Goldfish are a type of fish that are often kept as pets. They are relatively easy to care for, but there are still some things that need to be taken into consideration when setting up a tank for them. One of the most important things is the substrate or the material that is used to line the bottom of the tank.
In this article, we’ll be discussing the best substrates for goldfish tanks. We’ll go over the different types of substrates and their benefits, as well as some things to keep in mind when choosing a substrate for your aquarium.
Our Top 13 Best Substrate for Goldfish Review
1. Spectrastone Shallow Creek Regular
Spectrastone Shallow Creek Regular is a substrate for freshwater aquariums that is safe for use in freshwater aquariums. It is non-toxic and will not affect PH. It will not affect PH and is safe for freshwater aquariums.
It can also be mixed with other gravels as it is not enough for a 20-gallon tank. It is a natural substrate that will not clog the filter and is safe for use in freshwater aquariums.
- Non-Toxic coating
- Safe for use in freshwater aquariums
- It will not affect PH
- The color is very light
2. AquaNatural Diamond Black Premium Gravel
AquaNatural Diamond Black Premium Gravel is one of the prettiest and most expensive substrates on the market. The natural quartz has many facets that offer a cool and stunning contrast to aquarium plants and other decorations.
Quartz is also beneficial to the aquarium because it is a natural filter and offers a huge surface area to help promote good bacteria growth. Quartz is safe for aquarium use and won’t cause any problems with the pH levels in the water.
This substrate is perfect for aquatic plants that need a large substrate to grow in. This substrate is a great addition to any aquarium and is a must-have for a planted tank because of how well it contrasts. The gravel is recommended for 20-25 gallon long tanks, and it can be mixed with other gravel.
- Very striking substrate
- It is a sparkling substrate that reflects light well.
- It is natural quartz gravel that is safe for aquariums.
3. WAYBER Decorative Crystal Pebbles
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and there’s no exception when it comes to the fish tank. They sparkle with the same brilliance as the water in your fish tank and make an excellent addition to any aquatic decor. The WAYBER Decorative Crystal Pebbles make a beautiful and unique addition to a fish tank.
These pebbles are made from naturally occurring raw crystal stones and are processed into irregular shapes that are non-toxic and safe, just like river gravels. The pebbles come in a variety of colors and are perfect for handcraft projects, floral arrangements, weddings, and parties. These pebbles will last indefinitely and make a great gift for yourself or a friend.
- Excellent for fish and succulent plants.
- Natural color won’t fade away through time.
- Provides vitality to your plants.
- More expensive than gravel.
- Some pieces have sharp edges.
4. WAYBER Natural Purple Amethyst Quartz Crystal Stones
The WAYBER Natural Purple Amethyst Quartz Crystal Stones are a great choice for an aquarium. This substrate is a natural stone, which means it will not fade in color over time. The natural color of the stones makes it easy to match with the rest of your aquarium. These stones are a perfect decorative helper and can be used for plants, fish, and even floral arrangements.
This substrate consists of natural quartz crystals that have been beaten into gravel and processed into an irregular shape. The result is gravel that has a natural sparkle and can add a touch of elegance to any aquarium.
The Natural Purple Amethyst Quartz Crystal Stones are non-toxic and safe for use in both fresh and saltwater aquariums. In addition, the gravel can help to maintain water quality by reducing the amount of splashing when watering plants.
- Beautiful and natural way to add color and interest to your aquarium.
- Safe for use with fish and plants
- Keep your water clean and sparkling.
- The stones are not as brightly colored as they appear in the photographs.
- The stones are also quite small
5. SACKORANGE Natural Decorative Polished White Pebbles
If you’re looking for an elegant and beautiful way to add drainage and soil cover to your potted plants or terrarium, the SACKORANGE Natural Decorative Polished White Pebbles are a great option. These pebbles are naturally highly polished, giving them a lovely shine, and they come in a 3/8″ average size that is perfect for small tanks.
