Best Gravels for Aquarium/Tanks

Buyer’s Guide to Choose the Best Gravels for Aquarium/Tanks

Having an aquarium with beautiful fish gives an incredible experience to every aquarium owner. But to enrich the beauty of your aquarium, you need to put some beautiful aquarium gravels in it.

However, finding the perfect quality gravels for your aquarium is not as easy as it seems. With an abundance of gravel manufacturers in the market, it has become very hard to choose the most reliable one. 

Thus to make your task easier, here we are giving accurate guidance on buying gravels. We are covering or reviewing the top 5 gravel products along with their pros and cons. 

Before continuing Check out the Review on the 5 Best Auto Fish Feeders


The most important thing that you should look for when buying aquarium gravel is the color of gravels. There are many options available in the market from natural to exotic colors.

You can choose any color according to your personal preferences.If you want more brightness and shine in your aquarium then choose dark colors as dark pebbles or gravels look brighter in light.

Easiness to clean

Make sure that your gravel does not create any hindrance in your aquarium cleaning process. Some gravels come in very small size and they can be taken out while cleaning the water. Thus, choosing the right size of gravels is very important.

It is recommended to not buy the sand like gravels as they can easily come out while cleaning tank and can also be swollen by your fish. 

Thus, to save the health of your fish it is very important to avoid sand-like gravels. In addition, do check the reviews of buyers before buying any gravel pack.

Top 5 Best Gravels for Aquarium Reviewed

1. GloFish Aquarium Gravel, 5-Pound

GloFish aquarium Gravel 5 Pounds, Black With Fluorescent Accents, Complements GloFish Tanks
  • Aquarium GRAVEL: GloFish aquarium Gravel creates a colorful base for all your GloFish ornaments.
  • RANGE OF COLORS: Choose pink, green, white, black with fluorescent accents, or a mix of colors.
  • BASK IN THE GLOW: Fluorescent-accented gravel stands out under GloFish blue LED lights.
  • HIGHLIGHTS YOUR TANK: Use as a substrate or accent, along with GloFish plants and ornaments (sold separately).
  • EXPERIENCE THE GLO: GloFish fluorescent fish and products create a complete underwater fluorescent experience.

Last update on 2021-12-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • This gravel stands out under the blue lighting of the aquarium.
  • Good bacteria grow in the gravel that keeps the fish healthy.
  • The color is rich bright which add a more vibrant look to the aquarium.
  • They are very affordable.


  • Rocks are coated in black paint which chips off very easily and starts floating as little flaxes on the surface of the water.
  • Rocks are too tiny that they can go inside the fish mouth. 
  • Some customers complained that gravels do not glow under light. 
Specially made for the Glofish, these gravels are really beautiful in their white frost color. Specially made to enhance the Glofsih experience, these gravels do not affect their natural behavior.

The product is available in a 5 pound bag to keep some in reserve too for replacing the algae contaminated rocks and clean them. It is the best product to use as a substrate or accent for the aquarium.

2. Exotic PMS0510 Polished Gravel, Mixed, 5 Pounds, 3/8-In

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  • These are perfect for walkways and driveways.
  • ​These can be used in aquariums, ponds, and other water features.
  • Pebbles mulch in interior and exterior garden beds.
  • Perfectly polished gravel and a perfect size.
  • Comes in a mix of different colors.
  • These are perfect for plants as all stones are smooth with no sharp edges.
  • These are very affordable.


  • Some customers have complained that gravels are covered with chemicals.
  • Some other buyers complained that these gravels can kill the fish in the aquarium as they are covered in oily toxic substances.
  • Every time you rinse, the build-up substance on Peebles keep coming off.

Exotic gravel for fish tanks with mixed colors and sizes. All the gravels are in mixtures and are polished with safe ingredients to prevent any harm to the water or the fishes.

These are suitable for driveways and garden beds too. The polish on the gravels gives a shiny look as well as keeps the dirt from sticking on them. The gravel is easy to clean and reuse too.

The gravels are compatible with all kinds of fishes making them the most bought ones. The size and structure of the pebbles is stiff and designed carefully not to be swallowed by the fishes.

