Gravel adds décor to your Betta tank and you can choose a color based on your tank theme or just a color you like, or one that highlights the beauty of your Betta fish. Gravel is not necessary in uncycled Betta tanks and is used for increasing the beauty of your betta tank for you and your family and friends and your betta fish. Your betta will enjoy the extra attention he will receive from everyone oohing and aahing over not only his beauty, but also the beauty of his lovely gravel-decorated and color-coordinated Betta tank or aquarium!
In nature, Betta fish would enjoy some gravel in their environment as well as other types of natural things like plants for example. So, even though it is not necessary, it can add a little oomph to your fish tank and make it a little more special for everyone.
As with everything you consider placing in your Betta’s living environment, read the package of the gravel before using it and gather all the information you can about the bags of gravel you are looking at. It is aquarium safe since you will find it in the aquarium section of the pet store, but to be safe, check each one for anything you can find out about that particular product.
Just make sure that it’s safe for Bettas. Some rock will raise the pH and hardness of the water. So, be sure and have a water test kit on hand. You can also find these in the aquarium section of your local pet store or in an aquarium store.
Do not use Texas holey rock, sandstone, rainbow rock, or limestone. Lava rock is safe, but do not use this with Betta Fish, either because it is not safe in another sense - that is that it is too rough and sharp and will damage Betta fishes’ delicate, flowing fins. Slate, granite, agate, and basalt are fine. Amethyst and quartz are o.k., but do not use seashells and coral because they will have a negative effect on the pH of your Betta fish’s water environment.
Of course, if you include gravel as decoration in your Betta’s tank, you’ve got to keep it clean for him. A clean, healthy water environment is essential to Betta fish health. Gunk can hide in the gravel, and it must be cleaned out. You can suck some of it up with a specially-made aquarium vacuum that you can purchase in the fish department of pet stores and in aquarium stores and online. Some people find it convenient to keep a turkey baster by the tank to suck out poop in the gravel until it’s time for the next water change.
When you change the tank water, you will be washing out the tank and everything in it with clean, fresh water - and never using any kind of cleaners or soap. You take out the gravel and rinse it with fresh water and rub it together between clean, rinsed, soap-free hands and rinse the gravel in a clean bowl and then drain the water off the gravel. After cleaning the Betta tank completely, then you put the cleaned gravel back into the fish tank. This is one reason many people choose not to have gravel.
If you have a sick fish, it’s better to have no gravel in the tank until your fish is well. This way, you can monitor his health better and you can tell if he is able to have regular bowel movements since this is one of the ways we can gauge the health of our betta fish. If they are eating regularly and pooping regularly, this is a good sign of health. A sick fish will not eat many times and will be constipated, but if you have the gravel obstructing your view and the poop is falling down in the gravel and you can’t see it, then it is difficult to monitor your fish’s recovery.
So, if you are able to keep your gravel clean and your fish is healthy, then various colors of gravel to decorate your Betta’s home is fun and pretty to look at and everyone enjoys it.