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5 Best Gravel for Betta Fish: Beautiful Rock Bed

gravel for betta

While taking care of a Betta is a relatively easy task, one needs to be aware of some things before owning a Betta. The tank conditions and the perfect tank set up for your Betta are something every Betta owner needs to be aware of to ensure a good comfortable life for the Betta. 

While setting up a tank, one needs to be aware of which substrate suits best for the Betta. There are mainly two types of substrates available, which are sand and gravel. In this article, we will be discussing the gravel substrate, mainly about Gravel for Betta.

Before going further one needs to be aware of what a substrate is. The material that forms the base of the aquarium is referred to as a substrate. There are a wide variety of substrates available however the most commonly used ones are sand and gravel. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. 

The choosing of which substrate to go with is a difficult and confusing task but one needs to choose the best option to ensure a comfortable life for the betta. 

Gravel For Betta: How to Choose

There are wide varieties of Gravel available for but which one is the best, making your Betta feel betta. That is the question. For the Betta to remain safe and healthy, it is important to know which type of Gravel to use; otherwise, it could hurt the fish.

Now coming to the important question is which gravel is the best for the Betta. The short answer would be the Royal Imports 5lb Small Decorative Ornamental River Pebbles. This gravel has the perfect shape and size and offers a natural look to the aquarium. The best options will be discussed in detail in the article. 

Overview of 5 Best Gravel for Betta Fish

Gravel NameProsCons
Royal Imports 5lb Small Decorative Ornamental River PebblesIdeal Size
Looks Natural
Smooth and Round
Need to soak it beforehand
Need more quantity
Spectrastone Premium GraveOffers Natural look
Easier to clean
Won’t affect water chemistry Supports plants well
Nutrients unavailable for plants
Waste will get trapped in between
GloFish Aquarium Gravel Aquarium specific
Quality Brand
Good Size
Makes the Betta’s color stand out
Not natural looking
Quantity needed more
Carib Sea ACS00832 Peace River Gravel Ideal for PlantspH neutralLooks naturalMight be small for the aquarium
Might get sucked up if one is using a vacuum 
Spectrastone Shallow Creek Regular for Freshwater AquariumsPerfect size
pH neutral
Makes the Betta’s color stand out
Lighter than most other gravels and would appear dull

Top 5 Gravel For Betta Fish

1. Royal Imports 5lb Small Decorative Ornamental River Pebbles

They are one of the most popular betta fish gravel available in the market with a lot of positive reviews on Amazon.  They have the perfect and offers a natural look to the aquarium. They are also very smooth thus taking away the fear of the Betta cutting itself on gravel.

However, this type of gravel does not come exclusively for aquariums and needs to be soaked in boiling water before placing it in the tank. Also, a couple of bags need to be bought to fill a five-gallon tank properly.

2. Spectrastone Premium Grave

The most common betta fish gravel used in an aquarium. This type of gravel also gives a natural look to your aquarium as it consists of a mix of small river pebbles. This type has a mix of different gravel sizes, which offers it a natural look of an actual creek or river.

It can anchor rooted plants fairly well however they do not provide any necessary nutrients to heavy root plants. The gravel needs to be cleaned regularly to clean out all the waste materials. 

3. GloFish Aquarium Gravel 

The second best option after Royal Imports gravel. GloFish is a reputed company and the gravel has no negative effects on the fish. They also offer a wide range of colors and come specifically for aquariums. This is a perfect Betta fish gravel as the color of the gravel would help make the Betta’s color stand out.

The only downside is that as it comes in a variety of colors it makes the aquarium look unnatural.

4. Carib Sea ACS00832 Peace River Gravel

This gravel looks completely natural and replicates the natural habitats of the betta. This comes in the perfect size for plants and helps spread its roots. They are also pH neutral and one need not have to worry about it affecting the water chemistry.

5. Spectrastone Shallow Creek Regular for Freshwater Aquariums

Perfect size and color neutrality will make the Betta’s colors pop. They are also pH neutral.

The only downside being that they are very light which some people may not like.

Which Betta Fish Gravel Color Looks the Best in an Aquarium?

At the end of the day, the choice of which color looks best in your aquarium all comes down to personal preference. Some people like a natural look, some like different colors. So, whatever you feel looks better is the one you should go for.

