Skip to Content

What Color Gravel Is Best for Betta Fish – Tips to Bring out Your Aquarium’s Contrast!

What Color Gravel Is Best for Betta Fish – Tips to Bring out Your Aquarium’s Contrast!

Gravel or substrate, called by many, is an integral part of your fish tank. Many fishkeepers give little to no thinking of choosing a substrate for their aquarium. In addition to it, color does equally matter while selecting the substrate. Here we will be discussing what color gravel is best for betta fish and other essential things to know surrounding the substrate.

So, what color gravel is best for betta fish?

Choose a color that brings out the best contrast for your betta. If your betta is of darker color, use light-coloured substrates, making it stand out in the aquarium. Do this vice versa, and you won’t have to worry about camouflaging your betta in its surrounding.

Just know that your substrates’ color should complement your betta’s beautiful colors and not the other way around.

So, does it mean that the color of a betta fish matters while choosing the gravel?

Yes, the color of your betta does matter while choosing the gravel. Betta fish are both in uniform and mix of several colors. White, black, rainbow, translucent skin, blue, electric, etc. you name it so, as I have already mentioned that you need to choose your gravel color, which lets your betta stand out in the aquarium.

Remember that,

Dark-colored betta = Light substrate,


Light-colored fish = Darker Substrates.

Do bettas get afraid of colorful substrates?

No, your bettas won’t be afraid. Instead, they enjoy the color spectrum that you put for them in the aquarium. Bettas are diurnal; i.e., they are active during the day and like to rest at night.

That is why your colored substrates won’t make them anxious at night. However, you need to turn your aquarium’s light off at night.

Now that you know how the gravel’s color is essential in your aquarium, you should know that other factors except the color are equally crucial for your betta to thrive in a new aquarium.

Why the Need for a Substrate in an Aquarium?

As every creature needs the appropriate replica of their natural habitat, so does betta. To replicate the natural habitat, you need to have plants and gravels, which lets a new environment thrive.

To remain alive is one thing and to thrive is another, and no bettas will thrive when it is depressed in a tank that cannot provide him the natural habitat he needs. That is why every fish hobbyist should have a substrate in their aquarium.

So, while choosing the substrate for your betta, you need to weigh your options and make the right decisions. Here are things to consider while selecting the type of gravel.

Know the type of substrates

Not all kinds of substrates befit your betta’s likeness. The substrate that works for betta might not be suitable for other fishes.

It would also be best to preplan the plants’ types that you will be growing in your fish tank. Below I have listed a different kind of substrate that you can keep in your fish tank.

No Substrate

Ha! You might be thinking how nuts this guy is for suggesting me a tank with no substrate. I am with no substrate because it’s what most beginner fish keepers do when getting a new aquarium. They wait and wait till their betta fish dies (sorry, but that is why beginners need to learn the basics)

You, too, can be a Betta Guru. Check out this fantastic guide on keeping bettas as a pet.

Marble Substrate

This is one of the popular choices of beginner betta owner. They floor their whole aquarium with marble pebbles, and yes, it does look nice (to you and your friends), but not for your bettas.

Let me explain why—bettas like substrates that can resemble their natural habitat.

Now, I am not referring that you shouldn’t have marble at all in the aquarium but, it’s not all you want as a substrate in your aquarium. It would be best if you mixed with other substrates that mimic a betta’s natural home.

Soil Substrate

Soil serves as the primary substrate for the appropriate foundation in a betta tank. It is where the aquatic plants will grow their roots. Deep-rooted plants like Cryptocoryne and Echinodorus require soil to hold unto for growth.

And every aquarium does need plants where bettas can hide and rest. That is why many fish enthusiasts use soil for a substrate.

Gravel Substrate

Gravel substrate is the one every betta enthusiast should go for replicating a natural habitat. Your aquariums do need a healthy amount of bacteria to break down the fish waste produced by your betta.

And the gravel substrates gives ample space for bacteria to thrive in a fish tank. This will provide your aquarium with a balanced ecosystem for a betta to thrive.

However, it would be best to collect the substrate you find outside in nearby vicinity carefully. Natural rocks you collected out can be sharp enough to scratch your betta’s fins in a tight space such as an aquarium.

You can easily get these soft gravels online or in nearby brick and mortar shop for pets.

Gravel as a substrate is also required for keeping both natural and artificial plants in the aquarium. 

Plants like Anubias and Microsorium, which don’t require soil to hold unto, can easily use gravel as support to flourish in a fish tank.

Sand Substrate

Along with gravel, sand substrate plays an equal role in creating a favorable environment for bettas. Bettas in the wild are found to be flourishing in muddy waters of Southeast Asia.

So, sand substrate helps in recreating the habitat that bettas most love. The duo of gravel substrate and sand can never go wrong for keeping bettas happy and cozy.

Conclusion on What Color Gravel is Best for Betta Fish

Now, you know that the color spectrum that is just the opposite of your fish’s color is what your betta’s gravel needs to be. Additionally, you should know that t’s not just the gravel color, but the type of gravel you use as a substrate does matter for mimicking a betta’s natural environment.