gravel - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-01-2011, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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ok keep in mind im new ,,but can a natural type gravel be purchased at some garden stores cheaper that pet shops and if so are there certain types?

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post #2 of 5 Old 04-01-2011, 06:52 PM
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In the past, I have used small pea gravel from lowes in an aquarium with no problem. It can be cheaper depending on what the gravel is marketed for and where you purchase it. Just make sure you clean it well before you put it in your tank.

I stopped using 100% gravel in tanks. Personally, I think an all sand or mostly sand substrates looks better and is better for the health of cory cats and loaches.
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-01-2011, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by aunkster View Post
ok keep in mind im new ,,but can a natural type gravel be purchased at some garden stores cheaper that pet shops and if so are there certain types?

I've never checked garden stores, but you could. I doubt it would be much cheaper than a pet store. Online is where you can get best prices, but unless you can come up with other stuff to order (so easy to do) than shipping costs may not off set the savings. You need to rinse gravel well, no matter where you get it.

Pea size gravel is best IMO. I've come to learn all of fish keeping is expensive - gravel is probably the least of the expense, unless I guess you're buying enough for a 100 gal tank.


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post #4 of 5 Old 04-01-2011, 09:02 PM
Shipping for gravel isn't too much. It won't die or any thing either.

38 gallon :
Pelvicachromis Taeniatus Nigerian Red not yet breeding pair
4 Pangio Kuhli
12 Hemmigrammus Bleheri
2 Botia Lohachata
1 Botia Straita
1 Ancistrus Sp.
6 Poecilia Reticulata

The Wet Spot Portland Oregon!!!!!!

ADA: Do!aqua Iwagumi 10 gallon size!
7 Clown Killies
7 Ghost shrimp
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-02-2011, 12:57 PM
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I have used gravel bought in bulk from landscaping/stone places. If you can find what you need, it will be a real savings in money. But, make sure it is useable.

Some gravels are made from calcareous rock and will raise water hardness and corresponding pH. This is no problem if you intend keeping only hard water fish (livebearers, rift lake cichlids, some other fish) but not in a tank of soft water fish. Inert gravel, meaning it will not affect water chemistry, is what you ideally want in most cases.

The gravel size should be small, "pea gravel" is about the largest you want to use; anything larger will trap food too easily and cause other problems. Small-grain gravel (1-2 mm grain size) is best with plants. Some fish need small gravel, some work well with pea gravel; depends what fish you have in the tank.

I used the pea gravel last year in a 70g tank, and a couple weeks ago I pulled it out. The plants did not do well in it, and the loaches didn't seem to be happy. All are now in another tank with 1-2 mm gravel and much happier.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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