Fishbowl Adviser

Best Aquarium Gravel for Your Fish to Have

Updated: Sep 09, 2021

BEST CHOICE

4.5/5

GloFish Aquarium Gravel

PREMIUM PICK

4.5/5

Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel

BEST PRICE

4.5/5

GloFish Accent Gravel for Aquariums

BEST CHOICE

4.5/5

GloFish Aquarium Gravel

PREMIUM PICK

4.5/5

Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel

BEST PRICE

4.5/5

GloFish Accent Gravel for Aquariums

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By Fishbowl Adviser

Published: 07:06 am

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When it comes to setting up your aquarium, you want to make sure you have all the essential things taken care of so that you can be sure your fish will be okay once placed in an aquarium. But how about decorating? Decorating an aquarium is not something everyone focuses on, but it is a way to make your aquarium stand out and fish feel at home. By placing gravel in your tank you can not only decorate your aquarium to your liking, but you can also provide a stable environment for your fish. So, how do you look for the best aquarium gravel that your fish will appreciate?

Product NameWeightRatingPrice
GloFish Aquarium Gravel5 lb4.6Check Price on Amazon
CaribSea Aquarium Gravel for Plants20 lb4.7Check Price on Amazon
Exotic Pebbles Polished Aquarium Gravel5 lb4.7Check Price on Amazon
Sackorange Aquarium Gravel River Rock2 lb4.5Check Price on Amazon
Oupeng Fish Tank Gravel10 lb4.6Check Price on Amazon
Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel15.4 lb4.6Check Price on Amazon
Toypopor Mixed Color Fish Tank Gravel2.2 lb4.7Check Price on Amazon
Midwest Hearth Natural Polished Pebbles2 lb4.6Check Price on Amazon
GloFish Accent Gravel for Aquariums2.8 oz4.4Check Price on Amazon
Spectrastone Aquarium Gravel5 lb4.6Check Price on Amazon

Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

The Best Aquarium Gravel

GloFish Aquarium Gravel

KEY FEATURES:

  • Bright and vibrant colors
  • Fluorescent under blue light
  • Enhances the aquarium environment

The GloFish Aquarium Gravel with Fluorescent Colors provides a colorful base for your aquarium. The GloFish aquarium gravel is a great way for you to quickly make any aquarium into an irresistible environment. In combination with other GloFish products, the gravel will provide a complete underwater fluorescent experience. This gravel will not only provide a base for any plants and ornaments you want to place in the tank, but it will also provide a magical look under blue LED lights in the aquarium. Once placed under blue light, the fluorescent-accented gravel will stand out beautifully.

The brightly colored gravel GloFish was designed in order to help make an underwater paradise for all your fluorescent fish. You can choose between green, pink, black, white, or a kix of these colors, all with fluorescent highlights that will enhance your aquarium environment with fun and vibrant colors. For the best viewing experience, you will need to have a blue wavelength light to get a uniquely fluorescent look, especially in low or nighttime light. The traditional white lights in tanks (fluorescent or halogen lights) will work well for daytime light so that they appear brighter and more vibrant. Just make sure to rinse gravel before using it.

2. CaribSea Aquarium Gravel for Plants

CaribSea Aquarium Gravel for Plants

KEY FEATURES:

  • For freshwater aquariums
  • Encourages plant growth
  • Rich with more than 25 elements

CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium is the complete substrate you need for freshwater-planted aquariums. This substrate will not only create a beautiful aquarium environment but also encourage the growth of healthy plant roots. It has major and minor trace elements that will nourish all plants in the aquarium.

The formula was created with mineralogically and biologically complete for enhanced root development. The product’s secret is in its rich basaltic volcanic soil that is filled with magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, sulfur, along with more than 25 other elements that will nourish your aquatic plants. The gravel has no artificial paints, dyes, or any chemical coatings. Just make sure to rinse gravel before using it.

