8 Best Substrate for Betta – (2021 Reviews & Guide)

One of the first things you need to consider while coming up with a betta aquarium is the best betta substrate. The substrate can be of different kinds like sand, soil or gravel. It’s usually used on the bottom of your aquarium. The substrate serves as aesthetics, nutrients for plants and water buffering. Before making any choice or coming to a conclusion, you need to know what you want to attain with your aquarium. This guide covers all your needs and available options on showing you what is right and should be looking for when sorting out the best Betta substrate

Best Betta Substrate Comparison Chart

Product NameBrandWeightDimensionColorPrice
Panacea Products APN70002 100 Count Pan Marbles for AquariumMarble13.6 pounds1 * 1 * 1 inchesBlue
Carib Sea ACS00832 Peace River Gravel for AquariumGravel19.8 pounds16.5 *10. 5*3.7 inchesDark-brown
Spectrastone Shallow Creek Regular for Freshwater AquariumsGravel5.2 pounds10 * 7.2 * 1.5 inchesGreen
GloFish Aquarium GravelGravel5.3 pounds4 * 5* 9 inchesBlack with fluorescent highlights
Fluker's All Natural Premium Sand SubstrateSand6 pounds12.5 * 8 * 1.5 inches-
OUPENG Aquarium Gravel River RockGravel2.3 pounds6.8 * 3.5 * 2.6 inches-
Pure Water Pebbles Aquarium GravelGravel5.3 pounds12.6 * 8 * 1.51 inchesTurquoise
Maynooth Natural Granite 1/4" Granite Mini Pea GravelGravel5.2 pounds7.4 * 5.5 * 4.6 inchesGray

Panacea products are classified among the best color choices for these substrates. These marbles are one of the best and suitable top choice for betta keepers who neither require sand nor gravel tank floor coverings.

What I like

This product is made from polished glass. It’s one of the safest products to use in freshwater aquariums neither do they affect the chemistry of the water column. For instance, the surface lacks some porous texture that encourages the conducive environment and growth of good bacteria, this product does not scratch or interfere with your fish even when it comes into contact with it.

What I don’t like

The use of smaller sacks for covering a tank floor is not the best option. The best thing is, it’s easily combined with other substrates to layout a varied course and look on your betta substrates.

The marbles feature various styles and colors and this provides the aquarium with a nice professional look.  Such an aquarium will not only offer room for a more significant fish population but also make it easier for you to clean. It is suitable for freshwater conditions.

  • Its texture is smooth thus won't destroy your betta's gills.
  • This product is neither acidic nor basic.
  • Panacea is semi-gloss won't produce intense light reflections.
  • Has a semi-transparent glass, thus generating an artificial-looking.
  • Will trap all excrements from betta fish.

This is a completely natural product that is suitable for your betta fish. There is no better way to improve the appearance of your aquarium other than using Carib sea products. This low maintenance product is ideal for both operations.

What I like

This product is pH neutral, thus it does not interfere with the health of different types of betta fish neither do it messes up with your water parameters. This product also doesn’t have dyes thus creating a conducive environment for the fish.

What I don’t like

Since the product is a gravel substrate, it’s small. This interferes with cleanliness making it untidy. Even if you use a vacuum for long periods at long last it will get sucked in.

This substrate works well for all types of tanks. This item is made and designed of high quality to mimic your betta habitat. Since it’s made of gravel, it gives plants enough space to allow growth.

  • The substrate is neither basic nor acidic.
  • It is natural since it does not have paints or dyes.
  • Comes in a 20-pound bag that is suitable for a 20-gallon betta fish tank.
  • It is compact, thus allowing good plant support
  • Comes at a high price
  • Unsuitable for gravel vacuum.

Do you wish to implement new aquariums feature to your substrate? The Spectrastone shallow creek is the best product for you. This product is manufactured by spectrastone which has a practical design. This is the best option for outdoor and indoor fish settings.

What I like

This product has a neutral pH. This item is natural and varnished with no – noxious materials, thus no need to worry about cluttering up with the parameters of your water tank.

This product comes with a variety of colors and shapes making it faultless for anchoring down plants as well as allowing them to grow.

What I don’t like

Since this product is made from different sizes and shapes, its course is rough compared to other gravel substrates. Some of its shapes contain sharp edges that may harm the fish. 

This item is smaller compared to average size gravel though it allows air circulation via the substrate to keep a conducive environment.

The substrate is the perfect size for all types of fish. Presence neutral pH and neutrality makes it more valuable and vibrant for your betta substrates.

