The Best Aquarium Gravels (2020 Reviews)

Skylar Dial
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Small aquarium gravels are very important for the overall look and feel of well kept aquariums. Beautiful aquarium gravels enhance the fish or other inhabitants of your aquarium. Without correct selection of carefully selected gravels it will really spoil entire look of your aquarium. Small aquarium gravels are like the foundation of your aquarium, they provide structure and protection for your fish.

Aquarium gravel is formed of very small rocks. It is used to cover the floor of the aquarium and to add detail to the fish tank. Aquarium gravel does not play a huge part of filtration but it does aid in providing stability and protection for the fish tank.

Anyway, let’s take a closer look at some of the best aquarium gravels.

NameCategoryProduct
Imagitarium Blue Jean Aquarium GravelBest OverallImagitarium Blue Jean Aquarium Gravel
Imagitarium Neon Confetti Mix Aquarium GravelBudget PickImagitarium Neon Confetti Mix Aquarium Gravel
Black Pebbles Aquarium Gravel River RockUpgrade Pick Black Pebbles Aquarium Gravel River Rock

1. Imagitarium Blue Jean Aquarium Gravel

Our rating: 9 / 10

Imagitarium Blue Jean Aquarium Gravel

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Pros:

  • Bottom of the tank is flat so you can see it from all angles
  • Earthy colors blend in nicely with the decor
  • Perfect size to complement most fish tanks
  • Environment friendly – man-made and not mined
  • Excellent for non-specialized fish tanks
  • Visually soothing

Cons:

  • May need rinsed if they’re not thoroughly cleaned prior to use
  • May have to be mixed with other types of gravels as they’re large
  • Not really suitable for fish tanks with plants as they may root in them
  • A bit pricey but can last up to 3-4 years

The dye and color of the Imagitarium Blue Jean Aquarium Gravel will never fade away, so you can be sure that it will complement your fish tank well for years to come.

Create a natural effect with this ‘natural’ gravel. It’s smooth and uniform for a natural look.

2. Spectrastone Shallow Creek Regular

Our rating: 9 / 10

Spectrastone Shallow Creek Regular

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Pros:

  • Good price
  • Doesn’t dissolve too quickly; can be re-used many times
  • Does not contain nickel
  • For freshwater fish only
  • Lays flat, no collapsing or clumps when water is added
  • Proper size
  • Weakens the harmful effects of Nitrites and Nitrates

Cons:

  • Doesn’t hold color very well; not recommended for planted tanks or tanks with live bearers
  • Too small for most of the fish
  • The color may fade; poor chroma; not for planted aquariums
  • Not ideal for fish eggs to develop
  • Not ideal for species that hide on substrate

If you’re looking for a great sandy substrate for your aquarium, the Spectrastone Shallow Creek Regular is the one for you. It’s manufactured by the great brand with the same name.

It comes with 5 pounds of sand and measures 6.2 inches wide and 19 inches long.

3. CNZ Aquarium Gravel Black & Flourescent Mix

Our rating: 9 / 10

CNZ Aquarium Gravel Black & Flourescent Mix

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4. Spectrastone Special White Aquarium Gravel

Our rating: 9 / 10

Spectrastone Special White Aquarium Gravel

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Pros:

  • Non-toxic white color – better camouflage for non-aquatic living creatures
  • Helps increase water flow
  • Lightweight and easy to clean
  • Comes with a bag
  • Great for a variety of freshwater and community tanks
  • Available in larger bags

This gravel is made with a high-quality and premium polymer resin which makes the gravel more denser and stronger than regular gravel. It’s also very light.

This gravel is completely non-toxic and is ideal for a variety of tanks ranging from community tanks to freshwater tanks. It’s also great for live plants to help provide nutrients.

In our opinion, what really sets this gravel apart from others is the price. We found that a 25 lb bag was priced lower than most, which is why it’s our top pick for Aquarium Gravels.