Not only are the SACKORANGE Natural Decorative Polished White Pebbles pretty to look at, but they’re also safe and easy to use. With no sharp edges, these pebbles are easy on both your fish and your plants. And because they’re polished, they won’t scratch or damage your aquarium glass.
- Elegant and beautiful decoration
- Safe for fish
- Not as white as they appear in the product photos.
6. Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel
Aquarium substrates are an important part of the overall health of your tank. They not only provide a place for beneficial bacteria to colonize but also play a role in water quality and plant growth.
Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel is a specially fracted stable porous clay gravel that is perfect for naturally planted aquariums. Its appearance is best suited to planted aquaria, but it can be used in any freshwater aquarium environment.
One of the best things about Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel is that it does not need to be mixed with other gravels or substrates. It can be used alone as an integral substrate bed. This makes it much easier to set up your aquarium and maintain your gravel bed.
Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel is also safe for use with an under gravel filter. It will not decompose or soften over time, making it a great choice for long-term use.
- Aesthetically pleasing appearance
- Does not alter the pH of the water
- Beneficial for the life of the aquarium
- It can be mixed with other gravel
- It May be difficult to maintain
7. Galashield River Rocks Polished Pebbles Decorative Stones
If you’re looking for a beautiful and natural substrate for your aquarium, the Galashield River Rocks Polished Pebbles Decorative Stones are a great option. These stones are polished and smooth, with no rough edges, and come in a variety of shapes and colors. They’re also easy to clean – simply rinse them in hot water before adding them to your tank.
The Galashield River Rocks Polished Pebbles Decorative Stones are a great way to add both visual interest and functionality to your aquarium. These stones can be used to create a natural-looking landscape or can be used as a substrate for plants. They are also a great way to fill empty space in your aquarium and can be used to create caves or hiding spots for your fish.
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Smooth finish with no rough edges
- Easy to clean
- Not as shiny as they are advertised to be
8. Aqueon Plant and Shrimp Aquarium Substrate
Aqueon Plant and Shrimp Aquarium Substrate is an excellent choice for freshwater aquariums. It is made with a clay-based material, which gives it a unique spherical shape that maintains its form over time and doesn’t break down into compressed soil. This shape allows for newly budding and mature plants’ root systems to grow and flourish. A substrate is also an excellent option for shrimp, snails, and tropical fish.
One of the great things about this substrate is that it doesn’t cloud up the water when it’s rinsed. This is due to the clay-based material, which doesn’t break down and release particles into the water as other substrates can. The substrate is also a great choice for aquascaping freshwater aquariums.
If you’re looking for a substrate that will provide a great environment for your plants, shrimp, and fish, then the Aqueon Plant and Shrimp Aquarium Substrate is a great choice.
- Available in a 5-pound bag
- A great option for a variety of freshwater plants, shrimp, snails, and tropical fish
- Made with a clay-based material
9. Carib Sea Super Natural Moonlight Sand for Aquarium
If you’re looking for an authentic and natural-looking aquarium, the Carib Sea Super Natural Moonlight Sand is a great choice. This substrate is specially selected and crafted to match exotic environments, and it’s perfect for replicating the look of a dark and brooding jungle or a sunlit Sri Lankan gravel stream.
The sand is very fine-grained and soft, so it won’t cause any blockage or danger if swallowed by your fish. Plus, it’s a great value when you buy the two-bag offer totaling 10 pounds.
- Fine grain sand
- Sand is very soft and fine, making it safe for fish
- Comes in a two-bag pack for a total of 10 pounds
- Sand is too fine and dust-like
10. Landen Namale Aquarium Sand
This sand is perfect for use as a general aquarium fish tank sand or for aquatic plant landscaping, and it comes in a variety of colors to suit your needs. Landen Namale Aquarium Sand is also suitable for amphibians, reptiles, and other aquatic pets, making it a safe and healthy option for your fish and plants.
The sand has a beach-like texture and appearance. If you’re looking for a natural substrate that can help purify your aquarium water and provide a fun environment for your fish to play in, Landen Namale Aquarium Sand is a great option to consider.
