Best gravel for aquarium (3 best gravel for aquarium)

After reading this article “Best gravel for aquarium” the reader will be able to know about the features of 4 best gravel for aquariums along with cleaning and choosing the right gravel for his or her aquarium.

Best gravel for aquarium 

Following are the best gravel for aquarium:

4 best gravel for aquarium

Following are 4 best gravel for aquarium:

Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel

This is fine gravel for planted tanks. This gravel adds a nutrient-rich layer to the planted aquarium so that the nutrient helps the plant to grow.

This is a good substrate to be used in a planted aquarium but also can be used in a freshwater fish tank.

It has no chemical coating and it doesn’t affect the pH of the aquarium. You need to clean it properly and you will never replace it. This gravel can be used alone if placed in a right tank, as most of the gravels are used in combination with other substrates.

The only problem with this aquarium gravel is it needs more cleaning than other gravels. You need to rinse the gravel several times before installation in the aquarium. Once it is installed it gives you a nice dark black layer at the bottom of the fish tank in which the plant will happily fix their roots.

So far it is the best gravel for aquariums. You can check out its price here.

Carib Sea Crushed coral

If someone needs high buffering capacity gravel then this is the best choice for them. This gravel is made up of high quality crushed coral blended with aragonite that provides the best buffering capacity to this gravel.

The coral is Geo-Marine Florida coral and is not crushed but screened to very fine particles and blended with the aragonite.

The mixture of coral bits and aragonite is best for smooth and high water flow and it gives a more natural look to the bottom of the tank.

The grain size is between 20 mm and 550 mm. This gravel is not suitable for burrowing and sand sifting creatures and is specifically designed for cichlid tanks.

There are two potential issues with this gravel.

The first one is it requires more cleaning as most of the gravel requires before installation. The second is it is a dry mix, it takes several weeks for the beneficial bacteria to colonize on such gravel.

It is the best gravel for a cichlid aquarium and you can use it in such an aquarium without a second thought.

You can check out the price here.

CFKJ River Rocks

If someone wants beautifully polished stone gravel then this is the best choice for them. This gravel consists of smooth beautiful looking river rocks in the aquarium.

The rocks are 1 to 2 inch in length and this gravel provides a non-pH changing environment to your aquarium.

The stones come in a variety of colours from light to dark colours that give your aquarium a very beautiful look.

It provides your fish and the aquatic plants with the top layer of gravel on which they can flourish. This type of gravel is best for goldfish tanks and koi fish. The goldfish at least cannot eat the stones.

This is one of the gorgeous gravel you can use in the aquarium. They give your aquarium a beautiful look. The stones are large in this gravel which is loved by the freshwater fishes.

You can check out the price of this filter here.


We do not suggest the painted gravel because soon the paint chip and it can cause toxicity in the water. GloFish is an exception. It is the best gravel for aquariums because of its unique and bright colours. 

The bright colours depict a beautiful aspect of the aquarium. The substrate layer filters the tank to remove the waste of the fish. 

The colours offered by this gravel are:

  • Fluorescent green
  • Fluorescent pin
  • Black with coloured highlights
  • Black and fluorescent white
  • Solid white aquarium gravel
  • Fluorescent pink, blue and green gravel
  • Solid black aquarium gravel

The point that is to remember is it is painted rocks and the paint is fluorescent which is safe for the fish. It doesn’t affect the pH of the tank. 

It gives your tank a nice look when at night they glow at the bottom of the fish tank. 

The point you need to remember is it is small painted rocks. It is not suitable for aquariums having gravel eating fishes because the rocks are painted. 

It is a great choice but you need to keep this in mind that most people expect a fluorescent colour but have received black colour. You need to make sure that on Amazon stores you have selected the right colour. 

The only problem with this gravel is it requires more cleaning when installing in the fish tank but that is very obvious because most of the gravel has this problem with them. 

You can check out the price here. 

How to clean aquarium gravel? 

You need to clean the gravel before installing in the aquarium. You also need to maintain the same gravel in the aquarium. 

Here is how you clean your aquarium gravel. 

The first thing you need to do is fill a bucket halfway with aquarium water and fill the rest of the bucket with clean tap water. 

Put the fish in this blended water for a temporary purpose. Next, unplug all the equipment of the aquarium and siphon out all the water from the aquarium by the help of a gravel vacuum. 