5. Imagitarium Neon Confetti Mix Aquarium Gravel

Our rating: 9 / 10

Imagitarium Neon Confetti Mix Aquarium Gravel

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Looking for the best aquarium gravel? Look no further! The Imagitarium Aquarium Gravel takes the cake in terms of volume and value. It’s available in a variety of sizes, from pebbles to marbles and the size is sure to suit your tank and aesthetic needs. With a variety of sizes, you can choose what’s perfect for your tank. This tank is suitable for freshwater tropical fish. The aquarium gravel also comes in a variety of colors.

Users have claimed that this product is really worth the price. Many of them have commented on its high-quality and how accurately it’s packaged. The gravel has a smooth texture and is very easy to clean.

Most customers have been quite satisfied with the size and packaging of the gravel.

6. BXI – Decorative Stones

Our rating: 9 / 10

BXI - Decorative Stones

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Many people often wonder: what is the best aquarium gravel?

There are many types of gravel used in aquariums that people use to add realism to their tank. But these aquarium gravels are not at all natural looking and they can look very unnatural. They are usually in gray, white, blue, black and orange.

Some include live plants which are just like plants in a backyard garden; but it is not recommended to put these plants inside water. They are usually just good for decoration. Having plants in aquariums are not recommended especially when it comes to caring for it.

7. GloFish Aquarium Gravel

Our rating: 9 / 10

GloFish Aquarium Gravel

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If you’re really looking to make sure that your fish stand out in your aquarium, then the GloFish aquarium gravels will do the trick. These gravels are different from other gravels because the colors glow; around they luminesce, even under natural light.

What’s also great about the GloFish aquarium gravels is that they’re available in four discreet colors, so they’re suitable for any aquatic environment. They’re also easy to handle, as they’re relatively lightweight – each bag weighs 5 pounds.

Again, this is our top pick when it comes to choosing the best aquarium gravels. However, most would agree that it’s quite expensive, considering that A) it’s gravel, and B) you’re only getting four colors.

8. JZMYXA 2 Pounds Landscape Glass Pebble Gravel Sand Fit

Our rating: 8 / 10

JZMYXA 2 Pounds Landscape Glass Pebble Gravel Sand Fit

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Pros:

  • Waterproof, UV resistant and fire retardant prevent the tank from being cracked
  • Vibrant color and large quantity of gravels make it a pleasing landscape for your tank
  • Best use for 3-30 gallon aquarium
  • Substrate for Amazon jungle, perfect for aquascaping in your aquarium
  • Easy to clean, frost-free, and heat resistance
  • Rustproof; it can withstand high pressure
  • Can be used for land scape, decorative floors and aquariums decorative gravel
  • Affordable, 3-4 times cheaper than aquarium retail stores
  • Lightest and most economical, saving shipping costs
  • Prevent and cure diseases effectively in the aquascape

Cons:

  • May not ideal for low-light plants as the color might fade
  • May be uncomfortable to pet fish
  • May have sharp edges, be careful for your hand and fish
  • Slightly smaller and more blueish

(Blue Color)

9. GloFish Aquarium Gravel

Our rating: 8 / 10

GloFish Aquarium Gravel

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If you’re really looking to make sure that your fish stand out in your aquarium, then the GloFish aquarium gravels will do the trick. These gravels are different from other gravels because the colors glow; around they luminesce, even under natural light.

What’s also great about the GloFish aquarium gravels is that they’re available in four discreet colors, so they’re suitable for any aquatic environment. They’re also easy to handle, as they’re relatively lightweight – each bag weighs 5 pounds.

Again, this is our top pick when it comes to choosing the best aquarium gravels. However, most would agree that it’s quite expensive, considering that A) it’s gravel, and B) you’re only getting four colors.

