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6 Best Aquarium Gravel in different Colors (including Red, Black, Blue, Yellow, and Green) Reviewed

There’s a special kind of joy that comes with building your very own aquarium. Whether you’re a first-timer or a loyal fish keeper, choosing the components of your aquarium, such as the design of the tank and the types of fish living in it, remains an incredibly exciting part of your aquarium creation journey.

One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make along the way is, of course, the aquarium gravel.

Also known as substrate, gravel is a must-have addition to any decent fish tank. Not only does gravel tie together the entire aesthetic to match your style preference, but it’s also rather crucial for the well-being of your tank inhabitants.

Today, we’ll be helping you pick the best aquarium gravel to decorate your tank’s bed, all the while keeping your fish happy and healthy. So let’s not waste any time and get started!

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6 Best Aquarium Gravel Reviewed

1. Pure Water Pebbles Aquarium Gravel

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Kicking off our list with a super affordable and practical option, these Pebbles Aquarium Gravel from Pure Water are a great buy if you’re looking to decorate your tank without spending much money.

The bag you’ll receive contains 5 pounds of vibrant turquoise pebbles, offering plenty of gravel so you can freely place them in any pattern you’d like.

You can use the Pure Water Pebbles Aquarium Gravel for all sorts of aquarium settings, such as freshwater and saltwater tanks, ponds, as well as with fish or water plants.

Natural types of stones, pebbles, rocks, and sand

The Pure Water Gravel is manufactured as a non-toxic substrate. This gravel is actually natural types of stones, pebbles, rocks, and sand which have been collected, heat sanitized, colored, then coated with a 100% acrylic layer. The artificial colorfast guarantees that the turquoise of the pebbles won’t easily fade away.

However, we’ve noticed a couple of drawbacks with the Pure Water Pebbles Aquarium Gravel. The paint job tends to chip in certain types of water, so you’ll definitely need to keep an eye out for that.

Also, there’s a chance that the gravel will release color into the tank’s water, turning the environment bluish green. To avoid such an issue, make sure to thoroughly rinse the pebbles with water before placing them in the tank. Once the washout water is free of color, you can go ahead and use the gravel normally.


  • Very affordable
  • Plenty of gravel for the money
  • Nice turquoise color


  • Releases color of not washed beforehand
  • The paint may chip after a while

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2. GloFish Aquarium Gravel with Fluorescent Colors

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Landing in with thousands of positive reviews, the GloFish Aquarium Gravel offers amazing quality and eye-catching colors that’ll totally add some spice to your aquarium’s aesthetic.

GloFish are famous for their unique fluorescent products (including actual fluorescent fish!), and this aquarium gravel is no exception.

It’s available in a wide range of color combos including pink/blue/green, black with fluorescent highlights, solid black, fluorescent green, fluorescent pink, fluorescent black & white, and white frost.

Glows under blue LED light

You can use the GloFish Gravel as your main substrate or as fun accents to existing gravel. Either way, you’ll get a mesmerizing view thanks to the bright colors that glow under blue LED lights, which means it’s perfect for night time!

Such a cool appearance is rather popular among fish keepers looking for a solid base with a dash of creativity.

The folks at GloFish recommend rinsing their fluorescent gravel with warm water before you place it inside your aquarium. This is to make sure all the unwanted dust and debris are no longer there.

The GloFish Gravel stones come in a 5-pound bag, offering good value for money. They also come in various sizes and shapes to give a more textured finish. However, some of these pebbles may be small enough that your fish will be able to swallow them. So try to avoid using such fragments in your aquarium.


  • Unique colors
  • Glow under blue LED lights
  • Suitable for both day and night viewing
  • Great value for money


  • Some pieces may be too small
  • Occasional chipping may occur

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. Natural Decorative Polished Mixed Pebbles

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If you’re on the hunt for gravel that’ll take your aquarium game to the next level of class, then the Natural Decorative Polished Mixed Pebbles may just be all the help you need. It’s a highly praised product, with lots of customers testifying to its elegance and quality.

Delivering quite a sophisticated aesthetic, the Mixed Pebbles are one of the best-looking aquarium gravel out there, ideal for those who love showing off their marine pets and leaving their guests amazed.

If you closely examine the Mixed Pebbles, you’ll find the stones to be covered in wax rather than petroleum, which is a frequently asked question when it comes to this particular brand, meaning that these pebbles are completely safe to use around fish.

Multiple Uses

The polished gravel comes in a 2-pound, 5-pound, and 10-pound bag so you can play with it as freely as possible. These pebbles have varying shapes and sizes, with an average of ⅜ inches. 