  • Natural thus doesn't affect pH levels.
  • It allows a good anchoring for plants.
  • The Spectrastone shallow creek has great size for smaller fish as well as tanks.
  • Has a rough texture.
  • May require more cleanliness compared to others.

Have you been looking for bright colors to make your tank look interesting and attractive? This is the product you have been missing. Alongside the vibrant and bright colors for your betta fish, this Glofish gravel product is one of the recommended options.

What I like

This product has different shapes and size stones and colors. The Glofish has an accent of blue light that reflects all different colors to make the substrate glow hence the name Glofish. This substrate is safe for fish. It’s also easy to clean since the substrate is compact.

What I don’t like

This product is made from tiny fragments. The user needs to be careful while putting it into the tank to evade from damages. The packaging of this product is also loose. This requires the user to be more careful to avoid the spreading of tiny fragments to other parts.

Many aquarium lovers like this gravel because you can use it as an accent or a substrate. It is easy to use because you just need to add it in your aquarium and it will give a decorate appearance.

  • Glofish Aquarium gravel provides enough security for fish.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Made up of a reputable brand.
  • Great for creating a stunning aquarium.
  • Chemically safe for fish.
  • Has small particles which chip off easily.
  • This substrate has an unnatural look.

This type of substrate is taking the modern era of betta substrates to another level. It has several multipurpose features that are made specifically to give this product the best level of efficiency. It is a heavy-duty substrate protected with an additional feature for durability.

What I like

This substrate has a different approach compared to others. This product usually uses a blend of all-natural sea salt, calcium carbonate, silica sand as well as coconut fibers which creates a favorable betta fish environment.

It supports the growth of important bacteria to allow the breakdown of organic materials. Also, this product is compact, thus providing great support for plants.

What I don’t like

Regardless of its benefits, this product is difficult to clean hence may interfere with the health of fish.

It substrate has several settings that provide additional comfort and at the same time offering fish a maximum and conducive climate conditions for your fish.

  • This substrate has a good mixture.
  • Fluker substrate has probiotics used to manage and run organic wastes.
  • Economical compared to other substrates.
  • This product has good plant support.
  • Uneasy to clean.
  • Not designed for betta fish only.

Gift yourself this amazing substrate that is safe to use and most reliable for your fish daily to daily activities. It comes with a new brand with new features that will offer your fish comfortable during operations.

What I like

This substrate has natural polished gravel. For smooth effect, this river rocks are polished lightly for long-lasting beauty. It also has an alternative to mulch which is used both indoors and outdoors which protects the soil by providing good drainage and retaining soil moisture. This product adds extra beauty, this brings the best home décor and exterior and interior design.

What I don’t like

Since these rocks are natural, some may end up breaking or out of shape, thus ineffective and imperfect for use.

At the same time, this portable product comes with people’s decorative stones that are very important for the safety of your fish’s surroundings as well as your safety.

  • The Oupeng aquarium substrate has natural polished gravel that suits your needs.
  • Alternative mulch that can be used both indoors and outdoors.
  • Has a natural beauty thus providing an attractive environment.
  • Easy to clean.
  • This product has various shapes with different sizes, thus difficult to choose the best betta size that suits for your fish.

Consider having this substrate since it has a neutral pH and is used in freshwater and any other indoor places. It is one of the famous betta substrates on the modern market holding certain specific features that will maintain your trust in for a lifetime.

What I like

This product produces non-toxic fumes that will not interfere with the health of fish. Have you ever questioned why this substrate is preferred by most people? If yes, this product provides a favorable environment and living space for beneficial bacterias and plant anchoring. This product also enhances and speeds the filtering process of water.

What I don’t like

Since this product is made from different sizes and shapes, its course is rough compared to other gravel substrates.

  • Neither acidic nor basic thus providing good health for your fish.
  • This substrate is non-toxic
  • Has natural decorative gravel.
  • Pure water supports plant anchoring.
  • This product also allows the filtering of water in your aquarium.
  • It's costly to obtain it.

If you are looking for the best betta substrate for your fish, Maynooth natural granite is the best choice. It’s the modern version that adds the best contrast to your bright fish. This product works well for all types of tanks.

What I like

This substrate is suitable for planter’s terrariums and even aquariums. It provides a natural dust-free thus easy to clean. This product is screened and spray washed. This product doesn’t affect the chemistry of your aquarium, thus making work easier. Maynooth allows important bacteria to grow faster.

What I don’t like

Depending on the size of your tank, this substrate can be costly to fill the floor of bigger tanks.

  • This substrate is easy to clean.
  • Maynooth natural granite does not affect water chemistry.
  • This substrate has rounded edges in different colors.
  • Supports plant anchoring as well as good for bacterial growth.
  • It's expensive for those people with bigger tanks.

