Pounds per gallon?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by Crissandra331, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. Crissandra331Valued MemberMember

    I want to say I remember when buying gravel starting out it was about a gallon per 10 pound bag? I'm having a hard time remembering. I'm wanting to convert from gravel to sand and trying to find out how much I need to fill a 65 GAL.

    I tried looking at a substrate calculator but it got fairly confusing.

    In the past I usually over purchase thinking it could be nice to have extra on hand, but now don't have the space to store a lot of extras so would like to be a little more precise in my shopping.

    Also any brands you would recommend. Kind of not looking forward to the process seems somewhat tedious but figure if it makes me fishies happier it's worth the hard work..

    Do you know of any formulas that are easy for finding the amount of substrate for your tank?

    Thanks :)
  2. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Generally it is 2 lbs per gallon.
  3. Crissandra331Valued MemberMember

    Thank you...that sounds much accurate got to thinking about the 10 lbs per gallon and their probably wouldn't be much water left!!
  4. klj7678Valued MemberMember

    This substrate calculator is incredibly easy to use and understand. You just input the length, width, and desired depth and it'll tell you exactly how many pounds of substrate you need.
  5. petaddictionWell Known MemberMember

    it's 1-2 lbs of substrate per gallon depending on your preference of thickness of substrate. Usually with sand you should go with a fairly thin layer so it's easy to churn up to get the air pockets out.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  6. JsigmoWell Known MemberMember


    Are we talking about pounds of sand per gallon of water in the tank? Such a "rule" would be very approximate, at best, because you don't know the shape of the tank nor how deep the user wanted the sand to be. And that's just what petaddiction said.

    On the other hand, if we're talking about pounds of sand per gallon of sand, that's another thing altogether!

    This, too, would be somewhat approximate because we don't know the density of the sand in question.

    The grain shape and size distribution would affect how it packs together, and the material from which the sand is made would, naturally, determine the density of the sand particles themselves.

    Still, just for amusement, I went out back here, and scooped up a 1 liter beaker of "sand" from a nice red ant pile nearby. Weighing it, I get a mass of 1450 grams in one liter of the stuff. (Yes, I subtracted the mass of the beaker - 390 grams). :)

    That works out to about 12.1 pounds per gallon of this "sand".

    But, since this sand also contains dirt, and basically a variety of grain sizes, it'll be more dense than graded sand or gravel which will not pack as densely because the uniform grain sizes will assure larger air pockets between them. (In my sample, those air pockets are filled with finer and finer grains of sand/dirt - and don't forget the ants)! :)

    Anyhow, this leads me to believe that Crissandra's recollection of about ten pounds of sand per gallon of sand is probably spot on!

    So if she's trying to buy a certain number of gallons of sand, she would probably do well to use a figure of about ten pounds of sand per gallon. We know for certain that almost any sand will weigh a lot more than 2 pounds per gallon.

    I'd want to know the weight of sand per gallon of sand if I was figuring how much sand I wanted in a tank.

    First, I'd decide how deep I wanted the sand to be.

    Then I'd take the volume of the tank (say, 65 gallons) and divide that by the height of the tank. That way, I know how many gallons per inch of height I'd need.

    Then it'd just be a matter of buying that number of gallons of sand. But I'd want to know how much a gallon of sand weighs because the sellers of the sand probably mark the bags by weight and not volume.

    How tall is your tank, Crissandra?

    Edit to add: I ran some of this same ant-hill sand through cheap kitchen sieve to remove the fines, and to my amazement, I get almost exactly the same density - actually slightly higher, but my measuring of the volumes was careless enough that the difference is insignificant.

    So some of the fines in this ant-hill sand must be of lower density than the larger grains. Perhaps there's a lot of organic material in the "fines". Oh, and I did eliminate a lot of the ants, and we know they're not as dense as the sand grains, so...

    My local red-ant-hill-sand has a density of 12.1 pounds per gallon!
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  7. seoveValued MemberMember

    I used 50 lbs. for a 55 gal. With 1 pound per gallon you can have a substrate of 1 1/2 inches deep. You can have the substrate 1 inch deep in the fore and slope it for plants. A deeper substrate than that could be a problem for FW. A DSB is good for SW but a shallow sand bed is best for FW.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
  8. TeishokueWell Known MemberMember

    1 lb per gallon for bb

    2 lb per gallon for scapes

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