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Tahitian Moon Sand Review 2023 – Pros, Cons & Our Final Verdict

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley

Tahitian Moon Sand Review

Disclaimer: CaribSea has discontinued its Tahitian Moon Sand product. We recommend checking out our other top choices for tank substrates here.

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Tahitian Moon Sand a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Editor's Rating: 3/5
Quality: 3.5/5
Functionality: 4.5/5
Availability: 2.5/5
Price: 3/5

If you’re an aquarium keeper of either freshwater or saltwater tanks, you may struggle to find the perfect substrate for your tank. A substrate provides more than just a nice appearance in your tank. Substrates can serve multiple purposes, including supporting plant life, providing soft scavenging space, and being a hiding place for burrowing fish and invertebrates.

CaribSea is a highly trusted brand in the aquatics company, and one of their most consistently popular and sought-after products is Tahitian Moon Sand. Tahitian Moon Sand is a black-colored sand that is ideal for mimicking volcanic areas, especially oceanic volcanoes. It can be used to create a dark, natural appearance in any tank, though. This sand has a reflective nature, giving the tank a glittery look.

Before you run out to buy Tahitian Moon Sand, though, there are some important things you need to know. This product has actually been discontinued, but because of its popularity, many people still seek it out and it can often be purchased through aquatics sites and resale sites. Here’s everything you need to know about CaribSea’s Tahitian Moon Sand.

aquarium plant divider

Tahitian Moon Sand – A Quick Look

Carib Sea Tahitian Moon Sand

  • Natural black coloration
  • Glittery effect
  • pH neutral
  • Free of paints and dyes
  • Suitable for supporting plant life
  • Discontinued due to quality concerns
  • Premium price due to difficulty finding it
  • May leave an oily film in the water initially


Bag sizes: 5 pounds, 20 pounds
Materials: Sand
Color: Black, shimmer
Manufacturer: CaribSea
Discontinued by manufacturer?: Yes

Plant Support

Tahitian Moon Sand isn’t the best substrate for plants, but it does provide nutrients that can help support plant life. This means that you can plant your plants directly into this substrate and, assuming they are root feeders, the substrate will support them.

The texture of this sand allows plants to expand their root systems while still providing enough stability to help the plants stay in place. Just keep in mind that the nutrients will eventually run out with plants in the tank, so eventually, your plants will need nutrients added to the substrate.


The natural look of the Tahitian Moon Sand will create a striking look in your tank. The dark coloration helps plants and tank inhabitants really stand out. While it’s a great addition to any tank, this substrate can really enhance your tank if you have brightly colored fish, invertebrates, and plants.

The better the lighting in the tank, the greater the glittery effect of the sand will be, so high lighting tanks will help to bring out the beauty of the sand.

Image Credit: BLUR LIFE 1975, Shutterstock

No Added Chemicals

One of the top benefits of this sand is that it doesn’t have any chemicals added to it. This means no dyes are added to this sand, so the black coloration is fully natural and won’t wear off over time. It also means this sand is pH neutral, so you don’t have to worry about it altering the pH level of your tank. There aren’t any dangerous chemicals that will leach from the sand over time either.


Unfortunately, CaribSea discontinued Tahitian Moon Sand. It seems unusual for such a popular product to be discontinued, but there were quality concerns that arose with this product. Many people reported their tank inhabitants dying after the addition of this product to their tank. It’s important to account for the tons of people who haven’t had any issues with Tahitian Moon Sand, but there were enough people who had issues that CaribSea investigated the product source.

They determined that the source of the sand was no longer able to provide a safe, quality item. In lieu of spending excess resources to attempt to replace the product from another source, they found it safest and best to discontinue it completely.



Is Tahitian Moon Sand Easy to Clean?

It is easier to clean than lighter weight sands, but there is still a chance of this sand becoming sucked up in your gravel vacuum while you’re cleaning the tank. There is a technique for vacuuming aquarium sand without sucking a ton of it up that likely needs to be used with this substrate.

How Much Sand Do I Need for My Tank?

The amount of sand you need for your tank will depend on the size of your tank and the depth of substrate you’re wanting. Some plants and inhabitants may require deeper substrate than the average tank, so you should account for that. However, in general, you’ll need about twice as much sand as the size of your tank. This means that a 5-gallon tank will need about 10 pounds of sand.

aquarium tank with sponge filter
Image Credit: SritanaN, Shutterstock

Is This Substrate Safe for Delicate Fish?

Yes. This sand is soft enough that most delicate fishes will not be injured. This includes fish with delicate barbels that may be damaged by rougher substrates.


What the Users Say

We wanted to see what other users have to say about Tahitian Moon Sand, especially since it’s such a popular product that is still so sought after, even after discontinuation.

Many users love the shimmery appearance of this sand, as well as the dark coloration and its ability to bring out colors of other things in the tank. The natural look of this sand is a hit with many people. They also found that this substrate causes less clouding in the tank than many other substrates do, but there is a chance of it leaving a slightly oily film in the tank.

One unusual problem that some people have reported with this tank is that some of the pieces are slightly magnetic, so if you use a magnetic algae glass cleaner, then it may pick up some bits of the sand as well. Obviously, though, the biggest issue that people report with this product is how difficult it is to find and how expensive it can be when you do find it.

aquarium plant divider


Tahitian Moon Sand is a good substrate, but there were some quality and safety issues reported with it. Unfortunately, CaribSea did discontinue this product because they didn’t feel like they could bring the quality of the product back to where it originally was. For people who use this sand, they typically report loving it for its appearance, ability to bring out the colors of other things in the tank, glittery look, and inert nature.

Featured Image Credit: SritanaN, Shutterstock

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