Your aquarium needs a lot of attention in order to keep your fish or live plants alive and healthy. The choice of aquarium substrate, if gravel or sand, has an important impact not just on the visual look of your aquarium but also on the well-being of your fish and live plants.
What do you need to know about aquarium gravel? Here are some tips for you.
Your first decision will be choosing between gravel and sand. Gravel as most popular kind of aquarium substrate comes in a big variety of particle sizes and colors. Gravel is also easy to clean, easier than sand. But the most important factor will be: do your fish like to sift the substrate? My goldfish liked to do that. In order to not irritate his health I chose gravel since sand is just too fine with its small particle size.
What you also may do is mix in some other substrate into your existing sand. Carib Sea’s Crushed Coral is perfect for exactly that use. Fish like to play with these little pieces. And it keeps the PH in your aquarium stable.
Another factor to know about aquarium substrate is the amount you need to add to your aquarium. It shouldn’t be too deep – that makes every cleaning difficult – and not too thin – that makes your aquarium look unattractive. Generally you should fill the bottom of your aquarium with 2 to 3 inches with gravel.
The choice of color seems to be very personal. Well, it is and it isn’t. There are actually some fish that behave less timidly with darker substrate. If your fish is boldly marked you might also choose the darker gravel in order to make your fish appear more colorful.
Most of the available gravel have smooth edges which will be important if you have fish that like to burrow into the substrate. They shouldn’t injure themselves by jagged edges or large gravel pieces.
In any case, observe your fish and plants when you place new substrate in the aquarium. Also you can consult your vet in order to make sure to buy the right aquarium substrate.
Crushed Coral for Aquarium 10-Pound
- Crushed coral with aragonite
- Use in under gravel filtered systems or reverse flow beds
- Solid and economical performer
- Pack of 10 lbs.
This has been a lifesaver for my tank. I didn’t have enough aragonite mixed with my sand substrate to keep my ph up. This is chunky enough so it doesn’t slip through the bag holes, and my ph has not wavered at all since adding it. And it’s a great price for 10lbs, which will last me for over a year using it as filter media.
I love this coral. It’s simple to vacuum, looks better and I’m sure allows more water flow through the base of my aquarium. Give this a shot if you don’t have any sand-sifting aquarium life!
I was having PH crash problems in my fish tank when we moved to a town with a different tap water supply…for some reason I couldn’t get my goldfish water to maintain a PH above 6.4! I highly suggest trying this if you have the same issue like me!
Spectrastone for Freshwater Aquariums 5-Pound
- Safe for use in freshwater aquarium
- Will not affect PH
- Non-toxic coating
- Pack of 5 lbs.
It gives your aquarium a natural look and the pebbles dont leak or anything. Excellent product!
Combination of stones are beautiful. When I added to my tank, I had no cloudiness. Totally recommend.
Stones are nice and came pretty clean. One bag filled nicely a 5 gal fish tank.
Nature’s Ocean Aragonite Sand for Aquarium, 10-Pound
- 100% from ocean, heat sterilized
- Premium Aragonite substrate for aquariums
- Reduces Nitrates and maintains PH
- Pre-washed, minimum rinse required
- Ideal for reef system tank bottoms
Great sand! I set up my new nano reef this week and this sand is perfect. It’s not super fine like sugar so it stays in place unless you really stir it up.
Great substrate for saltwater or African Cichlid. Best way to describe substrate between sand and small pebble gravel, very nice natural look.
Perfect solution for me to raise pH in my freshwater tanks.
* Prices are good at the time the article was written, but subject to change without notice.