3. Exotic Pebbles Polished Aquarium Gravel

Exotic Pebbles Polished Aquarium Gravel

KEY FEATURES:

  • Polished gravel
  • Long-lasting
  • For interior and exterior use
  • Versatile and can be used in different arrangements

The Exotic Pebbles PMS0510 Polished Gravel was created for indoor and outdoor use. Thanks to its materials, it can be used in both interior and exterior garden beds, which makes it ideal for aquariums and ponds. It can be used in different places – water features, walkways, flower arrangements, around swimming pools, and even exposed aggregate flooring or walls.

As an alternative to mulch, the polished gravel offers a great solution for aquariums and ponds. It is long-lasting and won’t deteriorate as mulch will once be placed in the tank. The gravel is completely safe for your fish. And it is also available in mixed colors. Just make sure to properly rinse the gravel before using it.

4. Sackorange Aquarium Gravel River Rock

Sackorange Aquarium Gravel River Rock

KEY FEATURES:

  • For different water features
  • Retain moisture from the soil
  • Different natural colors
  • Resists fading

SACKORANGE 2 LB Aquarium Gravel River Rock is a naturally polished river rock that was made for different use. It can be used in different places – water features, walkways, flower arrangements, swimming pools, terrarium supplies, bonsai trees, succulent soil, and even decoration. The rock comes in a variety of different natural colors that have long-lasting beauty and resist fading. It is available in different shades of white, black, and brown rock.

The gravel rock is completely safe for any use. It’s safe to use in aquariums and it’s beneficial for the water. The gravel will help the soil retain moisture and provide good drainage. Apart from that, the gravel has no sharp edges due to its round and soft shape. Once you start setting everything up, make sure to rinse gravel before using it.

5. Oupeng Fish Tank Gravel

Oupeng Fish Tank Gravel

KEY FEATURES:

  • For different water features
  • Long-lasting
  • Natural stones
  • Different natural colors

Natural Decorative Polished Mixed Pebbles – Pebbles Polished Gravel is a perfect addition to your home’s water-dedicated area. It can be used in different places – water features, walkways, flower arrangements, around swimming pools, and even as decoration in gardens and vases. The pebbles are lightly polished to provide a natural and smooth effect. They are available in different varieties of natural colors with different shades of whites, browns, and black rocks, and they will resist fading and have long-lasting beauty.

The pebbles are natural stones coated in pure paraffin wax that enhances their color and shine. These decorative pebbles are made with natural ingredients, without any additional dyes, oils, or fillers. Plus, they’re long-lasting and won’t deteriorate as mulch usually does. Just make sure to properly rinse the gravel before using it.

6. Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel

Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel

KEY FEATURES:

  • For freshwater aquariums
  • Made of specially fracted stable porous clay
  • Natural, without any chemicals
  • Won’t affect the water in any way

Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel is a great addition to freshwater aquariums that won’t disturb the water levels or the fish. This gravel is made of specially fracted stable porous clay that is completely natural without any chemical coating. It won’t soften or decompose once in contact with water.

Even though it’s best used as the only product in the bow, it can be mixed with other gravel. Once placed in the aquarium, the gravel will not disturb the water nor cause it to overflow. And it won’t affect the pH value. You may see some initial cloudiness, but that is normal and you can remove it with mechanical filtration. Just make sure to properly rinse the gravel before using it.

7. Toypopor Mixed Color Fish Tank Gravel

Toypopor Mixed Color Fish Tank Gravel

KEY FEATURES:

  • For different uses
  • Completely natural and eco-friendly materials
  • Long-lasting
  • No fading

River Rocks Stones Natural Decorative Mixed Color Pebbles are a perfect addition to aquariums, terrariums, small gardens, vases, and landscapes that need some extra beauty added. The gravel is completely made of natural and eco-friendly material. It recreates the look and feels of natural habitats, creating a great environment for your fish to thrive and feel at home. The color of the gravel will never fade and it can even refract light for outdoor use.

This high-quality gravel is completely made of natural stones that are not toxic or have any hazardous elements. You can rest assured that the gravel will not interfere with the water conditions or cause harm to your fish at any point. Just make sure to properly rinse the gravel before using it.

