How Much Gravel Do I Need To Buy For A 55-Gallon Tank?

Maintaining an aquarium often becomes a tricky act. The most confusing part is trying to get an answer on how much gravel do I need for a 55-gallon tank. To help you estimate the amount of gravel required to form the aquarium substrate, we have come up with this guide that will help you calculate the amount of gravel you need to use in a 55-gallon tank. 

If you own a lovely aquarium, it is common for you to get confused about the right amount of gravel or substrate to be added to the bottom of the tank. The importance of substrate in a fish tank is often underestimated, and people tend to make mistakes. 

The substrate is that essential layer of the tank bottom containing soil, pebbles and rocks, and gravel. So, placing the substrate by mixing the gravel and other components in the right proportions is necessary to ensure that the fishes thrive in the tank properly. 

How Much Gravel Do I Need For A Fish Tank?

how much gravel do i need for a 55 gallon tank

If you are a beginner, 2 inches of gravel will be ideal for a freshwater aquarium. Always remember that 2 inches are the least quantity of gravel that can form a substrate.

However, if you have a massive fish tank with excellent dimensions, it is pretty clear that 2 inches will not suffice the substrate’s formation. 

It goes without saying that the bigger the size of the aquarium, the greater is the amount of gravel needed to form the substrate. You can easily find out the apt gravel amount needed for aquariums by doing a little calculation using a formula. 

Just multiply the depth of the aquarium that you own in inches by the gravel amount that has been calculated for every 1 inch.

If you find this problematic, you can simply use the aquarium gravel calculator available online to get the right amount of gravel you need to use in the tank. 

The standard amount is adding 1 pound of substrate per gallon of water. Suppose you have a 5-gallon tank. In that case, the ideal mount will be to take 5 lbs of gravel. Based on this estimation, for a 20-gallon fish tank, you will need 20 pounds of gravel. 

How Much Gravel do i need to buy for a 55- Gallon Fish Tank?

If you have got a 55-gallon fish tank, you will require about 1 to 1.5 pounds per gallon. So, in total, 74 pounds of gravel will be ideal for an aquarium of 55 gallons.

55-gallon tank

You can use black-colored gravel as it makes the color of the fish’s body get highlighted, thus making your aquarium look vibrant. Now, we will tell you how we estimated the amount. 

The dimensions of a 55-gallon tank are 48 inches in length and 12 inches in width. So, it can be said, after calculation, that the bottom of the tank would have a surface area of 576 square inches.

Covering 576 square inches with 1 inch of gravel will need about 37 pounds of gravel. To ensure that the site is fully covered, you will require about 2 inches of gravel, and that implies you will need 74 pounds of gravel. 

To give your aquarium a look of fullness or completeness, consider adding a gravel bed of greater depth. However, if your fish tank is rich with various decorations such as caves, rocky outcrops, or a large number of plants, you need to have a greater amount of gravel of 3 to 4 inches.

This is important to ensure that plants and fishes don’t feel suffocated and get to survive well inside the aquarium. 

Amount of Gravel for 55-gallon Aquarium

1 to 1.5 pounds per gallon is going to be sufficient for a 55-gallon aquarium. Using 2 inches of gravel layer will be ideal for an aquarium of this dimension. 1 to 2 pounds of gravel per gallon is going to be perfect for your 55-gallon fish tank. 

How Much Gravel Does An Aquarium Need?

gravel of aquarium

To understand how much gravel an aquarium needs, it becomes imperative to understand the factors that determine its usage quantity.

You can use an aquarium calculator to ascertain the gravel amount. However, looking at the following factors will give you an accurate idea about the amount of gravel that you might be requiring. 

  • Types Of Fish Present In The Tank 

The fish you wish to keep in the aquarium will determine the quality, type, and layer of gravel you need to add to the fish tank. Some fishes love to survive in the presence of coarse gravel.

This is because the gravel of thick, coarser quality will help the fishes play and mess around quite easily. On the other hand, some fishes love to have finer gravel to dig deeper into it easily. 

