You decide to start an aquarium, but you are not sure how much gravel for aquarium you should put in. You know gravel is great for aquarium aesthetics, making the view beautiful and hold your plants in place. In this article, you will learn the use of gravel and other substrates, the benefits of using gravel, and how much you should put in. Hopefully, you can apply these things once you start decorating your aquarium.
Substrate and Its Kinds
The substrate or bed is the bottom layer of your aquarium, where bacteria, if well-balanced, can help your fishes and aquatic plants to thrive and survive. Just a tip, you use 1lb of substrate per gallon when you plan to fill your aquarium with gravel so that it has plenty of space for beneficial bacteria to grow. There are many kinds of substrates, and gravel is one of them. Before we answer the question: “How much gravel for aquarium is enough?” Let us first learn the many kinds of substrate available for the aquarium:
Aragonite and Crushed Coral
Aragonite is simply a dead coral. You can have these crushed to fine grains to make a smoother tank bottom. Not to mention, this kind of substrate contains nutrients, particularly calcium carbonate, that is essential for your aquatic plants to survive. However, this substrate can pose a risk to the acidity level of your water. Just make sure you monitor your aquarium if you use this.
This substrate is the most ideal for aquariums. Aquasoil looks like rounded grains that are perfect in holding aquatic plants. It also facilitates the flow of water in your aquarium and is not acidic.
This substrate can either be beach sand, sandblasting sand, or play sand. Sand is great to use as aquarium bedding because it is compact when it is wet, making it ideal for bacteria and plants to grow. Not only that, but it also does not trap whatever food sinks on top of it, allowing fishes to feed effortlessly.
This substrate comes in different sizes and texture. Gravel can be coarse or smooth, and it is completely safe to use.
The most practical reason for using gravel as one of your substrates is that it gives fish their orientation. If there are no gravels, the fish can be stressed out because of the glass and the reflection. If you are only using gravel, the perfect depth for it is around 1 to 2 inches.
Also, the type of fish you own will help you what kind of gravel you will use for the aquarium. Some prefer finer and smoother gravel, while others like the coarse ones. Gravels are also great anchors for aquatic plants.
This is why knowing what fish you will be putting in and how many plants and decorations you will set is important because these are the bases for how much gravel you will use for the aquarium.
How Much Gravel Should I Put In?
If you have considered the factors mentioned, the best place to start on how much gravel for aquarium you should put in is two inches (2 inches) as substrate. That is the minimum height used by most fish pet owners. You should also consider the dimensions of your aquarium. For example, if your aquarium or tank measures 49 inches x 12 inches and holds 55 gallons of water, it will need around 30lbs of gravel for an inch of substrate bed. Since you need at least two inches of substrate bed, you need 60lbs of gravel for that big of an aquarium. As I said, complicated, but do not worry! There is a quicker way to solve this.
Calculating how much gravel for aquarium is not so simple. That is why you can always look on the internet for a gravel calculator which can solve things for you. All you need to do is input or type the dimensions (the length and the width) of the base of your aquarium and the depth in inches, and the calculator will provide you how much gravel you should put into the aquarium. Just a few clicks of the keyboard!
Now you know how much gravel for aquarium you can put in! It was pretty complex, but what is left for you to do is apply what you have learned about substrates and gravel. Always remember that there are various substrates you can use, and all have advantages and disadvantages. It all depends again on various factors, like the kind of fish you own and the plants and decorations you will be putting in.
Keep in mind there is an easier way to know how much gravel you need as well. There is always a reliable gravel calculator you can find on the internet. Hopefully, this will help you set a beautiful, healthy, and well-balanced aquarium for your pet fishes. Know more about aquarium care.