5 Difference Between Bare Bottom and Gravel Tank?

Difference Between Bare Bottom And Gravel Tank?

Bare Bottom Or Gravel Tank

Removing all uneaten guppy food from the tank is essential when it comes to healthy water conditions,

Those are consistent but one of the biggest things I have been wondering lately about my own setups is; what is the difference between bare bottoms and gravel in fish tanks?

Well, after doing some research online it seems to be a very clear-cut divide among the two.

Bare Bottom Vs Gravel Tank

The first thing to think of is the difference in appearance which is what people mainly go for,

For instance, if the fish tank is for a room on display then the majority will go for substrates like gravel or sand.

If the tank is meant for the basement away from the public eye then it’s the fish keeper’s personal preference.

Benefits of Using Gravel in Fish Tanks

Well first off it’s a great breeding ground for all the friendly bacteria to grow in another than the filter itself,

Gravel is also a great substrate to use for growing all your live plants within the Aquarium.

That said, it’s pleasing to the eye and can be landscaped in some very beautiful designs.

Are there any Downsides to Gravel?

Well yes, there are a few cons of gravel, for instance, gravel harbors a lot of dirt like fish waste and uneaten foods,

This unattended waste can be potentially very dangerous to the quality of the water!

Another thing that I didn’t know about until I started looking into all this and that was;

The gravel over time will start degrading and leaching thereby increasing the hardness of the water.

Bare Bottom Fish Tanks and Their Benefits

The first upside present is you can clearly see any fish food waste,

It is in plain view on the bottom of the tank and can easily be siphoned out effortlessly.

Without the gravel bottom, the fish have an extra 1-2 inches of swimming space which is an upside.

Also when you think about it if you’re using your fish tank for fry like I am with babies guppies,

you will be able to keep count of them a lot easier and quickly spot and deaths.

I think overall as long as you take care of your water quality and have a good filter,

It does matter too much what you have and it just comes down to personal preference.

I think it’s worth trying out will be bare bottom tanks with a small amount of gravel in,

A plastic tub with plants in it in one corner and the rest just bare to help me with my guppy fry, if I notice anything significant from using bare bottoms then I will update this article.

Do Guppies Need Glants and Gravel?

Lots of fish-like tanks that contain lots of gravel to poke around in and lots of plants to hide behind. But what about guppies? Do guppy fish like lots of plants and gravel? Or should you keep your tank relatively bare?

Do Guppies Prefer Sand or Gravel?

The answer to this question is (as long as your tank is big enough) it’s entirely up to you!

Guppies certainly don’t mind living in tanks that contain plants and gravel, but it isn’t strictly necessary either.

Do guppies like gravel? Do guppies like plants?

Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether to add plants or gravel to your guppy tank:

  1. Is your tank definitely big enough? If your tank is small then it’s best not to take up valuable water space with plants and gravel.
  2. How much time are you willing to spend cleaning your tank? Gravel is a lot more difficult to clean than a bare-bottom tank, as the waste gets trapped between the bits of gravel, which you have to then hoover up, or your tank water will become polluted.
  3. If you’re considering live plants then what types are suitable for your tank? Do you have enough space, nutrition, and light for them?
  4. What is most aesthetically pleasing? Do you prefer the look of a “busy” tank or a minimalist tank?

Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that guppies like to sleep near the bottom of the tank, resting on or very slightly above the surface.

A bare glass surface will be more comfortable for them to rest on than gravel!

Some Top Selling Guppy Fish Tanks


Finally, if you like the idea of adding plants and gravel to your tank,

but you’re concerned about the cleanliness and comfort of gravel, then it may be worth considering sand.

It looks good, it’s easier to clean and it’s more comfortable for your fish to rest against.

Do you have plants and gravel in your tank? Or have you gone for sand? Or is your tank bare-bottomed with a “minimalist” look?

Let us, and other Guppy Fish Care readers, know in the comments!

For Further Reading

We're an affiliate! When you purchase something through my affiliate links, I earn a small commission.Thankyou if you use them.

10 Best Types Of Loaches Fish For Y... x
10 Best Types Of Loaches Fish For Your Aquarium
Scroll to Top