Ren asked in PetsFish · 1 decade ago

Aquarium without gravel?

I Heard having an aquarium without gravel is just as good as one with gravel.

Is this true and if so do still vacuum the floor of the tank?

12 Answers

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  • Marine
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Some people do keep aquariums without gravel but you will still have to vacuum the debis and uneaten food up. If you keep bottom feeders, they prefer gravel. Gravel also gives you excellent (and most) of your bio filter capacity and prevents tragic and toxic ammonia spikes. And it is much prettier than a mirror bottom. You can't have many live plants withough gravel. Bottom line, just get gravel. My favorite is the natural gravel with no paints or dyes to keep the water as clean and as natural looking as possible. Have you ever seen a glass bottom lake? Didn't think so.

  • 3 years ago

    Aquarium Without Gravel

  • 1 decade ago

    Depends greatly on what kind of fish/animal you have in it, how many, how big the tank is, what kind of filter, and more. Most people recommend gravel because it is another place for good bacteria to grow. Some fish need sand to dig in, so substrate is a must. On the other hand, if you have something really messy, such as a turtle, or a type of fish known for eating gravel, then gravel is a no-no. No matter what you still have to vacuum the bottom of the tank, even if there is no gravel gunk will go to the bottom. I prefer gravel in fish tanks because personally I think it looks better.

  • 1 decade ago

    Having kept bare-bottom tanks for more than 10 years now, you don't absolutely need gravel in your tank. A lot depends on what kind of critters you have--some critters need something to burrow into. And if you intend to have planted plants in your tank, you'll either need some form of substrata or plant your greenery in pots. And you will have to do vacuuming because water contains algae you can't see that settles to the bottom, plants and critters all shed and "dust" just collects. A substrata will give the pro-bacteria places to thrive and multiply so if you don't use gravel or sand, you'll need a good bio-filter of some sort (we use sponge filters)--not necessarily a bio-wheel since these days there are other types available. You can go without vacuuming for longer, as long as you never overfeed. We have tanks where we only vacuum every few months (and we only take out a little of the accumulation) since we have critters that like to live in the mulm. Once thing to keep in mind with bare-bottom tanks is that initially, that bare bottom is going to reflect a LOT of light and may be a little intense for your fish so make sure to give them lots of floating plants to hide in. With time, the tank will build up a layer of algae on the sides/bottom.

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  • Tolak
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    A bare tank is cleaner than one with substrate, gravel holds more debris than you would think. You can see exactly what you are dealing with waste wise with a bare tank. Try grabbing a handful of gravel out of any tank that has been running for any length of time with gravel in it, you will get a bunch of previously unseen debris in the water.

    With the exception of some corys & loachs, which like a sand substrate, and some African cichlids, which do like to move gravel, gravel is only decorative. Anyone seriously breeding has bare tanks, as they are easier to keep clean, and are cleaner running tanks. If gravel were an asset or needed breeders would have it in tanks. It is generally accepted that breeding fish are happy fish.

    Bio wheel filters are not needed in bare tanks, and in my opinion are over rated. My opinion is formed from running various filters on a couple dozen tanks, bio wheels sound good in advertsing propaganda, but fail to deliver in the pump & durability department. Form your own opinion from hands on use of multiple filters, not one or two, on a couple of tanks.

    Unless you are running under gravel filtration, gravel holds very little nitrifying bacteria, the stuff that maintains a cycled aquarium. In a mature tank you can change out gravel, or remove it, as long as you have the proper filtration.

    You do have to vac the bottom, if you wipe the bottom, let it settle, then vac the tank comes out cleaner than any tank you have ever seen. I use a paper towel on fry tanks, a filter sponge on a stick for larger tanks,

    Out of my 20 some tanks, 4 have gravel, as they are show tanks. They are a pain to maintain compared to the bare tanks.

    Source(s): My fishroom, 20 some tanks, 800 some gallons, angel breeding setup.
  • 1 decade ago

    Bare bottom aquariums are a lot easier to clean because you can spot debris very easily. Like Judgement Of Prophecy said, you need a bio wheel filter if you want bare bottom because you need a place for bacteria to grow. Personally, I think that gravel looks better in a community tank, but if I want my fish to be the central focus of the tank (i.e. show off goldfish and their colours), then bare bottom would be my choice.

    You still need to vaccum the tank because some debris and fish poo will be too heavy to be sucked up by the filter. It's not very hard though. Just use a simple siphon.

  • 1 decade ago

    this stament is made for does tanks with good filters, mostly does with bio-wheels. Filters with bio-wheels grow bacteria in the wheel and not in the gravel. So muck doesn't grow in the tank. Now if you got a cheap filter, you will want a 1/4 inch of gravel to grow bacteria.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The Gravel Holds PH wich can either increse or decrease according to the type.Guppies ,Mollys,Platies,ect..For Corays,Placostamas,and catfish and bottom feeders.But for smaller fish such as the guppies,platies,Mollys,and as such fish.It is also as river or pond fish SHOULD HAVE AGLIE.So it jusd depends if is long tem short term and the type of fish.home this hlps.!!!!!!!!!!!!:-)

    Source(s): have many fish and habitats
  • 1 decade ago

    you need gravel or sometimes the fish will die because of unsuitable environment, trust me lol i lost three fish, and i took the tank with the fish to the store and the owner told me that it was b/c of that. so u NNEEEEDDD gravel!!!!!!!!! and you REALLY need to vacuum the floor, or the water gets murky (and just as something added, i do not recomend live plants)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    not only does gravel look better but it keeps essential bacteria (remember not all bacteria are bad) and it keeps all of your water chemicals (ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates) in balance

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