View Full Version : Brightly colored gravel bad for fish??

10-08-2007, 5:18 PM
When I was first started getting into aquariums I was told to stick with dark colored gravel because bright colors shocked the fish?? I have a 20 gal and 10 gal I wopuld like to set up and would like to do different gravel schemes in each. So I was wondering if this was true.

10-08-2007, 5:24 PM
well it depends on the fish..some may not like the 'brightly' colored gravel..(discus for instance prefer a neutral to dark substrate and low light..but they can get use to it..

personally..I don't like the bright colored stuff.


10-08-2007, 5:31 PM
I have heard it isn't good for them, not only does it make them not as pretty but it actually hurts their eyes and makes breeding bad too due to the eye thing.

10-08-2007, 5:36 PM
I like to make my tanks as realistic as possible. Although I did have Pittsburgh Steelers colored gravel for a while! GO STEELERS!!!!!!!

10-08-2007, 6:09 PM
Ooops! I hadn't heard this! My son picked lime green, bright blue and purple, and hot pink mixed gravel for the main tank in his room!

10-08-2007, 6:25 PM
i have bright blue gravel in one tank (because my kids picked it) and neutral in another tank, i don't notice any difference in behavior of my fish.

10-08-2007, 7:00 PM
With my Yellow, Red, Blue that I had the Steelers emblem in may gravel didnt affect my fish. Atleast I dont think it did. it was all pretty bright.

10-08-2007, 8:17 PM
I doubt the colour of the gravel makes much difference to most fish, more shy fish may prefer dark gravel. Not sure lime green gravel is good for humans though!

10-08-2007, 9:06 PM
i read an article about coloured lighting affecting catfish stress and behavior blue was the worst , i wonder if the gravel has the same effect?

10-09-2007, 3:03 PM
I've got some dark blue mixed with white blue gravel in the bottom of our fish tank, but all we have is guppies tetras and mollies, is this bad for that kind of fish? :goldfish:

10-09-2007, 6:20 PM
Most fish would prefer a more natural looking tank. So thats why I have natural colored gravel.

10-09-2007, 6:40 PM
the study was only on catfish and different coloured lighting , green came out on top .

10-09-2007, 8:02 PM
the only fish i have ever seen a noticeable difference in were cichlids over white gravel/sand.. they tend to fade in color. This might be because they are more easily spotted by predators against a lighter substrate.

i've never noticed any other fish take notice.

10-10-2007, 9:00 AM
i don't think that fish care too much, most of the ones we keep in our tanks have never seen anything like a natural/wild environment. one thing i would worry about is using a cheap brand of painted gravel. i once used some crappy walmart brand blue/green gravel and once i rinsed it enough to get the dust off, the paint started to come off. even sitting in the tank with no disturbance it continued to flake off and clouded the water. using a naturally colored, undyeed/unpainted gravel is much safer in that aspect. not all artificial gravels will fall apart, some are very good, but it is a risk if you don't know what you are buying.

10-10-2007, 2:38 PM
the study was only on catfish and different coloured lighting , green came out on top .

Really, this is amazing! You said that blue is the worst? I will have to read up on this... very interesting.

10-10-2007, 7:23 PM
i am getting old and my memory isnt too good anymore so i actually got it the wrong way round , green was worst white was best blue was a close second . may copy of TFH magazine in catfish corner .

10-11-2007, 7:11 AM
I think we would all agree that any environment that can more closely match the place of origin for a fish would be less stressful than one that does not. This goes beyond colored gravel and includes lighting, disturbances, water quality, temperature and providing groups or a mate ... and something most people forget about - Seasons!

In the end, however, I am a firm believer that most fish can and will readily adapt, but there is a limit that a species can change. If a fish is prey in its native habitat and likes dark hiding places and fears fast movement; Well placing them in a tank that has HIGH gravel contrast (ie. bright gravel), no hiding places, a lot of light and a tank in hallway will severely stress this species and could easily lead to a shortened lifespan.