Should You Wash Aquarium Gravel?

Fish love it when they have a properly cleaned aquarium. To achieve a cleaner and healthier environment for them, you need to do it correctly, especially when cleaning the aquarium gravel.

Keeping the gravel clean is one of the most basic steps to remember to keep the water quality high because having dirty gravel can cause poisonous residue that could harm or kill the fish in no time.

Should you wash aquarium gravel? To avoid fish contamination, it’s required for you to clean the aquarium gravel. You have to remember not to use dye, not cleaning the gravels into sink drains, using a high-pressure hose, and ensuring that the water doesn’t cloud.

In this article, you will learn about cleaning the gravel. The importance of washing the aquarium gravel will also be discussed in this article.

How To Wash Aquarium Gravel

When cleaning the aquarium gravel, you have to do it outside your house as you prepare a bucket of water. Cleaning gravel is not bad when you do it into the sink, but the debris could permanently clog the sink.

You might need a plumber to fix your sink, which could only give you an additional headache. Here are among the tips on how to clean the gravel:

Do Not Use Dye

One of the most potential dangers of cleaning gravel is by dying. Although dye is bought at a very affordable price, yet it can cause tank discoloration that might lead to fish poisoning.

Having a colored tank is just a decoration purpose, but it can bring a long-term danger to fishes. To keep the aquarium gravel clean, keep it natural, and use water instead.

Use A High-Pressure Hose

A high-pressure hose is recommended to be used, even though a normal water pressure would also work. The main purpose of using a high-pressure hose is to clean the gravel thoroughly.

When the water becomes cloudy with the residue, spray the water onto the gravel again until it’s clean enough to be put back into the tank. Open another bag of gravel and repeat the same process.

Ensure That The Water doesn’t Cloud

One way to know that the aquarium gravel is already clean is when the water doesn’t cloud when you put the gravel into the water. If there’s still cloudiness, then it’s normal, and the dust can only settle at the bottom.

To avoid cloudiness, then use the bucket method in cleaning out the dust and debris. Prepare a large strainer with a hose to thoroughly clean the dust out of the gravel.

Importance Of Cleaning The Gravel

Properly cleaning your aquarium gravel is one of the best ways to keep the water quality high and avoid fish contamination.

Although most of the new gravel was pre-rinsed, there are still small residues that are not healthy when put into an aquatic environment. Here is some importance why you should clean the aquarium gravel:

A Cleaner Environment for the Fishes

Fishes enjoy a natural-like aquatic environment so that they won’t feel homesick to their natural habitat. If they do, they usually get tense all the time and eventually die.

Although colored gravels are pleasing to the eyes, it can be unnatural for the fish. Simultaneously, colored gravels might have dangerous chemical contents that could poison the fish in no time.  

It Helps To Avoid Contamination

As a fish owner, you wouldn’t let your fishes die because of contamination. It will assure your fish safety if the aquarium has no sign of potential contamination.

Once the new aquarium gravel has been set up, it would be nice to rinse the gravel thoroughly so that it won’t cause discoloration to the water.


Cleaning and washing aquatic gravel is a necessity because it can ensure the fishes’ health. You can also create a place where they can freely swim around, play hide and seek, and sleep.

For more information on how to clean the gravel, you can ask your local fish store or join in some online forums because some fish owners tips can be beneficial to you.