance required dramatically. Aquarium substrate also allows you to show off your style and create an environment more in keeping with your fishes natural habitat, promoting their happiness and health.

What are the main types of substrate?

We stock four types of aquarium substrate; gravels, pebbles and cobbles, planting substrates and soils and sands. Gravels are a substrate made up of small rock chips and often come in a wide variety of colours. Pebbles and cobbles are natural stones that create a unique ‘pebble beach’ floor in your tank. Planting substrates and soils have been specially formulated to give aquatic plants everything they need without polluting the water or making it cloudy. Finally, sands are extremely fine substrates that are particularly good for marine and tropical fish that may be used to swimming with sand beneath them.

What should I look for?

When choosing a substrate, try to consider what your fish will enjoy and what will go with your overall aquarium look. Generally, the colour won’t matter too much to your fish so try to get a substrate type they will be familiar with in a colour that is right for you.