PURE WATER PEBBLES Bio-Activ Live African Cichlid Aquarium Substrate, Rift Lake, 20-lb bag - Chewy.com

Pure Water Pebbles Bio-Activ Live African Cichlid Aquarium Substrate, Rift Lake, 20-lb bag

By Pure Water Pebbles
Rated 4.6786 out of 5 stars
$26.99Chewy Price
$27.02Chewy Price

In Stock
FREE 1-3 day shipping over $49

About This Item


  • 100% natural substrate is collected using a unique process that preserves all bacteria in their natural live state.
  • Live heterrotophic, autotrophic and chemolithotrophic bacteria provide proper inorganic balance.
  • Instant cycling eliminates nitrogenous waste including ammonia and nitrite and restores natural organic balance to provide a safe environment.
  • Also helps reduce harmful nitrate, maintain proper pH and enhance buffering capacity, along with providing essential inorganic elements.
  • White or black granules measure 1.2-1.7 mm, and rift lake granules measure 6-8 mm; also includes trace elements and critical nutrients needed to maintain ideal tank water quality.

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Questions & Answers

28 Customer Questions

How many pounds do i need for a 55gal
Answer by ChewyOct 28, 2017
Determining how much substrate to buy for your new aquarium depends on the size and shape of your tank, as well as the depth of the substrate bed you wish to achieve. We suggest 1 pound of substrate per gallon, to achieve a 1 inch bed or 2 pounds per gallon, for a 2 inch deep bed.

I bought 4 bags of this 6++ months ago. Is it still safe to use I don’t see an expiration date on it
Answer by ChewyMay 13, 2019
There will be no expiration on this freshwater substrate. It may be used for an extended period of time if stored properly, in room temperature (below 150 degrees), out of direct sunlight.

I’m trying to keep my PH low (5-6), but consistent. The description states that it helps maintain PH. Does that mean it increases PH to basic or just keeps it consistent?
Answer by ChewyJun 11, 2018
This substrate maintains proper pH at a healthy level and enhance buffering capacity, along with providing essential inorganic elements.

does it raise the hardness of water like other cichlids substrates
Answer by ChewyDec 03, 2017
The substrate will not harden the water, it immediately removes nitrogenous waste (Ammonia, Nitrite and helps remove Nitrate).

ReviewsWrite a Review

Rated 4.6786 out of 5 stars
28 Ratings
Would recommend to a friend

28 Customer Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 stars
By Sher on Jan 21, 2022

Would buy again

Really love this in my saltwater tank, nice mix and you can’t see it in the picture but there are a lot of different whole tiny sea shells, not just broken up ones.

Rated 5 out of 5 stars
By RG13 on Mar 3, 2022

Pure Water Pebbles

They went in to a 125 gallon tank. Looks Great, water cleared up quickly.

Rated 5 out of 5 stars
By Rick on Sep 3, 2020

Great for African Cichlids

This gravel is great but it is mostly black so it's rather dark in the tank. I prefer a combination of it and the Pure Water Pebbles Malawi Mix. It creates a more pleasing appearance. My fish seem happy and they don't dig as much as before.

Rated 5 out of 5 stars
By Kath on Nov 10, 2020

African Cichlid

I love it! My tank water is so clear and they rocks are so natural looking

Rated 5 out of 5 stars
By James on May 25, 2020

Happy with purchase

Substrate is a big decision for the detail oriented hobbyist and I am very happy with this. The color is nice and the variation of material is interesting. I added a couple hand fulls of bigger shells from my old aquarium and they matched great. Not 100% sure on the effect of the ph because i do have some bleached coral in it as well thats supposed to raise ph but it seems to help. My ph is good for cichlids either way. Was real happy with my decision but i do think its a bit expensive. Would buy again but I'd be happier if it was about 25% cheaper.

Rated 4 out of 5 stars
By Tony on Jul 18, 2020

Great product

It is a great product but it ships terribly. It leaked throughout the box and ruined several items. Why would these bags be shipped and handled in a fashion that allows them to get broken?

Rated 5 out of 5 stars
By ForcesOfEvil on Aug 22, 2019

Best Substrate I have ever used

If you want your PH, and basically all your chemical levels to have a good start then this stuff is the best there is. I dumped 3 bags straight out of the bag in the tank after treating the water and not even 24 hours later it is crystal clear. There are beautiful shells and little red rocks in the substrate. I researched long and hard and settled on this substrate. Amazing product. Highly highly recommended.

Rated 5 out of 5 stars
By missy on Aug 12, 2019

cichlids loved this

My new fishies loved this! When I put it in their tank they were picking at all the shells and were busy for a long time at the bottom! They seemed so happy! They also don't carry this at my local pet store so I was happy Chewy had it!

Rated 5 out of 5 stars
By 310cichlids on Apr 12, 2019

Great Product.

This substrate works just as it says able to add fish with 24hrs of setting tank up. I would recomend adding a small amount of fish as a time until tank is established.

Rated 1 out of 5 stars
By Steve on Mar 16, 2019

Fake stone color

Do not buy if you want natural black stone. Black stones are coated with black color. Not natural black. A large number of large size stones are in substrate. I did first sifting with ¼ mesh screen. Tried to break the large ones up with steel plate. They are not black stones but gray to white coated with black color. Turns into grey mess. Very disappointed opened two bags.