What Is The Purpose Of The Aquarium Substrate?

Aquarium substrates are used for many reasons. They include;

  • Substrates are used to make color pops more with the dark and natural substrates.
  • Substrates make the aquarium look attractive and natural.
  • Some substrates neutralize the pH levels of your aquariums to either turn the water hard or soft.
  • Substrates support anchorage.
  • Some substrates help in breaking down of bacterias. They provide a habitat for bacterias and allowing them to flourish.
  • One of the main aims most people prefer using substrates is to make tanks look stunning.

What Substrates Are Betta Used To?

For your tank to look appealing and attractive, you are required to use the best substrate. In keeping and maintaining a healthy environment for betta fish, nature is of concern. The use of normal substrates like soil and mud, they will make your aquarium look murky and unhealthy for your betta after some period.

Buying Guide

Before concluding purchasing a certain type of substrate, there is a lot of factors you need to consider. They include tank size, live plants as well as practicality can display the kind of product that suits your betta fish tank. The following tips will guide you in purchasing the right substrate;

Types of substrates we have? 

Gravel is mostly used substrate for betta fish. There are varying types of gravel you should consider. To find the best one, you should choose the pea-sized, smooth-edged as well as average gravel. Natural gravel is the most preferred since it doesn’t affect the pH levels.

Sand is another substrate that rhymes with the environment of the fish. It’s mostly used for bottom-dwelling fish. Sand is compact, thus enhancing plant anchorage.

Contains chemicals or not?

It’s very crucial to understand the type of substrate you intend to add to your betta fish tank. Most of the treated substrates look appealing to customers, but behind the scenes, they will end up killing your fish. It’s advisable to go for all-natural substrates created from balanced and natural ingredients. Most of the sand, marble or gravel substrates are treated with a silicone layer that creates a coat that neutralizes water. 

Planted or unplanted substrates

You should question yourself if you will use live plants before you purchase your substrate. For you to create a conducive environment for live plants, use aquarium soil together with gravel or sand for planting substrates.

Unplanted betta tanks don’t require any anchoring plant substrate. This product gives you time to select the right substrate.

Following the above factors, you will be on the safe side to select the best and beneficial substrate that suits your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the main aim of the aquarium substrate?

A. Before you know the main function of the substrate, you need to understand and decide which type of substrate you require for your fish.

To create the best and favorable environment for fish, there are many factors you should consider why the aquarium substrate is of benefits.

Appearance- most of the substrates play a big role to beautify the aquarium. This product makes your betta fish pop.

PH levels- these products are used to control pH levels to ensure they are neutral.

Vegetation- plants being vital for fish, substrates aid in the anchorage as well as beautifying the place.

Bacteria control- most of the bacteria break down to produce nitrates, ammonia as well as nitrogen, which is harmful to the health of fish. These products neutralize and allow the bacteria to flourish.

Q. How many betta substrates required for a betta tank?

A. This determines with different factors such as size, type of substrate and the kind of plants you have. For live and healthy plants to develop in your tank, they require enough space and enough air circulation thus a bigger tank is required.

One inch substrate is enough for silk plants while 2 inches are required for live plants. Rocks are preferably used when substrates are light to enable the anchoring process.

Q. Can sand be put in a betta fish tank?

A. Yes, though it’s a specific type of sand. It’s advisable to evade from using a stick to coral sand or aquarium. Experts prefer the use of coral sand though it produces calcium carbonate that dissolves in water to interfere with the health of fish. Though the sand can lead to a bloom of brown algae as well as a source of bacteria.

Q. Which is the best brand for betta tank between gravel and sand?

A. Selecting the best option depends on the type of tank one has. All types of substrates have their merits and demerits thus selecting one depends on personal perforations. 

Sand is the best substrate for beginners. It has a wide variety of colors which creates a great ambient, thus making your aquarium look attractive. It’s a clean choice since it has small particles compacted closely together, making it hard for wastes to enter. Sand is unsuitable for live plants for plants cannot anchor.

Final Verdict

With the above guide reviews, best betta substrates, it is now easy to pick the best and right substrate. The products are user-friendly, thus serving you for an extended period.  The above list consists of the modern betta substrates present in the current market. If you need ultimate relaxation and a conducive environment for your fish, then these substrates are suitable for use regardless of their unique design and styles. These products are portable, user and environmentally friendly and convenient for use. The substrates have all the requirements. For you to select the perfect substrate you have to adhere and follow the basic mechanisms mentioned above.

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