- All-natural product
- It can be used for different aquariums
- Gentle and natural color
- Strong adsorption performance
- Purifies water quality
- Suitable for amphibians and reptiles
- It May require more than one rinse before use
11. Pisces Gunsmoke Aquarium Gravel Substrate
If you’re looking for a natural gravel substrate for your aquarium that gives it a realistic, alpine feel, the Pisces Gunsmoke Aquarium Gravel Substrate is a great option. This gravel is sourced from the Central Otago region of New Zealand and is mostly grey schist with streaks of white interspersed with flecks of silver. It’s shaped by ancient glacial flows and the Swift rivers of Central Otago and is triple-washed for purity.
Many aquarium enthusiasts love the Pisces Gunsmoke Aquarium Gravel Substrate for its natural look, and cichlids in particular seem to enjoy digging around in it. If you’re considering this substrate for your aquarium, be aware that it may not match perfectly with other Pisces gravel varieties if you’re trying to create a uniform look.
- Realistic look
- Pure and natural
- Ideal for aquariums wanting a natural Southern alpine feel
- It May does not match other gravel varieties
12. AquaNatural Gold Pearl Gravel Substrate
The Gold Pearl gravel from AquaNatural is a perfect way to add a touch of tropical beauty to your aquarium. Sourced from New Zealand’s East Coast beaches, this smooth gravel is a brilliant gold color with black, grey, brown, green, and white pebbles sprinkled throughout. The naturally round and oval shapes of the gravel create a lovely sandy shore effect in your aquarium, and the brilliant gold color is sure to catch the eye.
If you’re looking for a substrate that will add both beauty and function to your aquarium, the Gold Pearl gravel from AquaNatural is a great choice. The smooth texture of the gravel is perfect for promoting plant growth, and the brilliant gold color will add a touch of pizzazz to your aquarium décor.
- Natural substrate
- The pebbles are perfectly round or oval in shape, and the colors are brilliant.
- The gravel is easy to rinse off before adding it to your aquarium.
- More expensive
13. FairmountSantrol AquaQuartz
If you are looking for an ecologically safe and easy-to-maintain rock for your freshwater aquarium, look no further than FairmountSantrol AquaQuartz. This sand does not solidify and will help prevent clogging and channeling.
Additionally, it filters out insects, leaves, oils, dirt, dust, hair, and algae from pool water. AquaQuartz sand is also great for turtles as it is easy for them to move around in and does not cloud up their tank.
- Ecologically safe
- Will not solidify or clog
- Filters out insects, leaves, oils, dirt, dust, hair, and algae
- Does not stain
- Easy to maintain
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right Substrate for Your Goldfish Tank
Goldfish are a popular pet, and for a good reason—they’re beautiful, relatively low-maintenance, and can live for a long time. But if you’re new to goldfish keeping, you might be wondering what the best substrate for the aquarium (or bottom layer).
There are a few things to consider when choosing a substrate for your goldfish tank.
- Type of goldfish you have or plan to get. Some goldfish, like fancy goldfish, have longer fins that can be easily damaged by sharp or abrasive substrates. In this case, you’ll want to choose a smooth substrate, like gravel or sand.
- View of a substrate. Some people prefer the clean look of a bare bottom tank, while others like the added color and interest that substrates can provide. There are pros and cons to both choices, but ultimately it’s up to you.
- Type of filtration system you’re using. Some substrates, like gravel, can be difficult to clean and can trap debris, which can lead to problems with your filtration system. If you’re using a canister filter, for example, you might want to choose a different substrate, like sand.
Here are a few of the most popular substrates for goldfish tanks:
- Gravel. Gravel is a popular choice for goldfish tanks because it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to find. It comes in a variety of colors, so you can create a unique look for your tank. Gravel is also easy to vacuum, which can help keep your tank clean. The downside to gravel is that it can be difficult to clean, and it can trap debris, which can lead to problems with your filtration system.
