How do you separate sand and gravel

Substrate separation from Arami Gurami


who does not know them, the great aquascapes with a beautiful sandy road that meanders like a serpentine towards the foreground. Makes a great depth effect.

I really wanted something like that, so hey presto, light sand was poured on the gravel, it looked wonderful! After just a few days, the fish and shrimp had rummaged through the two substrates so that I could no longer separate them even with various combs. Great!

In addition, it should be said that the so-called cosmetic sand in the high gloss aquascapes is usually (newly) poured out especially for the basin and therefore by no means stays in shape in the long term.

In some pool contests, points are deducted when using this sand (among other things, because it is difficult to keep the dazzling light color of the sand in shape).

Back to my pelvis, I was able to make the following observations:

-Although I had placed small stones around the edges, it was not an obstacle for the inhabitants of my tank or for natural erosion to mix the two types of soil.

-Sand is smaller and lighter than gravel. So you think if you try to create order and mess around in the street that the sand will automatically come up. Think! The small sand particles fall into the fine cracks between the gravel and then migrate into deeper and deeper layers.

So only one thing remains:

The two types of substrate really have to be strictly separated from each other. The aquascaping professionals use pond liner (black) or PET film (transparent) from the hardware store. Simply cut it to fit and make sure that the two substrates are really completely separated from each other. If something sticks out too much at the top (you should leave a bit of the edge) you can of course cut it back a bit or stop nicely with stones and / or plants


I wish you success!