Besides tanks, you can use the Mixed Pebbles for multiple projects indoors and outdoors including ponds, plant pots, driveways, as well as walkways. Moreover, the smooth and compact nature of these pebbles allows you to easily match them with other gravel types to create a perfect blend.

Before dumping the Mixed Pebbles into your aquarium, take the time to thoroughly rinse the gravel using hot water to flush out any embedded debris, dirt, or dust.


  • Elegant colors
  • Smooth edges
  • Non-toxic wax polish
  • Versatile use


  • If you skip rinsing, you’ll end up with annoying wax flakes floating around
  • Maybe too tiny for some fish or animals

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

4. OUPENG Pebbles Natural Polished Gravel Stones

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Offering exquisite quality and natural beauty, these Polished Gravel Stones from OUPENG are a fantastic choice for fish keepers searching for bigger gravel that’s easier to clean while being harder for fish to swallow.

The “natural” aspect of this product is based on the fact that the rocks are actually obtained via natural mining.

These river stones are only lightly polished to seal in their colors so that they can resist fading, and also to deliver a shiny attractive coating that highlights their intriguing patterns.

Since the OUPENG Pebbles are of natural origin, you’ll notice a certain degree of variation in their shapes, so it should come as no surprise if you find some stones broken or misshaped.

Super functional

These river rocks are super functional, you can use them in all sorts of interior and exterior settings such as gardens, terrariums, tanks, walkways, or even massage sessions, as they’re tough yet smooth to the touch.

Before placing the OUPENG Pebbles into your aquarium, be sure to soak the stones in boiled water then brush them thoroughly to remove any residual chemicals, parasites, bacteria, or fungus.

The OUPENG Polished Gravel is available in 2 package sizes: 2 pounds and 5 pounds.

The manufacturer also backs up the product with a refund guarantee in case you’re not satisfied with your purchase.


  • Natural stones
  • Long-lasting color
  • Mesmerizing patterns
  • Safe for aquatic life
  • Smooth surface


  • Due to the heavyweight of rocks, the number of stones you receive may be less than what you need

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

5. Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel Porous Natural Aquarium Substrate

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If you’re willing to splurge on your tank, then you should invest in some premium quality substrate to ensure that your money isn’t wasted. Fitting this description, the Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel offers exceptional performance in any freshwater tank.

It has a stable porous clay structure that’s specially engineered to retain its form underwater without decomposing or softening into a muddy mess.

This means you won’t be needing to use laterite or other gravel modifiers to enhance your aquarium bed since the Seachem Flourite Black does just fine on its own.

Won’t affect the PH of your tank’s water

This gravel promises the highest levels of safety for your aquatic fish and plants since it didn’t undergo any type of chemical treatment. Consequently, the Seachem Flourite Black won’t affect the PH of your tank’s water.

To set up the Seachem Clay Gravel, place a bowl in your tank, then fill it directly with water allowing the water to softly overflow across the substrate. This helps you avoid disrupting the gravel to achieve a neat appearance. As you continue to add water, you may start to notice cloudiness which is totally normal and can be resolved by applying mechanical filtration.

Each bag of this product weighs about 15.4 pounds, enough to occupy a volume of 325 cubic inches. To calculate how many bags your aquarium requires, multiply its width by length by desired height.


  • Stable porous structure
  • Doesn’t need gravel modifiers
  • Doesn’t alter water PH
  • Great for establishing plants


  • Needs multiple rinsing before use
  • A bit pricey

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

6 .Marina Decorative Gravel in different Colors

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Last but definitely not least, the Marina Decorative Gravel is a wonderful choice for keepers wanting to add a splash of color to their tanks without breaking the bank.

The Marina Gravel is epoxy coated pebbles to guarantee a safe environment for your fish. In fact, gravel with epoxy coating has been associated with boosting the growth of beneficial bacteria that regulate biological filtration in aquariums.

Although marketed as dust-free, we still advise you to thoroughly rinse these pebbles before use. The Marina Decorative Gravel won’t alter the water chemistry, however, you should avoid adding it to saltwater tanks.

These 1-pound bags are available in 6 different color options: Black, Blue, Burgundy, Neon Yellow, Orange, and Purple, so you’ll most likely find one that matches your aquarium’s theme.


  • Epoxy coated gravel
  • Available in 6 colors
  • No sharp edges
  • Keeps water chemistry intact
  • Boots good bacteria colonization


  • Suitable for freshwater tanks only
  • Larger aquariums require several bags

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Why Should You Use Aquarium Gravel?

The question of whether or not you need to use substrate at the bottom of your aquarium haunts a lot of fish keeping enthusiasts who are in the process of building their own tanks.

