How Deep Should Fish Tank Gravel Be?

Updated April 17, 2017

The depth of gravel in an aquarium will often be based on aesthetic preference. Though gravel levels can range from nothing to quite a few inches, two to three inches usually provides the most visual appeal and is the most practical. More gravel is harder to clean and less gravel makes the tank look empty and will cause fish waste to be more obvious.

Gravel Depth for Plants

Tanks containing plants will need the correct amount of gravel to support the roots. Plants with shallow roots won't require much but plants with deep roots will need two to three inches to keep root systems from becoming entangled or suffering from lack of nutrients.

Bottom Line

Two to three inches of gravel is recommended for visual and cleaning purposes. This depth also provides support for even the most deep-rooted plants in an aquarium.

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About the Author

Based just outside Eugene, Ore., Danielle Gream began writing professionally in 2010 for various websites. Gream is the co-owner of a business consulting firm that specializes in leadership training and effective communication. She holds a Bachelor of Science in communication from the University of Phoenix.