If you have become the proud owner of an aquarium and are making a list of all the essentials you want to buy for it, aquarium gravel must be on this list.
When the aquascaping of a fish tank is well planned, it leads to happy fish and a beautiful aquarium.
Starting from the base of the aquarium, the very first layer needs to be of a substrate.
Aquarium gravel is one of the best substrates that you can have in your fish tank. Although sand can also be used as a substrate, if you have active fish that love to scoop up sand and blow it around, you will end up having perennially dirty water.
Aquarium rocks improve the aesthetics and the health of the fish in the tank by improving the water quality.
Top Fish Tank Gravels for Your Aquarium
We reviewed some aquarium gravel and picked the best based on their looks, cost, and quality.
Worldwide Imports AWW30085 Natural Gravel (Earthy Colors)
This gravel is a mix of pebbles in all earthy colors like yellow, black, and brown. It replicates the look of natural habitat for fish. The pebbles are coated with 100% acrylic coating, and this non-toxic gravel does not lose its color or fade in water.
It can use in both fresh and saltwater aquariums. The pack includes a sufficient amount of gravel for a 5-gallon aquarium.
The most oversized pebbles are about ½ inch, with the smallest being 1/7 inches approximately.
This multicolored gravel makes the aquarium look vibrant and is perfect for a fish tank with light-colored fish.
- Reasonably priced for a 5-pound pack of gravel
- Does not affect the water quality
- Adds vibrancy
Imagitarium Blue Jean Aquarium Gravel (Budget Pick)
This blue-colored gravel adds a pop of vibrancy to your aquarium and looks fantastic.
You can mix this with white gravel if you feel that the blue color is overpowering the other colors in the tank.
The gravel is made of fish-safe, non-toxic material. This colorfast gravel does not deteriorate the water quality.
It can be safely used in freshwater and marine aquariums, and it comes in three pack sizes: 1LB, 5LB, and 20LB.
This gravel helps grow healthy bacteria, which helps in the waste breakdown and reduces the debris in your fish tank.
- No-fuss, reasonably priced gravel category
- Reduces debris in the aquarium
Pure Water Pebbles Aquarium Gravel (Natural Colors)
This freshwater natural gravel is suitable for both salt and freshwater aquariums. It gives your fish a feeling of being in their natural habitat.
The natural-colored gravel provides a perfect setting for your vibrant tropical fish. It is non-toxic and safe for your fish. The grain size for this gravel is 3.1 -6.3 mm.
With its 100%acrylic coating, this colorfast gravel does not alter the chemistry of the water.
This gravel provides a good thriving base for beneficial microbes and helps in the anchoring of plants.
It also aids in the filtration process by providing a good surface area for nitrifying bacteria to colonize.
- It non-toxic and is fish-safe
- Reasonably priced
- Helps nitrifying bacteria to colonize
Spectrastone Shallow Creek Regular (For Freshwater Aquariums)
Most gravel brands cater to both salt and freshwater aquariums, but this gravel is specially meant for freshwater aquariums, and that’s what makes it interesting.
This gravel has a non-toxic coating which makes it entirely safe for fish in freshwater aquariums.
The size of the pebbles is between 2mm and 4 mm. This gravel is smaller than the regular aquarium gravel, and this keeps the dirt in the aquarium from falling through it.
The pH levels of the water are not affected by this aquarium gravel, and it does not create any cloudiness in the water. The pebbles are natural in color and do not fade or lose color in water.
This gravel comes in durable packaging.
- Budget buy gravel
- It can easily clean with an aquarium gravel cleaner
CNZ Aquarium Gravel Black and Fluorescent Mix (Fluorescent Gravel)
This multicolored black and fluorescent aquarium gravel will enhance the aesthetics of your fish tank.
It is mixed gravel that looks great because of its unique color. The gravel is a good mix of black and fluorescent-colored pebbles that measure between 0.25 to 0.35 mm. 2 lbs of this gravel is sufficient for every one gallon of water.
The polymer-coated gravel does not affect the water quality but adds fantastic bright hues to the décor.
Adding this gravel is a subtle way to infuse color into your fish tank. Can mix the fluorescent pebbles with black ones to balance out the bold colors.
- Add color to the fish tank
- Good quality
- Reasonable price
WAYBER Decorative Pebbles Crystal Quartz Stones Rock Sand (Multicolored)
This decorative multicolored gravel is just the ideal pick to jazz up your fish tank.
A good mix of pebbles in attractive colors like green, blue, white, yellow, and orange makes your aquarium look beautiful.
The pebbles in this gravel are made of natural raw stone.
You can buy this brand in various color variants like deep blue, black, clear, pink, and purple.
It works best with light-colored fish as this brightly colored gravel might not bring out the colors of your tropical fish.
The gravel comes in two pack sizes of 1 and 2 pounds.
- The pebbles are colorfast and non-toxic
- The pebbles are big enough to be cleaned easily in a strainer
Things to Consider
Before you pick gravel for your aquarium, some factors one should keep in mind:
Buying in bulk or large pack sizes will generally get you a good deal. It would help if you considered the price-to-size ratio before buying.
You buy fish-safe aquarium gravel and not just any gravel.
Gravel that is not meant for fish tanks may affect the pH levels of the water, which in turn will be detrimental to the health of the fish.
Buy gravel that is marked as ‘aquarium gravel’.
Read the product specifications provided by the manufacturer to ensure that the gravel is non-toxic for your fish.
The health of your fish is more critical than gravel which looks great but makes your fish sick.
Size of the Rocks
You would not want fine aquarium rocks that may get stuck in the aquarium gravel cleaner. Read the product specifications to know the pebble size.
The gravel composition is equally important, too, as must use some gravels only in freshwater aquariums while others can be used in both saltwater and freshwater aquariums.
Color is a matter of personal choice. You may want to put glow-in-the-dark gravel in your fish tank, while someone else might like clear or natural-colored gravel. It’s a matter of choice and the aesthetics you wish to have in your aquarium.
Although some fish owners like to keep a bare bottom tank, having a substrate like gravel makes your fish tank look great. It is excellent for the health of your fish, and it holds the aquarium decorations in place.