On one hand, some hobbyists prefer to keep their tanks bare making the argument that it helps them do a better job maintaining and cleaning their tanks since it’s easier to remove dirt and wastes from a bare bed than one adorned with pebbles.

Another reason those keepers don’t use gravel is to minimize the presence of parasites that may spread among the fish, causing different diseases.

That being said, the majority of fish enthusiasts think of gravel as an essential part of any tank. Why? Well, let’s look at the benefits of using gravel:


Obviously, appearance is the first thing that comes to mind when we think about the advantages of using gravel. While bare tanks typically look bland and lifeless, once you add gravel, you can immediately see a transformation take place.

Aquarium gravel can improve the overall aesthetic of your aquarium, it provides a more natural look that pleases the eyes, all the while giving your tank a well-kept professional feel.

Besides looking good, there are other ways gravel can come in handy. For example, if you own certain equipment in your aquarium that may scare your fish or draw unwanted attention, you can use substrate as camouflage to cover them up subtly.

Aquarium gravel is an excellent choice if you want to anchor plants or ornaments. It also serves as highlights or accents to already existing decorations as well as being a nice cover to hide debris that accumulates at the tank’s bottom each day.

Good Bacteria

A significant yet frequently forgotten advantage of covering your tank’s bed with gravel is providing a suitable environment for good bacteria to colonize and flourish.

These beneficial bacteria work silently yet efficiently to break down organic wastes resulting from fish or plants while keeping ammonia and nitrate levels in check, thus maintaining the chemical balance of your tank’s water and the health of your aquarium’s inhabitants.


It’s quite common for adult fish to feed on newly laid eggs that cross their path, especially in large aquariums where fish often compete for food.

Gravel at the bottom of your tank can greatly reduce the occurrence of such incidents by providing a discrete housing for eggs and protecting them from being eaten.

What to Consider Before Buying Aquarium Gravel?

When shopping for the best aquarium gravel, you need to take certain points into account in order to make the right purchase.


First of all, you want to determine the suitable amount of gravel that’ll help you cover the bottom of the tank up to your desired depth.

Generally, if you own a smaller aquarium that’s less than 50 gallons, the gravel should be about 2 inches deep. This proportion delivers an eye-pleasing aesthetic while being enough to house good bacteria and grow plants.

If your tank is larger than 50 gallons, gradually increase the gravel depth to reach around 3 or 4 inches while maintaining the attractive proportion.


The size of the gravel is another huge deciding factor when you’re trying to make a choice since both big and small gravel have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Large gravel will allow debris and waste to slip between its gaps which makes it harder for you to clean up, possibly leading to dirt build-up and accumulation of toxic compounds.

This won’t happen with smaller pebbles as they tend to compress over each other, however, this also causes a lack of oxygen in particular areas.

Moreover, tiny gravel can be easily swallowed by fish as opposed to bigger gravel. If your fish make a habit out of eating pebbles, switch to larger gravel as soon as possible.


This one is up to your decorating preference. You can choose between oval, irregular, cubed, thick, thin, or numerous other shapes available on the market.

However, you should make sure that whatever gravel shape you go with has smooth edges, not sharp ones. This is crucial to avoid injuring your fish as they swim and explore.


Another decision that’ depends entirely on your taste is the gravel color. Luckily, aquarium gravel comes in a vast array of color options to accommodate different tank designs and needs. You can find dark, light, bright neon, and even fluorescent gravel.

That being said, if you have colorful or flashy fish, a darker background may be the better choice so that they can stand out more, giving you a clearer view of their beauty.

Similarly, if you own fish with subtle elegance, perhaps it’s best if you add some fun colors into your aquarium.


Finally, you don’t want to overlook the materials used in manufacturing the gravel. It’s critical to check for the presence of chemical treatments or toxic artificial colorings that may be harmful to your fish.

For polished gravel, avoid petroleum coating and opt for safe coatings such as wax or epoxy. 

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Wrap Up

It’s pretty clear by now that choosing the best aquarium gravel isn’t exactly a simple task. While you definitely want to pick out colors and patterns to match your decorative taste, you also need to keep in mind the safety of your fish.

It’s a tricky balance to achieve, but we’re confident that our list of the top 6 aquarium gravel will help you find a satisfactory product.

That being said, if you’re looking to spice things up in your tank, you should absolutely check out the GloFish Aquarium Gravel with Fluorescent Colors.

Alternatively, if you’re seeking large-sized gravel with a classic appearance, the OUPENG Pebbles Natural Polished Gravel Stones should be right up your alley!


Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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