How Much Gravel? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-07-2012, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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How Much Gravel?

How many pounds of gravel do I need for a 20 gallon tank? I am getting a new tank for christmas and I need to know how much gravel I need
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-07-2012, 11:08 PM
depends how deep you want it, no live plants, means less substrate, but about 15 lbs will get you there unless you want a really deep substrate.
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post #3 of 5 Old 12-07-2012, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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i plan on putting ALL real plants.
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-08-2012, 12:48 AM
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Most people believe in 1-2lb per gallon. Since you will have plants, have you settled on gravel or are other substrates and option? I have pool filter sand in mine and although it took a lot of rinsing, it is a good substrate for plants (about corse seasalt sized granules) and it's VERY cheep! About $8-10 for 50lbs! You can find it at any pool supply store
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-09-2012, 06:56 PM
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As you are starting new with this 20g, I would also consider fish, as some have a substrate preference. Sand works best for the fish who like to browse over and into the substrate, such as corys, loaches. Plants grow well in sand or fine gravel. Darker rather than lighter is best for fish.

In a 20g you don't want more than 2 inches depth overall, meaning when spread evenly, for fine gravel; sand is probably better at 1.5 inches. You can build this up a bit more in the back if larger plants need it.


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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