Fixate yourself on the fish you wish to keep in the tank, and then do a bit of research to find out about the preferences and characteristics of that fish so that you can add the right amount of gravel at the bottom of the water in the tank. 

If you like to have glofish in your aquarium then check on this article How many GloFish in a 10 Gallon Tank.

  • Aquarium And Decorations/Plants Present Inside It 

The aquarium size, as well as its dimensions, will determine the amount of gravel that is to be added at the tank bottom. The larger the aquarium, the greater will be amount of gravel and vice-versa. 

Most aquarists decorate their fish tanks with beautiful plants, attractive rocks, seashells, sand, and cave structures. They usually prefer to keep natural-looking gravel in the tank as it looks all the more beautiful owing to the decorations that are already present in it. 

Do note that if you have very bulky decorations inside the aquarium, you may have to use quite a significant quantity of gravel. Check out on most beautiful fishes available to grow in your aquarium.

  • Presence Of Plants In The Tanks 

If you plan to have a planted tank, you need to have quite a large amount of gravel. Plants devoid of a root system won’t affect the gravel you use in the aquarium because there is no need for them to extract nutrients from the water.

But, if you have got the plants in rooted form, the kind of gravel you will be using in the bottom layer of the tank will affect the health of the plants. 

Aquariums with big rooted plants will need a profound layer of gravel and that too of the finest nature. They would require a thick gravel layer so that the heavier plants from the top can derive sufficient nutrients from below. 

You can add a shallow and coarse layer of gravel if there are small plants rooted in the tank. 

What Is The Quantity Of Gravel Required For A 10 Gallon Tank?

A fish in an aquarium

Generally, 10-gallon tanks have a length of 20 inches and a width of 10 inches. So, the surface area of the tank is 200 square inches.

At least 13 lbs of gravel will be needed to cover the area of 200 square inches of the tank. If you plan to have a 2-inch gravel layer in a 10-gallon tank, 26 lbs of gravel will be required. 

One inch of gravel is enough for a 10-gallon tank and will enhance the tank volume. However, if you have got plants with a deep-rooted system inside the tank, you will need 2 inches of gravel to give the creatures inside it plenty of space to grow. 

What Is The Definite Amount Of Gravel Needed For A 75 Gallon Aquarium?

Fish and substrate

Usually, a 75-gallon aquarium has a length of 48 inches and a width of 18 inches with a surface area of 864 square inches.

You will need a minimum of 56 lbs of gravel to cover that much area in the tank. To add a 2-inch gravel layer, you need to have 112 pounds of gravel in the tank. 

Since 75-gallon implies a tank with immense capacity, adding a 2-inch gravel layer won’t look good and will instead look relatively thin so that it won’t go at par with the aesthetics standard.

Owners of large fish tanks prefer to have a thicker layer, i.e., at least 3 to 4 inches, to give fullness to the tank. To get the perfect look in your aquarium, you may have to add gravel of about 224 upwards. 

What Is The Amount Of Gravel To Be Added To a 5 Gallon Tank?

A 5-gallon tank is a very small-sized tank having the dimensions of 16 inches in length and 8 inches in width. It has about 128 square inches, so for 1 inch of gravel, 8 lbs of gravel will be sufficient. If you wish to add 2 inches of gravel, 17 lbs of gravel would be needed for the aquarium. 


How Full Should A 55 Gallon Fish Tank Be? 

Whenever the trim on the tank occupies around 1.5 inches from the top region, that will be the ideal height up to which a 55-gallon fish tank should be kept full. 

How Much Sand Do You Need To Add In A 55 Gallon Tank?

In a 55 gallon tank, you will need about 25 to 145 pounds of sand. 

What Fishes Can Survive Well In A 55-Gallon Tank? 

The cichlids, oscar, pufferfish, pearl gourami, etc., are going to be the best fishes that can be kept in a 55-gallon tank. 

How Much Does A 55-Gallon Fish Tank Weigh With Water And Gravel?

It is estimated that a 55-gallon fish tank with water and gravel will weigh about 487 pounds if the tank has the dimensions of 48” X 13” X 20”. 

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!