Aquarium Substrates

Best Gravel for Aquarium

What’s the best aquarium gravel on the market?

Aquarium gravel is one of the decorative elements of the aquarium, which I personally consider the most useful.
Not only does it have an aesthetic function, it is also the perfect place for beneficial bacteria to flourish, as well as making cleaning the bottom of the aquarium much easier.
In the market there are a good number of gravels for sale, some with very attractive colors, which can highlight the natural colors of our fish or prawns.
I wanted to create a comparison, with the different types of aquarium gravel, so that you can choose more easily, I hope this comparison will be useful to you.

Comparison of the best gravels for aquarium in 2020

Types of gravel for aquarium: Best quality price aquarium gravel

The gravel that is usually used in the aquarium is quartz, neutral , which does not have the ability to alter the parameters of the water, neither the pH, nor the GH.
But you can also buy calcareous gravels, which increase the GH and KH of the water , ideal for use with African cichlids , avoiding having to artificially increase the hardness of the water.

Quartz gravel for aquarium

Neutral gravel for aquarium

  • Decorative natural gravel for aquariums
  • It will not affect the chemistry of the water or harm the fish
  • Provides a solid base to secure accessories such as ornaments
  • Has a quantity of two kg


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If we prefer to use neutral gravel (because we like it better), but at the same time increase the hardness of the water, we can use crushed coral in the aquarium filter.

Calcareous gravel

Limestone gravel for aquarium

  • Natural aquarium orna
  • Aquarium color substrate
  • Limestone
  • Not toxic
  • Diameter about 5mm


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What is better aquarium sand or gravel?

One of the typical questions among beginners is whether it is better to use silica sand or gravel . Silica sand is this finite sand and it is fantastic in decoration, just like those on the beach.
I think the first thing that should be done is to differentiate what is one and the other.
The sand has a gralumetry or grain size of 1 mm , more or less. While it is considered gravel when the product has from 2 mm to 5 mm.
In aquarium the gravel is usually between 4 mm and 5 mm.
The sand aquarium is much more decorative than gravel, but is compacted too much.If our idea is to have a planted aquarium, in which we are not going to introduce any nutritive or clay substrate (typical of densely planted aquariums), it is best to use gravel.
There is a very simple reason, the roots of the plants will develop perfectly in a gravel substrate , but it will be impossible in one of sand.
If you want to use sand for decoration, there are options, such as putting the plants in pots or mixing gravel and sand, although this last solution may not be the best … unless they are of a different color.

Colored gravels for aquarium

On sale we will find gravels of different colors. Some of the gravels are natural, while others are stained.
You have to be very careful with dyed aquarium gravels, as they can release toxic products, although it is not frequent since epoxy paint is usually used.

Natural gravel

Neutral natural gravel

  • Decorative natural gravel for aquariums
  • It will not affect the chemistry of the water or harm the fish
  • Provides a solid base to secure accessories such as ornaments
  • Has a quantity of two kg

Natural gravel is the most basic, typical, and probably the cheapest. It is the ideal to create a natural decoration , that recreates the origin of most of the aquarium fish.


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White gravel

White gravel for aquarium

  • Natural aquarium orna
  • Aquarium substrate
  • Natural white gravel
  • Not toxic
  • Diameter about 5mm

Very good for decoration. Keep in mind that it tends to reflect a lot of natural light and is prone to algae growth.


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Black gravel

Black gravel aquarium

  • Ceramized quartz for aquariums.
  • A colored substrate to configure your aquariums.
  • Non toxic. It does not release carbonates. Medium grain size

Ideal for aquariums with fish that need dark substrates, such as neons or cardinals , that feel calmer and show a more vivid color.


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Blue gravel

Blue gravel for aquarium

  • Decorative for aquariums
  • Substrate for aquariums
  • Ceramic blue quartz
  • Not toxic
  • Diameter 4mm

A very good option to combine with some varieties of prawns , which in other substrates are dwarfed.


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Colored gravels with epoxy finish

An option to have colored gravels dyed, at a good price and without danger to the quality of the water, is obtained with Marine gravels. They have an impressive variety of colors:

Where to buy gravel for the aquarium?

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