10. 1/4" Granite Mini Pea Gravel

Our rating: 8 / 10

1/4" Granite Mini Pea Gravel

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Pros:

  • Lots of great reviews
  • Adequate size for a DIY project

11. POPETPOP Aquarium Gravel Polished Fish Tank Glass Rocks

Our rating: 8 / 10

POPETPOP Aquarium Gravel Polished Fish Tank Glass Rocks

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Pros:

  • Aesthetically pleasing design
  • Size is very large and perfect for a Betta
  • Comes in 4 different sizes, depending on the desired amount of aquarium gravel
  • Easy to clean
  • It’s extremely reasonably priced
  • Very lightweight
  • Great for use in terrariums
  • Can even be used to create a DIY vase
  • The glossy finish makes it quite decorative
  • The finish is lead-free

Cons:

  • It’s a little bit fragile
  • Fish can’t create burrows, but that’s not a big deal
  • It’s useless for aquatic animals other than fish
  • The color may fade over time with frequent water changes

This beauty product from Popetpop is 100% authentic and is “An ideal choice for use in showing fish, making decorative or amusement scenery for your office or home, playground, school, hospital, etc.”

The aquarium gravel is very reasonably priced and comes in 4 different sizes. Small (1.5 pounds), medium (3.5 pounds), large (7 pounds) and extra-large (15 pounds).

12. Hewnda Gorgeous Aquarium Decorated

Our rating: 8 / 10

Hewnda Gorgeous Aquarium Decorated

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Pros:

  • Ideal for freshwater, tropical, marine, and other types of fish tanks
  • Features a nice glass bead pattern
  • Comes with an occasional assortment of colors and natural creams
  • Can last for months without needing replacements

Aquarium Gravels, or gravel rocks are crucial part of all aquarium designs.

An aquarium should be built with the appropriate quantity of gravel rocks depending on the amount of living spaces you want to provide to your fish.

What makes aquarium decorations more effective and practical is the fact that they are made in attractive shapes.

13. Black Pebbles Aquarium Gravel River Rock

Our rating: 8 / 10

 Black Pebbles Aquarium Gravel River Rock

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Rock shape, not pebbles
  • Available at different sizes (for larger tanks)
  • Quality design and color; the rocks won’t wash out
  • Fragile; rocks will break if you drop or mishandle it

Cons:

  • Too small for large fish tanks
  • Doesn’t float

Gravels are used for many things, but the main purpose is to serve as the ground of your tank, when you plant your plants, and also as decoration too. Most gravels are made of granite, marble, sandstone, limestone, quartzite, limestone, red clay, and pumice.

The Ronseal is a great choice for those who like the color and design, otherwise we suggest looking for a different brand. The rocks are shiny and the colors are beautiful, however, they’re not as big as we expected. And yes, it does break if you drop it on a hard surface, so you’ll have to be careful.

We found that this product is ideal for those looking for small decorative pebbles, but not for large tanks. In small tanks of 10 gallons, the rocks will look just fine, but for anything above, you’ll need a larger size of black pebbles than this ones.

14. Spectrastone Permaglo Rainbow Aquarium Gravel

Our rating: 8 / 10

Spectrastone Permaglo Rainbow Aquarium Gravel

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This aquarium gravel is a great option for aquarium owners looking for bright colors and more decorative pebbles.

This blend includes pink, green, purple, glass, and white gravel.

It’s safe for salt and freshwater tanks, as well as plants and shellfish.

15. Decorative Stones

Our rating: 8 / 10

Decorative Stones

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Pros:

  • Compatible with all planted aquariums, including aquariums containing Betta fish
  • Provides numerous hiding places for your fish to get away from bigger fish or aggressive tank mates
  • Good at spreading light throughout your aquarium
  • Safe and effective in ensuring that your fish tank does not become an ecosystem for multiple microorganisms and parasites
  • Made from non-toxic materials
  • May come in three different colors: Beige, Burgundy, and Blue
  • Can cover a surface of up to about 9 square inches
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • Dirt and debris tend to easily get trapped between the stones/pebbles that may make it hard for you to clean it
  • Needs to be cleaned regularly because it is prone to getting very dirty
  • May be almost impossible to move as it has a very abrasive texture
  • May be too small in size for your fish tank

Are you looking for a good and cheap alternative to existing gravel in your fish tank? Then the decorative stones from Globe-Its should be right for you.

