Pool or BDBS sand are commonly used. Play sand can vary depending on where it is sourced, but where I live the play sand requires no washing and can be put into the aquarium directly though it can vary in different places.
If you are looking for a lighter colour for your aquascape and plants and have a more natural look, go for the pool sand or play sand. If you want the fish and plants to stand out from everything else, go for the BDBS.
I have pool sand in all of my tanks, except one.
It's extremely natural, and looks good under a bright LED light.
5 to 10 years
I personally love BDBS and have it in all my tanks, I found it to be the easiest to wash(haven’t tried play sand) and very beautiful. Makes it nice for photography and makes the fish “pop” a little more.
Well Known Member
I like PFS. It's super easy to keep clean, requires barely and washing, and looks nice.