Next, fill two cups with gravel and set aside them for bacteria to colonize. Next, fill the two buckets with the rest of the gravel. 

Blast the first bucket of gravel with water and vigorously stir it and then remove the water. Repeat this process until the water runs off clear. 

Do the same process with the other bucket. Now clean the rest of the equipment if the aquarium and the two cups of gravel set aside. 

Attach all the equipment and the place the fish in the fish tank again. This is the process of cleaning the gravel. 

Make sure you use the best aquarium gravel in your aquarium. 

How to choose the best grave for your aquarium? 

The first thing you should ask yourself is what type of tank you have in the house. Different types of tanks have different requirements for gravel. Whether it is a fish only tank, reef tank, planted aquarium and breeder aquarium.

The next thing is the fish. Different types of fish need different types of gravel. For example, you cannot put painted gravel in the aquarium having gravel eating fish. 

Here are the things you need to consider while choosing gravel for your aquarium:

  • Clay substrate is best for planted aquarium
  • The sand aquarium is not good for goldfish
  • Some cichlid should have a sand aquarium
  • The burrowing creature loves sand substrate
  • Breeder tanks have large marbles and pebbles
  • Some cichlid species love alkaline water which is obtained in crushed coral

What is the best colour gravel for your aquarium?

Most of the aquarists think that the colour and the type of substrate should be according to the natural environment of that particular fish. The colour of the environment should match the natural ecosystem of the fish in wildlife.

Most of the fishes do well with red, blue and yellow gravel. You can choose the colour but make sure you do not choose cheap badly dyed gravel that can chip off and can kill your fish in the aquarium.

Which is better gravel or sand?

Gravel is the best option in most aquariums such as betta fish tanks, though it is not an absolute choice for marine life in aquariums.

Gravel is best for most of the freshwater aquarium. The water can flow through the crevices because the gravel is large and can have small spaces between the pieces. In this way, less bad bacteria would build up in the crevices.

The sand or soil is the far best option when we talk about the tanks having saltwater in it. The sand gives the aquarium a natural look. Moreover sand doesn’t have crevices which need cleaning after some time. The food particle or other debris doesn’t sink in the sand and remains on the top of the sand.

The choice of the sand or gravel also depends upon the type of fish you have in the aquarium. You need to study the fact that which type of fish can survive in gravel or sand. For example, the goldfish fell ill in the sand aquarium while the Cichlid did well in the gravel aquarium.

How much substrate do you need?

The general rule of thumb is you need at least 1.5-2-inch deep substrate in the aquarium. This depth changes with the type of aquarium. For example, if you have planted an aquarium and the plants have deep roots make sure to change the depth of the substrate according to the plant roots.

Too much deep substrate can cause anaerobic conditions to build up and can cause problems for the fish in the aquarium.


In this article “Best gravel for aquarium” we have discussed the 4 best gravel for an aquarium and the best way to clean and choose gravel for your aquarium.

Feel free to ask anything about “Best gravel for aquarium” in the comment section below.

FAQ; Best gravel for aquarium

Frequently asked questions of “Best gravel for aquarium” are:

Can you use any type of gravel in a fish tank?

The danger of using outdoor gravel is it contains calcium which can change the pH of the fish tank. You can test for calcium by putting a drop of vinegar on the stones, bubbles form.

How often should I clean aquarium gravel?

You should clean your gravel at least once a month by using an aquarium vacuum cleaner. You can remove algae by using a scraper or a sponge. You can also check the pH, ammonia and nitrite level in the fish tank.

How long should I boil rocks for an aquarium?

You need to boil the stones and gravel for 10 to 20 min. It will kill all the pathogens in it. Do not put the stones away until they cool down.

Does vacuuming gravel remove beneficial bacteria?

No, vacuuming your gravel will not significantly remove beneficial bacteria from your fish tank. Tanks have biological filter media to house beneficial bacteria.

Is gravel cleaning necessary?

Yes, gravel cleaning is necessary because cleaning removes ammonia pockets and any other debris stuck in the gravel that could later kill your fish in the tank.

Do you vacuum gravel in a planted tank?

No, you do not need to vacuum a planted aquarium because the waste in the tank can be used by the plants for nutritional purposes. If you want to clean it place a siphon just above the substrate and clean the top of the gravel.


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