Nature's Ocean Bio-Active Sand

By Eric Spence

Nature's Ocean Bio-Active Sand is another product on the market, which claims an instant cycle in a newly established aquarium. Their website can be found at Here you can find all the information on the product, although it's a not a very in depth site. The product can be found widely online as well as in pet stores and usually sells around $29 (US dollars) for twenty pounds.

Nature's Ocean Bio-Active Sand in my opinion is an excellent product for saltwater aquarists, who are planning a new aquarium. My personal experience with it was great. I setup a 10-gallon aquarium which is now my dwarf seahorse tank. Several people had recommending this product to me because I wanted a sand-bed, and didn't want to wait a month or longer for the nitrogen cycle to take place. I removed 6 gallons of water from my previous dwarf aquarium, a 6-gallon eclipse, and placed it into the 10-gallon aquarium. Then added 4 gallons of newly mixed saltwater. Eventually the sand was in place as well as my livestock. I never experienced any ammonia or nitrite in the aquarium; all have been at zero readings. Also some online friends of mine have used this product using all freshly mixed saltwater and added their livestock and never experienced any nitrite or ammonia readings. I believe that this pretty much proves this product is honest in their advertising of an "Instant Cycle".

When visiting the Nature's Ocean website you can see pictures of the product and well as read how it works, and instructions on cycling your aquarium. This product is indeed "live sand," bacteria-wise. However there are no critters such as crabs or bristle worms. This product claims a shelf life of several months in which I cannot attest to because when I bought it the pet store had just received the shipment. However the product is packaged wet, with what I assume is sea water.

Overall I believe this product is rather great for aquarists starting a new aquarium and don't want to wait for the nitrogen cycle to complete over the 4 weeks plus. However this product would be pretty useless to aquarists wanting to add this sand to their existing aquarium. The bacteria, which "eats" the ammonia and nitrite etc, is already present in that aquarium. That person could achieve a sand-bed by other and less pricey means.

Most recent revision: 2003

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Seahorse fact: Seahorses belong to the genus Hippocampus.
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