Aquarium substrate serves a variety of important functions within the domestic aquarium, way beyond simply adding to the overall aesthetic appeal of your tank. Due to the integral role substrate plays, it is important to choose a substrate that will enhance the healthy upkeep of your tank; thus, it is very important to choose the right kind. There are many different options to choose from, so rather than simply picking something off the shelf, it is wise to learn a little about the different types of substrate available in order to make an educated decision.
Description: Gravel is by far the most popular choice for beginner aquarium enthusiasts, mainly due to its cheap cost and relatively low maintenance in freshwater tanks. Gravel often can be found in many different colors and sizes, allowing the aquarium to reflect a wide-array of themes. Most aquarium gravel you buy is pre-treated, so a quick rinse through cold water and you can add it right into any aquarium and not have to worry about germs, or it affecting the water's chemistry.
Maintenance:All you need to do is vacuum the gravel on a regular basis, which is usually once a week. This allows you to clear out any build-up of fecal matter and left-over food particles.
Aquatic Plants:Gravel is only suitable for aquariums with plastic or artificial plants and decor. You cannot successfully grow plants on or in a grave substrate.