8. Midwest Hearth Natural Polished Pebbles

Midwest Hearth Natural Polished Pebbles

KEY FEATURES:

  • For different uses
  • Eco-friendly
  • Wide variety of colors and shape
  • Coated in pure paraffin wax

Natural Decorative Polished Mixed Pebbles were made to be suitable for different uses. You can place the gravel in your aquarium, terrarium, gardens, potted plants, or even flower arrangements. Because of its small size, it is perfect for any small application, but the product comes with gravel in various natural colors and shapes.

The gravel is eco-friendly and completely made of natural elements. There are no artificial paints, dyes, or any chemical coatings in the pebbles. They are coated in pure paraffin wax that is completely harmless and safe for your fish and is only placed on pebbles to enhance the color.  Just make sure you rinse the gravel before placing it in the tank.

9. GloFish Accent Gravel for Aquariums

GloFish Accent Gravel for Aquariums

KEY FEATURES:

  • Suitable for any aquarium
  • Multicolored marbled stones
  • Different colors to choose from
  • Beautiful design

GloFish Accent Gravel for Aquariums creates an underwater environment that both you and your fish will enjoy. The gravel is suitable for all life stages and it will add texture and color to the aquarium. With the gravel as an addition to your tank, you can put your tank in focus.

If you want to have a complete underwater experience, you can count on GloFish Accent Gravel to do that. You can choose between different multicolored marbled stones – clear, gray, pink, green, and blue. Whichever color you choose, you can rest assured that the gravel will bring color and a beautiful design to your tank. Once you start setting everything up, make sure to rinse gravel before using it.

10. Spectrastone Aquarium Gravel

Spectrastone Aquarium Gravel

KEY FEATURES:

  • For freshwater aquariums
  • Safe for fish
  • Non-toxic coating
  • Won’t affect pH levels

Spectrastone Shallow Creek Regular for Freshwater Aquariums is a great addition to any tank that will have freshwater fish. This natural gravel will make your fish feel at home without disturbing them.

The gravel is compelled natural and save for freshwater aquariums. It has a non-toxic overlay that will not harm your fish. The gravel will not affect the pH levels or any other water parameters. And the 5-pound bag won’t cause the water to overflow. Just make sure to rinse gravel before you place it in the tank.

Best Aquarium Water Pumps Buying Guide & FAQ

After reviewing the best aquarium gravel, you’ll need to know everything you can about choosing the best one. Luckily, we have prepared a buying guide with some frequently asked questions for you to get all the necessary information in one place.

Aquarium Gravel

What to Look For When Choosing Aquarium Gravel

When choosing the best aquarium gravel for your aquarium, you need to think of different aspects. The most important thing to think about is the particle size. Substrates can vary in terms of their size, so you can find smaller and bigger gravel. The size of the gravel is actually more important than most think it is. The size can have an impact on the health of the fish. And it also impacts cleaning. Small particle substrates might compact and lead to areas that lack oxygen and can release hydrogen sulfide which is a substance that is toxic to fish. Large particles will allow more waste and uneaten food to pierce through the stones and cause a toxic build-up if not cleaned on time. So when picking the size of your gravel, you need to know which fish species you will keep in your aquarium and how they behave. If the fish start to fight or get pregnant and lay eggs, they can disturb the gravel and cause problems to the fish’s health.

When picking the color of your gravel, there are many options to choose from. The choice is up to you – it’s a personal choice. The options for colors include naturally-colored stones and even some fluorescent and oddly-colored stones. If you want to enhance the color of your fish, you can use darker-colored stones., while light-colored substrate can help a dark-colored fish stand out in the aquarium.

The overly dark substrate can reduce how large the tank looks in a similar fashion to painting a room in your house a dark color. For this reason, some people use lighter-colored substrate to make the aquarium feel more open and bright. You may also want to consider how the substrate will look once it becomes dirty. Brownish-colored substrate tends to hide fish waste more than the white substrate, for instance.

Another thing to watch out for is the reactivity with water. Certain species of fish need certain water parameters, and you can use gravel to help you with that. There are substrates that can raise the pH levels of the aquarium and provide a stable environment to species that need higher pH levels in the water. And of course, there are substrates you can place in the aquarium that can lower the pH levels of the water for the fish that need those conditions.