Bettas prefer colors that would replicate the natural habitat.

Must, Read | Penang Betta: South East Asian Beauty

What should be the depth of the Aquarium Gravel? 

While adding gravel it should neither be shallow nor too deep. The ideal depth is considered to be 1.5 inches however 1.2 inches is also considered suitable for any aquarium. If one plans on having lots of plants in the aquarium the higher end of the amount of gravel needed would be better to ensure the plant roots have enough space to grow. 

The larger the aquarium the bigger amount of Gravel one would need. 

How often should the Aquarium Gravel be replaced? 

In an aquarium environment, one need not have to change it often if they make sure the tank is cleaned regularly. As long as the cleaning is regular the gravel can be used for years. However, if one fancies a change in the tank’s appearance they can change it at any time. 

  1. Make sure to change the betta fish from the aquarium into a 5-gallon bucket filled with water before changing the gravel. Otherwise, the fish can get extremely stressed. The bucket should be free of contaminants to keep the fish safe. Keeping the fish as calm as possible is very important. 
  2. It is better to avoid a gravel change after filter replacement. The gravels will have the presence of beneficial bacteria which the new filter lacks. Changing the gravel in such a situation will lead to the poisoning of the aquarium by the bioload from fish. 
  3. It is better to not feed the fish before changing the gravel. This will prevent the fish from excreting which in turn prevents the going up of ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite levels. 
  4. It is important to rinse the gravel well in water before putting it in boiling water. Do not hesitate to wash them multiple times if you have to until the water is clear. 
  5. Make sure to switch off the filter. 
  6. Proceed to siphon water from the main aquarium to the holding tank or bucket. Prepare to siphon at least 50% of the water from the main tank to the holding tank. 
  7. Move the bettas immediately into the holding tank along with the other decorations and aquatic plants. The aquatic plants and other decorations might give some chance of keeping some bacteria alive. 
  8. Since bettas have the ability to jump, do not forget to cover the holding tank. 
  9. Now proceed to refill the main tank back to the top with conditioned water and switch on the aquarium filter. 
  10. Proceed to remove the old gravel from the tank. Vacuum out the leftover gravel dust too from the aquarium. This is to ensure that there is no debris left behind that can cause harm to the aquarium. 
  11. Now add into the aquarium, new clean gravel and replace the decorations, aquatic plants and finally the bettas. 
  12. It is recommended to check the ammonia level over the next few days to ensure that everything is okay. 
  13. In case you notice ammonia spikes, then keep replacing the water until the level is back to normal.

Difference between Sand and Gravel substrates

Gravel substrate is better for most freshwater aquariums as it allows water to flow through the gravel which prevents the unwanted growth of Bacterias and amoebas. If these unwanted organisms grow that could adversely affect the health of the fish. Gravel also offers a wide variety of color and one can choose the best color which would go best with the betta. Gravel substrates are heavy enough not to get pulled into the water tank and affect the filtration system. 

Sand does not let water flow through it however if there are burrowing fish then they would help clean up the sand. The sand looks natural and resembles the natural conditions of lakes and rivers. Some plants prefer sand over gravel. Sand also only needs to be changed less frequently when compared to gravel as sand has no space in between and does not allow food and waste particles to get trapped underneath and rot. 

Also, Read | Best Safe Way Transport A Betta Fish In A Car

Commonly Asked Questions Regarding Gravel for Betta

What color gravel is best for betta fish?

Some fish owners choose red or pink colors. Bettas like natural-looking colors and gravels. But at the end of the day, it is the personal preference of each person.

Do betta fish need special gravel?

Gravel is preferred more as the wastes will not go down deep and are easy to clean and maintain.

Is Gravel bad for betta fish?

Gravels allow the growth of good bacteria and hold down the plants in the aquarium. However, coral sand and marble chippings should definitely be avoided. And some Gravels make the colors of the Betta pop out.

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Making a Betta feel at home is something that every owner should make sure of and the aquarium setting plays a major role in it. The substrate which forms the bed of the aquarium also plays a major role in making the fish feel more at home.

To choose the best substrate setting for your fish one needs to be aware of the various choices and in this article one of the two main options is discussed. Hope this was helpful!