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How To Wash Gravel For an Aquarium




Donovan Govan How To Wash Gravel For an Aquarium

Water Bucket

Donovan Govan River_Gravel.jpg

River Gravel


Did you know that new gravel must be washed before putting it into the aquarium? Don't worry, it only takes a few simple steps. Here's what you need to know.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 30 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Purchase enough gravel to cover the aquarium bottom approximately three inches deep.
  2. If you don't already have one, purchase a 5 gallon bucket and label it for aquarium use only. Aquarium buckets should never have soap in them.
  3. Place a large clean sieve, at least 6 inches across, over the bucket. Fill the sieve half full of gravel.
  4. Pour water over the gravel in the sieve, while gently shaking it. Rinsing the gravel over the bucket rather than over a drain, allows gravel that slips through the sieve to be caught instead of going down the drain. Continue pouring water over the gravel until the water runs clear. Several washings are usually required.
  5. Once the water runs clear, the gravel is ready to be used. It may be placed directly into the tank or in a clean bucket or container.
  6. Repeat steps three through five until you have washed enough gravel to fill the aquarium three inches deep.


  1. A rule of thumb for the amount of gravel to use is one pound of gravel per each gallon of water.
  2. Old buckets may be used if they are thoroughly cleaned with bleach, rinsed well, and allowed to air dry.

What You Need:

  • 6" or larger sieve
  • 5 gallon bucket

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