- Sand. Sand is another popular choice for goldfish tanks. It’s soft and smooth, so it’s gentle on goldfish fins. Sand is easy to vacuum and generally easy to keep clean. The downside to sand is that it can be difficult to find in a variety of colors, and it can be more expensive than gravel.
- Bare bottom. A bare bottom tank is exactly what it sounds like—a tank with no substrate. This is a popular choice for goldfish tanks because it’s easy to clean and it gives the tank a clean, minimalist look. The downside to a bare bottom tank is that it can be boring, and it can be difficult to keep plants rooted in the substrate.
Whatever substrate you choose, be sure to do your research and ask your veterinarian or a goldfish expert for advice. With a little planning, you can create a beautiful and healthy environment for your goldfish to thrive.
Benefits of Substrate Goldfish Tank
The substrate goldfish tank is a popular choice for many aquarium enthusiasts because it provides a naturalistic look and feel to the aquarium. In addition, the substrate can provide a number of benefits to the goldfish that live in it.
One of the benefits of a substrate goldfish tank is that it can help to keep the water clean. The substrate material will trap debris and waste, which can then be removed when you do your weekly water changes. This can help to keep the water quality high and reduce the amount of work you need to do to maintain the aquarium.
Another benefit of a substrate goldfish tank is that it can provide a place for beneficial bacteria to live. These bacteria help to break down waste products in the water, which can further improve water quality. The bacteria can also help to provide a source of food for the goldfish.
Finally, a substrate goldfish tank can provide a place for the goldfish to hide and feel secure. The gravel or sand can provide a place for the fish to burrow and feel safe from predators. This can help to reduce stress and make the goldfish feel more comfortable in their environment.
Overall, a substrate goldfish tank can provide a number of benefits to both the goldfish and the aquarium owner. It is a popular choice for many aquarium enthusiasts because it provides a naturalistic look and feels to the aquarium while also offering a number of practical benefits.
FAQs on Best Substrate for Goldfish Tank
What Type of Substrate is Best for Goldfish?
Gravel is one of the most popular substrates for goldfish tanks. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes, so you can find the perfect look for your tank. Gravel also provides a natural place for goldfish to hide and burrow, which can help reduce stress levels.
Is Sand or Gravel Better for Goldfish?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors, such as the type of goldfish, the size of the aquarium, and the preferences of the individual fish.
Some goldfish owners prefer sand because it is easier to clean and maintain than gravel, while others find that gravel is better for goldfish because it provides more surface area for beneficial bacteria to grow. Ultimately, it is up to the goldfish owner to decide which type of substrate is best for their fish.
Do Goldfish Like Bare Bottom Tanks?
Some goldfish keepers find that their fish do best in bare-bottom tanks. These tanks are easier to clean and maintain, and they allow goldfish to have more swimming space. Goldfish are often less active in tanks with substrates, as they tend to spend a lot of time sifting through the gravel. This can be stressful for goldfish and can lead to health problems.
Is Pea Gravel Safe for Goldfish?
Pea gravel is small, rounded gravel that is usually used in the bottom of aquariums. It can be very pretty, and it’s often used because it’s thought to be safe for goldfish.
However, there are a few things to consider before using pea gravel in your goldfish tank. The gravel scratches your goldfish, which can lead to infection. It can also clog filters and other equipment. For these reasons, it’s generally not recommended to use pea gravel in a goldfish tank.
Do goldfish eat sand?
Some people believe that goldfish eat sand because they have seen them eating things like gravel or small rocks. However, goldfish do not actually eat sand.
There is no definitive answer when it comes to the best substrate for goldfish tanks. Some goldfish keepers prefer to use gravel, while others prefer sand. Ultimately, it is up to the individual goldfish keeper to decide what substrate they prefer for their tank.
Substrate for goldfish tanks it is inert, affordable, and easy to clean. It also provides a natural look for your tank. What is your favorite substrate for goldfish tanks? Let us know in the comments!