This is particularly true if you are trying to create a more natural setting for your fish tank.

One of the biggest advantages of using this type of product is its ability to improve the appearance and the aesthetics of your fish tank.

16. WAYBER 1 Lb/460g Irregular Decorative Pebbles Crystal Quartz Stones Rock Sand

Our rating: 8 / 10

WAYBER 1 Lb/460g Irregular Decorative Pebbles Crystal Quartz Stones Rock Sand

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Pros:

  • The stones are irregular in shape
  • Comes in a container with a lid to keep out harmful particles or bugs
  • The nano pebbles can easily be rinsed off and used in fish tanks
  • Quartz is an excellent heat conductor
  • The pebbles are cosmetic grade, so they are safe for any type of fish
  • It’s a great value for the price
  • Provides aesthetic appeal
  • Works well as a substrate for medium light plants
  • They’re lightweight so a leaf can be easily supported on them
  • The particles are uniform in size, so there’s no worry about smaller particles breaking away during shipping

Cons:

  • The color of the pebbles isn’t very consistent
  • The surface of the pebbles is a bit sandy, but can be brushed off
  • The volume of the bag isn’t very big, but it’s still enough to fill a standard tank
  • If a fish happens to eat a stone, it might block its digestive track
  • The stones dissolve over time when they come in contact with the fish tank water

(Set of 2)

17. BXI – Decorative Stones

Our rating: 8 / 10

BXI - Decorative Stones

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Many people often wonder: what is the best aquarium gravel?

There are many types of gravel used in aquariums that people use to add realism to their tank. But these aquarium gravels are not at all natural looking and they can look very unnatural. They are usually in gray, white, blue, black and orange.

Some include live plants which are just like plants in a backyard garden; but it is not recommended to put these plants inside water. They are usually just good for decoration. Having plants in aquariums are not recommended especially when it comes to caring for it.

18. JZMYXA Aquarium Decorative Sands White Gravel Pebbles Fit

Our rating: 8 / 10

JZMYXA Aquarium Decorative Sands White Gravel Pebbles Fit

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Pros:

  • Small size for versatility
  • Good for beginners
  • Comes in various colors
  • Very affordable
  • Good quality for the price

Cons:

  • The smaller rocks are tightly compacted
  • They’re smaller so you may need more if your aquarium is big

For beginners and smaller tanks, this option from JZMYXA would make a convenient option. This is a pretty basic product as it comes in a sealed bag, it doesn’t come in a variety of colors but is white.

With that said, the rocks are porous, making it ideal for shrimp, snails, microorganisms, and microfauna to live on and feed on. The porous texture also helps plants to grow in your aquarium.

The bag will come in a variety of weights depending on the size you pick, with 1kg being the lightest, weighing 0.45 pounds.

19. Pure Water Pebbles Nature's Ocean Aquarium Gravel Blue Lagoon Gravel 5-lb

Our rating: 8 / 10

Pure Water Pebbles Nature's Ocean Aquarium Gravel Blue Lagoon Gravel 5-lb

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Pros:

  • Cheap
  • The blue hue of the gravel provides a great contrast
  • Very natural design which will look good in any aquarium
  • Comes in three sizes: 10, 20, and 30 pounds
  • Won’t cloud your water
  • Ideal for saltwater and freshwater aquariums

Cons:

  • Some users reported that the pebbles broke too easily
  • Doesn’t look as natural as some other aquarium gravel

If you’re looking to create a natural and aesthetically pleasing aquarium, then this blue gravel from Pure Water should be your first choice. The blue color creates a nice contrast with the clear water, and it’s easy to clean.

