Aquarium Setup
Gravel & Décor

Gravel is more than just a decoration. It is a filtering medium that plays an important role in maintaining healthy bacteria growth in aquariums.

There are guidelines to keep in mind:
  • Always wash the gravel with hot water before putting it in the aquarium.
  • Do not skimp on gravel. Using the right amount of gravel is essential.
    • About 1/8" (2-3mm) in pebble size is about right.
    • Use enough gravel to provide a depth of about 1½ to 2 inches (or 1 pound of gravel per gallon).
  • Gravel that is too fine will clog undergravel filter systems and does not allow for adequate water flow, which can lead to a buildup of the wrong type of bacteria.
  • Gravel that is too large allows room for uneaten food to become embedded, creating a source of water pollution.
Getting Started with a Freshwater Aquarium
1. Aquarium Water
2. Choosing Freshwater Fish
3. Aquariums & Stands
4. Hoods & Lighting
5. Heaters & Thermometers
6. Air Pumps & Accessories
7. Filters
8. Gravel & Décor

Be aware that some species have special gravel requirements. Refer to PETCO's Care Sheets for specifics.


Finally, when you add decorations to your aquarium, there are some factors to consider:
  • Thoroughly clean all decorations with hot water before putting them in the aquarium.
  • Use decorations sparingly, as they displace water.
  • Use only decorations designed for aquarium use.
  • Decorations should be placed to the side and near the back of the aquarium, which allows for less crowded swimming areas and greater visibility of fish.