Last Updated on October 21, 2022 by Griselda M.
Can you use crushed coral for a freshwater aquarium? Stay with us and find out the answers to all your questions.
An aquarium substrate is a material used to cover the bottom of an aquarium tank. Aquarists use it for various purposes, most often for aesthetics, but also because the substrate can affect the quality of water and environment, as well as the overall health of the inhabitants of your aquarium.
Today we will talk about using crushed coral for a freshwater aquarium. Therefore, keep reading so you can provide only the best for your aquatic pets.
What is Crushed Coral?
Crushed coral is one of the most commonly used forms of aquarium substrate. It mainly consists of a mix of limestone, coral skeleton pieces, and shells.
Due to the size of the grains, it is extremely popular for use in tanks that have very high flow. Why? Because smaller grain-sized substrates can be whipped up by a strong flow and as a result create a sand storm. This phenomenon is extremely undesirable because it can upset, or in the worst-case scenario be fatal for all your aquatic inhabitants.
However, truth be told, crushed coral is also known for trapping uneaten food, excrement, dirt, and all other forms of detritus. Namely, detritus can settle in the gaps between the grains if it is not noticed in time and not removed by regular maintenance. Once it settles, it will begin to decay and decompose, releasing ammonia, nitrates, and phosphates that will feed on algae.
Can I Use Crushed Coral For a Freshwater Aquarium?
This is one of the most common questions that plague aquarium novices. No worries, crushed corals are very acceptable for freshwater aquariums. In addition, it was very popular more than ten years ago and with saltwater aquarists as well.
There are several advantages and disadvantages to using it. So keep reading and find out more.
Advantages of using crushed coral for a freshwater aquarium
When you use it as a substrate in your tank, it helps maintain the pH of your aquarium water, not only for shorter but for longer periods. Accordingly, it makes it easier for you not to worry about your tank suddenly becoming too acidic.
It is important to explain why it has such an ability to maintain the pH levels of the water. Namely, this is because the main ingredient of crushed coral is calcium, which reacts with water to form carbonic acid which acts as a buffer solution. Accordingly, whenever the pH decreases, the buffer solution reacts and consequently neutralizes the acid.
Read more about: How to Raise Ph IN Fish Tank with Baking Soda?
Disadvantages of using crushed coral for a freshwater aquarium
As with all other things, using crushed coral has some negative aspects as well. This is primarily due to the size of its particles.
Namely, the particles regularly trap uneaten food, dirt, and feces, which, if you delay cleaning, will decompose and decay, releasing ammonia, phosphates, and nitrates. – All those compounds we are sure you don’t want to have in your aquarium tank. They are the food for algae, and algae are known to destroy tanks. Simple as that!
In addition, once you insert a substrate such as crushed coral into your tank, you will be deprived of some of the most interesting fish species that are categorized as sand-sifting animals. Furthermore, starfish, Nassuarius snails, and gobies are just some of the types of aquatic pets that adore burying themselves in the sand and using their mouths to sift it through, serving as your free clean-up-crew.
Learn more about 10 Most Interesting Aquarium Pets Other Than Fish
Therefore, if you are thinking about keeping these types of pets, you have two options, either use crushed fine-grained coral or look for another alternative.
What Crushed Coral For a Freshwater Aquarium offers?
- Provides a visually pleasing landscape and creates a calming effect.
- It acts as a medium for the reproduction, growth, and colonization of beneficial bacteria.
- Supports the roots of living plants and draws nutrients.
- It gives a sense of safety to your aquatic pets because it does not reflect lights or images of other fish in the aquarium.
- It is the perfect place to hide eggs.
Crushed corals are critical elements used in fish aquariums. They not only contribute to the aesthetic appeal of your aquarium but also have a number of benefits that are directly related to the health of your underwater world.
Now you have all the information to decide whether to use crushed coral for a freshwater aquarium. We hope we have helped you! If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments.
Also, see the following article.
Can You Use Crushed Coral In A Freshwater Tank?
Of course, you can use crushed coral in a freshwater tank! It’s a great way to maintain the pH level in your aquarium tank, it’s very easy to maintain and looks pretty aesthetically pleasing.
How Do You Use Crushed Coral In A Freshwater Tank?
The process of adding crushed coral to your freshwater tank is quite simple. Empty the tank first, and then place the substrate on the bottom. Make sure to place them accurately so that there are no gaps or uneven parts. Finally, simply add water to your aquarium.
Although they may seem insignificant at first glance, unevenness can cause a variety of problems. For example, some aquatic plants such as dwarf hairgrass might die if the substrate isn’t made properly.
Is Crushed Coral Good For Aquarium Plants?
Not all plants are equally fans of crushed corals. Namely, crushed corals can create high pH levels and/or high carbonate hardness, which is not at all good or desirable for your aquarium plants.
Accordingly, if you intend to use it in your aquarium tank, check the compatibility between the crushed coral and the plant you want to plant.
Does Crushed Coral Raise Water Hardness?
Yes, crushed corals have a direct impact on raising water hardness. Since they mainly consist of calcium carbonate, this type of aquarium substrate is ideal for raising water hardness. This calcium carbonate in contact with water slowly dissolves, increasing the water hardness level while providing a buffer for pH and alkalinity levels.