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Author Topic: gravel  (Read 1505 times)
Full Member

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« on: February 05, 2012, 05:14:27 PM »

So how necessary is deep gravel for aquariums? Our big tanks has about 2 inches in it and it really hold in a lot of junk. I wonder if bare bottom tanks are easier to maintain or does that become unsightly with bits of food particles laying on the bottom of the tank?

Our 10 gallons has a bit of a mix of stuff. Some smooth river stones, polished rocks and a small handful of gravel and it actually looks kind of nice. I do net out the food bits once a week and of course do the water changes.

Does everybody here use gravel?
Full Member

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Re: gravel
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2012, 01:08:23 AM »

Gravel is really optional for most freshwater aquarium.  Many people with multiple fish tanks sometime switch to bare bottom tanks to reduce the maintenance requirement.  So to answer your question, yes bare bottom tanks are much easier to maintain then ones with gravel or other substrate.  A drawback, like you said, is that you can sometime see food particles and other debris on the bottom.

Before you decide to remove all the gravel, you have to educate yourself about the nitrogen cycle for fish tanks. Nitrifying bacteria live on the surface of the gravel and inside your filter . So if you have a really cheap filter with no room for biomedia inside it, then chances are most of the beneficial bacteria will live on the surface of the gravel.  If you remove all the gravel and your filter only does mechanical filtration of the water, your ammonia level will spike and your fish will perish.  You need a good a quality filter that can hold a lot of biomedia in order to house the beneficial bacteria if you decide to go the bare bottom tank route.
Sr. Member

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Re: gravel
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2012, 05:45:25 AM »

I have gravel, quite chunky gravel at that, so I just have a nice layer along the bottom, I'm not too fussed if it isn't 2 inches deep exactly. I quite like having gravel because Lucky enjoys foraging through it during the day, but I have heard of people having bare bottom tanks with goldfish, so I wouldn't say it's necessary, more an option, both have their pro's and con's.

Gravel as Nabi pointed out, is also a place where some of the nitrifying bacteria live  Smiley
Full Member

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Re: gravel
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2012, 10:38:12 AM »

I have less than an inch in my tanks, it's plenty for them to forage in and easy to clean, but I do have canister filters...
Hero Member

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Re: gravel
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2012, 10:40:02 AM »

I've had my tanks temporarily bare, but the waste that collects on the bottom really doesn't look good :/
And 2 inches of gravel is sometimes needed for certain plants, however I have about 1 inch to 1.5 inches in my tank and that works just fine Smiley
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