At 30 pounds, the 10-pound pack has 40 cups worth of pebbles. The 20-pound pack has 80 cups worth of pebbles, and the 30-pound pack has 120 cups worth of pebbles.

This aquarium gravel is made from crushed shells which are infused with limestone. The material is very durable and would last for years.

20. WAYBER Glass Stones

Our rating: 8 / 10

WAYBER Glass Stones

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If you’re interested in sea aquariums but can’t figure out how to bring the ocean right into your own home, then this product is for you. Its intended use is as a decorative accent, or as a colorful display. The irregular shape makes them a great choice for anyone looking for a simple yet bold addition to the decor.

Each piece is created by frosting the quartz glass…this –frosting’ process is called –Glaze”, which makes it look more like the real thing.

21. Natural Mix Color Undrilled Fluorite Polished Gravel Stone Irregular Shaped Rocks

Our rating: 7 / 10

Natural Mix Color Undrilled Fluorite Polished Gravel Stone Irregular Shaped Rocks

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Pros:

  • Substrate acts as an additional hiding area for fish
  • Allows fish to nibble on rocks
  • Water movement is safe as long as there are no sharp edges
  • Easy to clean; even if you have a full tank
  • Doesn’t affect the pH of your water
  • Adds more life to your aquarium

Cons:

  • Some fish may try to eat the substrate
  • Some aquariums may not be able to hold this much substrate
  • May be difficult to clean for some aquariums
  • Large pieces of rocks may damage aquarium plants

Aquarium rocks are essential for aquariums that are partially-covered or fully-covered. They can provide a natural habitat for your fish, something to nibble on, something to scatter, or something to hide in.

There are two types of rocks available for aquariums: natural and artificial. As you can probably deduct, the natural rocks are rocks from nature, while the artificial ones were manufactured. Natural rocks are generally porous, and may come with beneficial organisms. Artificial rocks are entirely non-porous, and can come with or without an attractive surface finish.

The rocks we recommend are the economical Fluorite Rocks from TokoAquatrade. This is a diverse selection of rocks that can suit any aquarium. They range in size from 1cm to 30cm.

22. FloweRock 4LB Black Lava Rock

Our rating: 7 / 10

FloweRock 4LB Black Lava Rock

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Pros:

  • Set comes in different sizes
  • Nice texture and color
  • Budget-friendly
  • The rocks are easy to clean with a brush or power washer
  • Very lightweight

Cons:

  • Not suitable for substrate for live plants
  • The rocks could make a harmful impact if used in a fish tank
  • May be toxic

Our top choice is the FloweRock 4LB black lava rock. This small black gravel featuring pebbles are abundant in beauty.

These little black lava rocks have a light, porous texture which transcends a clean and sharp look. The set comes in different increments of depth so you can choose from 3/8 inches to 3/4 inches. The rocks have a crunchy, black texture that makes them a great choice for your aquarium.

Because of their stunning texture, these black lava rocks are a favorite material for decorating and landscaping. If you want to use them outdoors, you could include them in a waterfall or water garden project.

23. Worldwide Imports AWW30085 Natural Gravel

Our rating: 6 / 10

Worldwide Imports AWW30085 Natural Gravel

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Pros:

  • Available in various colors
  • Responsibly sourced
  • Affordable
  • Won’t dissolve in water, making it a safe choice for pet fish or plants
  • Covers a large area while allowing water to flow easily
  • Ideal for betta fish and other freshwater pets
  • Cuts down on maintenance time, you won’t have to change water often

Cons:

  • If not noted, you may not receive color variation
  • The size can be inconsistent, receiving gravel in slivers
  • Some pieces can be large for small fish to swallow

The rainbow jem brand of gravel offers a beautiful selection of colors and sizes that may be just what you’re looking for.

Rainbow jem gravels are available in 5, 10, and 20 pounds bags. They’re available in four sizes to assist with aquariums of almost any size.

