goldfish gravel

Goldfish Gravel – Which Gravel Is Best?

There is a plethora of choices of gravel for your gold fish tank.

You can choose by color, size and quality. You will want to make sure that you use gravel specially made for fish tanks. You don’t want to use just any old gravel because it can be heavier and it can contain bacteria that you can’t get rid of.

Fish tank gravel is available in a wide variety of sizes from coarse to smaller grains. It is available in a very wide variety of colors and is smooth-edged to avoid injury to your fish.

Although some pieces that are ragged can make it into the bags of gravel. So you just have to keep an eye on all your fish and be diligent in your care.

How much gravel do you need? 

Tanks up to fifty-five gallons should have a two-inch layer, for those that are larger than fifty-five gallons, from two to three inches is sufficient.

Adding more than what is needed, will allow more food waste to become trapped and cause bacteria to grow more rampantly.

So which color Gravel to choose? 

That is purely a personal choice, although there are some factors that you may want to take into consideration.

Some fish look much brighter against a background of dark gravel. While fish behavior does not really differ with color of gravel, some fish can be spooked more easily with lighter colored gravel.

Keep in mind as well, if you are going to add any decorations, you will want to at least color match so that you don’t have the scary clown room happening.

Plants will also look more natural if you use the color of rocks typically found in nature.

Does the size of gravel make a difference? 

Yes, because the larger the gravel, the easier it is for uneaten food to fall down between the cracks and build-up. Then additional bacteria grow, the fish can get sick and you have problems.

Smaller gravel tends to get compacted and then oxygen can’t move through as easily.

The fish that you choose can also determine which size gravel that you choose.

Some fish are more apt to play with the gravel, if they pick up gravel, they may pick up rotting bits of food and get sick. Some fish will leave it all alone.

Larger gravel may have rough edges that fish can cut themselves on and if fish like to burrow, that gravel can tend to scratch them as well.


Whichever gravel that you choose, always place your gravel in the tank after having first filled up your tank about ¼ of the way. This will ensure that none of your decorations you put in will be disturbed.

You want to rinse it several times to make sure that no dust or debris still hangs onto the gravel and is safe for your fish.

Overall the gravel in the tank, combined with the fish and decorations should make you feel good about your set up. It should be pleasing to you and make you r goldfish happy.