Of course, you need to find naturally made gravel that won’t have any harmful substance that can harm a fish. Cheap gravel can have dye that can not just discolor the tank water, but even introduce a poison to the water and impact the health of your fish. Choosing the right substrate can help provide a healthy habitat for the fish and even provide a natural feel to your fish and help reduce any stress.

Different Types of Aquarium Gravel

Although it may not seem like there is a difference between the gravel offered on the market. The main indifference is the variation in shapes, colors, and sizes, but there is also a difference in gravel for freshwater or saltwater aquarium. And there are different types of gravel when it comes to their purpose – colored, inert, and pea gravel. So make sure you get informed about what type of gravel there is and what you will need for your aquarium.

Colored gravel

One of the most popular gravel, especially among kids, is colored gravel. The majority of this type of gravel is made from natural elements, so they don’t affect the health of your fish. However, cheap dyed gravel does exist, so you must be careful when choosing your colored gravel.

Inert gravel

Inert gravel doesn’t have many substances that can alter the tank’s water chemistry. This type of gravel does not break down over time, and you won’t need to replace it over time. These substrates are usually made from volcanic or clay-based gravel that can hold onto nutrients and incur growth for plants without impacting the pH levels, water hardness, or any other water parameters.

Pea gravel

Pea gravel is the most popular choice for hobbyists, especially those that want to have a natural look for an aquarium. This type of gravel is made from small fragments of different assorted types of stone that are more or less inert, and won’t affect the water chemistry. However, pea gravel has a few drawbacks. It can contain sharp or rough pieces, along with dust and sand, which means that it can take a lot of rinsing before the gravel can be placed in the tank.

Girl looking at the aquarium

Best Aquarium Gravel FAQ

First-time aquarium buyers and hobbyist that are just starting their first aquarium can get lost in all the information they need. When it comes to buying gravel, there are a lot of things to think about and it’s easy to forget something. Because of that, we’ve gathered a list of frequently asked questions about aquarium gravel with answers to help you out with this task.

A: Gravel gives an aquarium a natural and functional form of biological filtration that will control the bacteria levels. And it will create a good place for good bacteria to grow. If you have or plan to have live plants in your aquarium, putting gravel is a must as it will provide a great place for aquarium plants to root and grow properly.  The gravel will make sure that both your plants and fish have a healthy life.

However, not all gravel is safe for the fish. Cheap gravel has dye that can discolor the tank water and even introduce a poison to your aquarium and cause damage to the health of your fish.  The right substrate will help provide a healthy habitat for your fish and provide a natural feel to your fish and help reduce any stress.

A: When setting up your aquarium, you need to calculate what you need and how much do you need it. When it comes to gravel, you need to calculate how much gravel you need so you don’t disturb the water and its flow. A general rule for the substrate is to have an approximate depth of 1.5 inches to 2 inches. If you want to have plants that have strong and lengthy roots, you need to consider adding more substrate to have a bigger depth.

A: If you do your regular aquarium maintenance, you won’t need to worry about changing the gravel. With regular water changes and water conditions check, you can monitor whether or not something is wrong with your water. If your aquarium gets cloudy, you’ll need to do a water change and rinse your gravel. You can also deep clean a portion of the substrate while you do the partial water changes.

Aquarium fish and gravel

Conclusion

Having a tank in your home leaves a lot of options for customization. You don’t have to stick to a glass tank filled with water, you can decorate your aquarium to your liking. You can even make it the focus of the room. Apart from picking the size and shape of your tank, you pick all the elements you want inside. This is where gravel comes in. With thorough research and proper information, you can set up a beautiful tank with lots of decoration.

Even though the floor of the aquarium may not seem like an important part, it will make your tank stand out. And it will give your fish a pleasant environment that can be beneficial for them. So if you’re still having doubts about whether or not you should have gravel in your aquarium, go and get it. Make your tank stand out and your fish feel at home.

Source:

  1. How to Clean Fish Tank Gravel – HowStuffWorks

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