The gravel is sold by color and weight which can get confusing. So it’s good that they have volume listed on their listings. Often times, you can choose between their rough or smooth textures.

24. TR318 Pebble Gravel

Our rating: 6 / 10

TR318 Pebble Gravel

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Pros:

  • You have the option of choosing between 11 different colors
  • Price is very affordable
  • Top quality and durable, will last years.
  • Can be use as aquarium weights or as a stone in landscaping
  • Very lightweight – easy to carry— each bag weights 0.14 lb
  • Size of them is not uniform, so you can have an irregular type of substrate.
  • Perfect for fish tanks – they won’t be sold by the pound

Cons:

  • Does not stick together
  • Not ideal for aquatic turtles; may get ingested

This aquarium gravel rocks brand is a few cents cheaper than the previous product and comes in a 21-piece pack giving you more flexibility on your choice of color.

It’s designed for freshwater tanks and is sold by the pound rather than the bag. These decor stones are actually non-toxic and promote healthy-water conditions for your aquatic pets.

They’re very easy to use; all you need to do is rinse them off after unboxing and add them to your tank. That is if you don’t want to save them for another use after.

25. Marina Decorative Gravel

Our rating: 6 / 10

Marina Decorative Gravel

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Pros:

  • Has a variety of colors
  • Can be used as a bottom substrate or as a decorative pebbles
  • Decorative and long lasting
  • Dense, heavy – will not spill or need replacement
  • Comes pre-washed and DE-chlorinated
  • Includes beneficial bacteria to protect aquarium from harmful pathogens
  • Does not effect pH balance

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Does not come in big bags

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best aquarium gravel?

Best aquarium gravels are those that are bio-active and allows for a planted aquarium. Some filter life grows in aquatic gravels that make the aquarium a pleasant place for fish to live. They are typically full of nutrients that filter life need to flourish and live out a full life.

Aquatic gravels have the most beneficial micro-life when compared with other pet store aquarium supplies. Aquascaping without pet store aquatic gravels is possible. However, these gravels provide a place for helpful life to grow, which can improve the overall health of the tank and the fish that live in it.

Which aquarium brand is the best?

If you want the best possible aquascaping results, you’ll want to get a substrate which is ultra smooth. This will simplify the overall look of your aquarium and make the entire aquascape really pop. While S.A.F.E.S. is a good substrate, Seachem Fluorite is even better for overall aquascaping.

You should never compromise quality when it comes to substrate, so if you have the budget, go with Fluorite.

Is Gravel good for aquarium?

Yes, physical and biological filtration depends on the amount of gravel in the tank, so it is very important to use it on the bottom of your aquarium. Moreover, gravel is a very important decoration element in the tank.

Aquarium gravel also makes the inside of the tank more comfortable for fish. Using gravel as an aquarium decoration makes it easier to visually follow the fish in the water. Also, for some fish (such as catfish and some varieties of carp), a large amount of gravel makes it easier to find them when they go to hide.

Gravel also helps in cleaning the bottom of the tank accumulating waste between them and preventing it from being diffused into the water.

Additional useful features of gravel in the aquarium include:

  • It helps maintain stability of the aquarium on the floor
  • It can absorb excess nutrients from the water
  • It can be useful in preventing the soil from penetrating the soil

Conclusion

Whether you want small fish or huge fish you must know how to select the best aquarium gravel for your fish. You need to consider a lot of aspects like the color, the texture, the shape and the size of the gravel. If the gravel is too large it will harm your fish and if it is too small the fish may swallow it. If you select the right type of gravel your fish will be healthy and happy.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Imagitarium Blue Jean Aquarium GravelBest OverallImagitarium Blue Jean Aquarium Gravel
Imagitarium Neon Confetti Mix Aquarium GravelBudget PickImagitarium Neon Confetti Mix Aquarium Gravel
Black Pebbles Aquarium Gravel River RockUpgrade Pick Black Pebbles Aquarium Gravel River Rock