Why Is Pea Gravel The Best Gravel For Your Goldfish Tanks?

gravel for aquariums
Underwater plants can be planted easily in the gravel.The plant’s root system is able to grow between gravel pieces

One of our readers recently asked about Pea Gravel, so I thought I’d take the time to explain what it is and why it’s good to have gravel in your tanks and aquariums.

About Pea Gravel

This type of pebble has rounded edges and the smallest pebbles have a size of around 4 millimeters. They have a number of uses including decorating fish tanks.

I personally like these rocks because they add dimension and appeal in an otherwise dull environment. Think about it…you like lots of colors and appreciate looking at different shiny objects – so do the different types of goldfish.

The color palette is varied and some of those colors are: red, rose, eggshell, beige, grey. The variety of colors is one of the reasons this gravel is so popular. The location from where the rocks are excavated will determine its hues.

colored pea gravel
Cleaning an aquarium with pea sized gravel is easy when you have a gravel vacuum.

Why do we need Pea Gravel?

Goldfish produce excessive amounts of waste in the form of chemicals and a buildup of waste is harmful to the health of your fish.
The accumulation of waste detracts from the visual look of your aquarium. The waste produces cloudy water, and this is the main reason why pea gravel is the best gravel for goldfish tanks.
There are other types of gravels that can give your aquarium a particular theme. For instance, small sand gravel gives your tank a tropical feel. Pea sized gravel offers you a more traditional look and the large pebbles will give the aquarium a dramatic effect. In a goldfish tank pea gravel is usually the preferred choice.

To buy check out this link: Spectrastone Shallow Creek Pebble for Freshwater Aquariums, 5-Pound Bag

As you can see in this video, they have made good use of the pebbles in their aquarium. Take a moment and click on the video and you’ll see what I mean.

4 good reasons why pea gravel is the best gravel for your goldfish tanks

  1. It’s the most widely available gravel you can buy.
  2. With the use of pea sized gravel you’ll not have to be concerned about the possibility of gravel getting stuck in the mouth of your goldfish. This is a problem I’ve seen with the use of small sized gravel when used as the water bed for a tank. Pea sized gravel is the perfect size as it is large enough to avoid this problem.
  3. Another benefit is that underwater plants can be planted rather easily in the gravel. The plant’s root system is able to grow in between the gravel pieces, avoiding suffocation of the roots. The space available in the gaps of the gravel is large and provides adequate aeration. This doesn’t allow toxic gas pockets to be formed.
  4. Cleaning a fish tank bedded with pea sized gravel is quite easy with the use of a gravel vacuum. Make sure the gravel is packed densely enough to stop the waste from settling on the face of the gravel rather than sinking into the pockets on the tank floor.

Click on this link to buy a very handy gravel vacuum for your aquarium.

It’s common for a beginner to start off with the standard brown pea gravel. To change the visuals of your tank experiment with some of the various colored pea sized gravel available. The darker colors provide a contrast between the plants and fish. It also helps to avoid glare in the water.

Next time you are looking to make some changes to your aquarium or tank why not try some inexpensive pea gravel. I’m sure your goldfish will thank you.