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Graded Gravels and Decorative Sands: A Guide

Graded gravels and decorative sands can be used to achieve a very natural look in the Nature Aquarium and to artistically highlight areas of the aquascape, drawing the eye carefully around the creation.

For further information, ADA Aqua Journal Volume 185 features uses of decorative sands.

There are several different sands and gravels to choose from, and this brief guide will lay out the main characteristics of each;

Graded Gravels
We have two types of graded gravel available – TGM Graded Gravel and ADA Aqua Gravel.

TGM Graded Gravel
– This is a very economical and effective choice to add interest and variety to your aquascape
– It is available in 5 different sizes
– It is available to purchase by the kilogram
– If you want an economic option, then the TGM Graded Gravel is ideal.

ADA Aqua Gravel
– This is a little more expensive than the TGM Graded Gravel if you only want 2kg.
– It is available in 4 sizes. The LL Aqua Gravel is about 4-7cm per piece, which is significantly larger than the TGM gravel.
– It is available to purchase in 2kg, 8kg or 15kg sizes.
– If you want very large pieces of gravel, that are more like small river pebbles, then the ADA Aqua Gravel LL is perfect.

Decorative Sands
We have a very wide variety of sands available and all of them are tried and tested and suitable for aquascaping. The choice of what sand to use is an aesthetic decision based on what colour you would like and what grain size you would like, as some sands are much finer than others. A combination of sand and graded gravels works very well.

ADA Congo Sand
– 2 sizes available (S and SS)
– Dark colour that enhances the colours of the fish
– Available in 2kg, 8kg and 15kg sizes

ADA Mekong Sand
– 3 sizes available (S, SS and Powder)
– Light, natural colour like a river bed
– Available in 2kg, 8kg and 15kg sizes

ADA Forest Sand Orinoco (this item has been discontinued so when it’s gone, it’s gone!)
– A bright, natural sand
– Coarse grains
– Available in 2kg and 8kg sizes
– Works well when graded with the finer Sarawak Sand

ADA Forest Sand Branco
– A bright, almost white, natural sand
– Coarse grains
– Available in 2kg and 8kg sizes
– Works well when graded with the finer Nile sand

ADA Forest Sand Xingu
– Light beige colour
– Coarse grains
– Available in 2kg and 8kg sizes

ADA Nile Sand
– The lightest sand available from ADA
– Very natural and slightly grey in colour
– Very fine grain size
– Available in 2.6 or 5.2l
– Works well with Seiryu, Manten, Yamaya and TGM Blue Stone.

ADA Sarawak Sand
– Pale, warm, yellow colour
– Very fine grain size
– Available in 2.6 or 5.2l
– Works well with Dragon stone and Fossilized Wood.

Maui Sand
– Beautiful, pure, white colour
– Fine grain size
– Available in 2.5, 12.5 and 25kg sizes
– Very economical
– Creates a dramatic contrast

Limpopo Sand
– Black coloured sand
– Fine grain size
– Available in 2.5, 12.5 and 25kg sizes
– Very economical
– Creates a dramatic contrast

Zambezi Sand
– Beige coloured sand
– Fine grain size
– Available in 2.5, 12.5 and 25kg sizes
– Very economical
– A good neutral choice

If you would like any further advice about any of our products please contact us and we will be happy to help. Call us on, email us or visit us in store for some hands on advice. Contact Us.

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