How Much Gravel Do I Need For an Aquarium? A Guide To Choosing The Right Amount

You’ve probably seen people use gravel in their fish tanks to make the water surface look more appealing. It can be used to fill in areas that are too shallow or bare, but you might not know how much gravel is needed for each fish tank size. If you’re looking to start a new fish tank, here’s everything you need to know about aquarium gravel.

What is Gravel?

Gravel is just dirt that has been crushed up into smaller pieces. It’s all-purpose, meaning you can use it to fill in bare spaces in your aquarium or provide an attractive surface for the fish tank water. Once its crushed, gravel comes out looking somewhat like small river stones and also looks very appealing on most rooms of your house with earth tones backgrounds! I guess most people think about broken oatmeal jars when they see gravel in an aquarium, but you can actually use crushed up river stones too.

How Much Gravel Do I Need For My Aquarium?

If you’re not sure what size of fish tank is best for your home setup or how big the gravel needs to be before it gets expensive with shipping costs and wastage by breaking apart when moving around then there are a few guidelines on how much should be used as-is to fit all of your needs.

1 gallon – 200-300 pounds

3 gallons – 700 pounds

6 gallons – 1200 pounds

12 gallons – 2100 pound

24+gallon – 3600 lbs or more

Other Considerations for How Much Aquarium Gravel Is Required

Fishes and Size

You’ve Got To Add This With the size of gravel needed, you also need to consider how many fishes are going to be put inside it. A lot more river stones will probably result in a bigger fish tank which increases the weight and your shipping costs as well because you can’t use all those aquarium gravel for one smaller fish tank (unless if its only 40 gallons).

The Greens and Plants

Besides having a fish tank, you definitely want to put some plants inside your aquarium too. But yes, there are more things to consider adding here concerning both of these plant life forms – the size of the aquascaping and their own need for this clean water as well as light source required for them.

However on top of that is also how many additions will be able to fit in better room sizes through whatever design ideas those might have been running through mind.

Aquarium Size & Decorations

You’ve also got to consider the pros and cons on what size of bricks you will be adding into your aquarium in order to be able decorate it better or make something fancy out of it. You might go with only one brick circle for decorations, but having more than that may increase costs too because it won’t fit well unless if multiple dimensions are added between each other there. So everything is up in the air when this matters.

How Often Should You Change Gravel in a Fish Tank?

If you change gravel often and remove it more frequently then this would be one of the most important factors to figure out. If your water levels are fluctuating or perhaps you have some other types of fish in your aquarium, then gravel will move around very quickly with these kinds of activities. The truth is that I don’t think anyone really can accurately guess how much their home needs only based on their own experiences but rather they should work out their own plan and make decisions based upon an understanding of the needs and living conditions.

Changing Gravel Frequently: Too much gravel can lead to algae blooming, less oxygen delivered to fish, poor water quality arrangement etc. Most importantly though this kind of activity could also perhaps cause you some outflow issues as your aquarium fills up too quickly). If your system drains itself then it may take longer than expected before needed changes are even made.

Changing Gravel At Least Every 6 Months: If you are treating bad water issues in your tank or need to move some money around quickly within a short amount of time then it’s best not to clean gravel for an extended period of time. Having too long without changing the substrates may also cause accelerated algae problems, pH swings due changed additives (which is one more reason why it doesn’t make sense trying to use your fish aquarium to handle your pool maintenance).

Reasons For Changing Gravel

If you have a plan in place for when to change gravel then this would be an obvious reason. Maintenance plans should always include decisions about how often the substrate needs changing because it’s not possible or reasonable to maintain perfect water quality with frequent changes of substrates so maintaining good biological filtration is clearly important, otherwise sooner or later lead nitrates are going to develop, ammonia are going to rise or some other issue is likely to occur.

An important thing concerning maintenance though that it’s recommended you do not change anything without having properly assessed the condition of your aquarium first. There’s no point in doing an unneeded work up if all you possibly lift off with any lift is broken down surfaces and debris which will just plug things back together again.

Can you use sand instead of gravel in an aquarium?

It’s true that gravel will have a little problem with chemical buildup but if any of your plants are always falling over because the substrate has no weight to hold them down then this is likely not an acceptable situation. If you can figure out how to provide balance, support and strength in the plant tank without demand for much or anything at all depends on substrates or what type it may be related too achieving spectacular results.