How Much Gravel for an Aquarium

Buying an aquarium for the first time can be pretty exciting and fun, but you need to ensure that you are familiar with what you need to do in order to get it set up. There are a number of key steps that you need to follow in order to get the tank set up initially.

However, with a little research, you will find that the steps are pretty easy to follow so you can have the aquarium set up in next to no time. Some of the steps you will need to take include filling your tank with water, adding in plants and decorations, and getting the filtration and heater set up. Another of the key things you will need to do is get your gravel sorted out so that you can add this to the aquarium before you take the other steps.

How Much Gravel for Aquarium?

When it comes to aquarium substrate,  you have the option of using gravel or sand. However, gravel is the most popular option for a number of reasons. First off, gravel is far easier to clean than sand is, which makes it a more practical solution. However, another reason is that many people find that gravel is far more attractive, as the gravel stones are of different sizes and colors. This helps to add a touch of colorful glamour to the tank. Gravel is particularly popular amongst those buying a fish tank for their children, as kids prefer the more attractive, eye-catching appearance.

Below is a video about different gravel types for aquarium:

Most of these substrates are fairly easy to add and does not require much effort.

Adding the gravel to your tank

When it comes to how much gravel you should add to your aquarium, there are a number of key points that you should bear in mind. The amount will depend on the size of your tank – the last thing you want to do is have a tank that is over-filled with gravel with little room for anything else, including the fish! So, you do need to be mindful about the amount you put in. If your tank is 55 gallons or less, you should aim for around two inches of gravel on the bed of the tank. If the tank is bigger than this, you can go for around two or three inches of gravel.

One of the reasons you need to avoid putting too much gravel in – aside from the fact that you will end up with little more than a tank full of gravel – is that it will make the tank far more difficult to clean. You don’t want to be rooting through layer upon layer of gravel every time you clean out the tank, so you do need to be careful about the amount you put in. Too much gravel will also make the overall appearance of your aquarium somewhat odd and it means that you have less room to play with in terms of what else you put into the tank. Your fish, of course, need room to swim around, and this is another key reason to avoid putting in too much gravel. On the other hand, putting in too little gravel is also a bad idea. Only having a very shallow layer of gravel can make your aquarium look bland and unattractive. So, it is important to strike the balance between having too little and too much gravel.

Choosing your gravel

When it comes to choosing the gravel you will add to your tank, there are various options. You can choose from different colors and particle sizes to suit your needs and preferences. However, there are a few things to bear in mind to help you determine which gravel will be best suited to your particular aquarium.   

One thing to remember if you are thinking of using larger gravel pieces is that these allow for more excess food and waste to get between the gaps. Unless you clean it regularly, this could result in the toxic buildup for your fish. Smaller gravel particles are less likely to let waste and debris through. However, they are more easily compressed, which means that there could be areas within the tank’s substrate that lack oxygen. If you are looking to have live plants in the aquarium, it is generally best to go for smaller gravel particles.

Another thing to bear in mind is that if you have very colorful fish, you may want to stick to darker gravel. This will show off the color of the fish more and will create more of a contrast. If you opt for v very light or colorful gravel, it can take the attention of the color of the fish that you have in the tank. On the other hand, if your fish are not particularly vibrant or colorful in appearance, a lighter, colorful gravel could be ideal for adding a splash of color to your aquarium.