3. Spectrastone Shallow Creek Regular for Freshwater Aquariums, 5-Pound Bag

Spectrastone Shallow Creek Regular for Freshwater Aquariums, 5-Pound Bag
  • Will not affect PH
  • Safe for use in freshwater aquariums
  • Non-Toxic coating

Last update on 2021-12-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • ​These gravels do not affect the pH level of aquarium water.
  • ​These are entirely safe for using in freshwater aquarium.
  • ​They are coated with non-toxic material.
  • It keeps the dirt falling through rocks as you water the plants.
  • They are beautiful and affordable as well.
  • Gravels are absolutely natural looking and do not create cloudiness to the water.


  • The gravels are bit smaller in size.
  • Some buyers have complained that using these gravels as soil cover for plants creates horrible soil gnat problem.

These gravels are perfect for fresh water aquariums. They do not affect the ph value of the water like other stones or rocks may do.

The polish on the gravels is specially coated with non toxic polish thus preventing any harm whatsoever to the fishes.

These gravels and rocks are not compatible with salt water aquariums and limit exclusively to fresh water aquariums. They can be used both indoors and outdoors.

The colors are multiple and give a bright look to the water bed.

4. Pure Water Pebbles Aquarium Gravel, 5-Pound, Turquoise

Pure Water Pebbles Aquarium Gravel, 5-Pound, Turquoise
  • Pure Water Pebbles Premium Freshwater Substrates
  • Natural Decorative Gravel
  • 100% Acrylic Coating, Colorfast
  • Non-toxic, will not alter the chemistry of your aquarium water
  • Recommended Uses: Fresh & Saltwater Aquariums, Ponds, Terrariums, Gardens, Potted Plants, Vases, Ash Trays, Crafts & Hobbies

Last update on 2021-12-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • ​These are pure and naturally decorated pebbles.
  • ​Gravels are made with 100% acrylic coating and colorfast.
  • ​These are absolutely non-toxic and will not change the chemistry of your aquarium water.
  • Best for freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
  • These gravels can also be used in ponds, gardens, terrariums, vases, potted plants, ashtrays, crafts and hobbies.


  • Some pebbles are dry and crumbly.
  • Some customers have complained that the color or dye of these gravels keeps on coming even after the use of one month.
  • Color starts to fade after the use of one month and turn brown.
  • Some have also complained that they got a torn bag on delivery and the Pebbles can break off easily.

These pure water pebbles are the most beautiful decorations for your fish tank. With the exquisite turquoise color, they give a reef like imitation to the fish tank.

The coating is made non toxic and the stones do not affect the ph value of the water either. They are suitable for almost all kinds of fresh water and salt water aquariums.

The blue color is formed completely from acrylic paint and does not come off ever. These pebbles do not limit to just aquariums and can be used as a decoration for center tables, ash trays and other crafting hobbies.

5. CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium, Black

CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium, Black
  • Complete substrate for freshwater planted aquariums
  • Contains major and minor trace elements to nourish aquarium plants
  • Substrate encourages healthy plant root growth

Last update on 2021-12-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • These gravels are a complete substrate for freshwater and aquariums.
  • ​Contains major and minor trace elements to add nourishment to the aquarium plants.
  • ​The substrate promotes healthy plant root growth.
  • Gravels do not cloud the water at all.
  • All Peebles come in different sizes with nice gloss and little bit glitter coated on them.
  • This gravel does not affect the pH level of aquarium water.
  • The gravel sits quickly and clearly in the tank.


  • Some customers complained that these gravels killed their plants and fish.
  • They are quite expensive.

These gravels are costliest in the above list but are much better than others. The special black gravel is pretty useful in a planted aquarium.

Not only do they give a complete substrate to the plantations, these stones contain major and minor elements to nourish the aquarium plants.

They encourage healthy plant root growth too. They work perfectly as substrates for both fresh water and salt water aquariums.

My Pick

In my opinion, CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium, Black is the best choice for gravels. They neither cloud water nor affect the pH level.

In addition, there is no issue of the coating coming off which is the main problem with most of the other gravels. 

Though they are quite expensive it is worth spending money on the health of your lovely aquarium fish.


[Revised and Updated for July, 2019]
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Written by Debra Hutchinson, founder of FishXperts

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