I'm planning on getting "Top Fin's Midnight Black Aquarium Gravel" for my tank (has Red Cherry Shrimp in it).
I haven’t had much luck with plants but I still use gravel. I like how the black makes the fish look & I have a black background too. I found some big rocks on the beach that look nice in there and the fish hid around them. I’ll be buying a new cylinder aquarium soon and this post is a good guide for setting it up from step one.
As to aquariums though, I never really liked the look of a really light/white substrate. I like the black substrates (flourite black, black beauty, etc.), or the brownish/mixed substrates (natural river gravel, flourite, etc.).
Jet Black Aquarium Gravel | PetSolutions
Imagitarium Frosted Black Aquarium Gravel | Petco
Size When selecting your gravel you need to take into consideration everything that is going into your tank. High water flow angled downwards can cause a problem with tiny gravel. For ground walkers and snails small gravel may be the better choice. Plecostomus will love to munch on large pieces of gravel as they suck off the algae and many shrimp enjoy holding the large pieces in their many hands as they eat. Plants can easily spread their roots in both sizes, and algae can sink further into large gravel. Some fish even like to burrow into small gravel!
Ultimately smaller gravel need less, but more difficult, maintenance and are favored by most creatures. If however you own only free swimming fish and cleaner shrimp large gravel may be more your style. If you have tank mates who require different gravel you can even get two smaller bags of each, getting the benefits of both.
Color While this is a choice of preference we still want to make sure new owners don't buy without thinking ahead. Sure green gravel can look beautiful and provide a rich background. Add in a couple plants and there's suddenly too much green. Likewise with black gravel it may be too dim if you have dark fish with few decorations. Remember the aquariums are supposed to be unique and vibrant. Try a color you don't see every day or even mix two colors together. Solid black combined with grey stones can give you a rich charcoal effect while green and pink produce an uplifting spring time vibe.
Savvy owners can even match and contrast their gravel with their fish. Everyone knows the combo of glow fish and black gravel. Dazzle your visitors by contrasting black and red fish with a lighter color. Conversely white/silver fish with dark colors can make a beautiful pairing.
Depth If you do not want any live plants and have few scavengers, just an inch will serve your tank well. This will save you both space and money. For those tanks full of plants and various burrowing fish a 3 inch deep bed creates a more suitable environment My new 20 gallon aquarium with black gravel that is currently cycling. I plan to add Neon or Cardinal Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, and one Dwarf Gourami. Will update. Please comment your opinions!Flourite® Black is a specially fracted stable porous clay gravel for the natural planted aquarium. Its appearance is best suited to planted aquaria, but may be used in any freshwater aquarium environment. Flourite® Black is most effective when used alone as an integral substrate bed, but it may be mixed with other gravels. Gravel modifiers such as laterite are not necessary. Flourite® Black is not chemically coated or treated and will not alter the pH of the water. Flourite® Black is good for the life of the aquarium and need not be replaced. These gravels are costliest in the above list but are much better than others. The special black gravel is pretty useful in a planted aquarium. Not only do they give a complete substrate to the plantations, these stones contain major and minor elements to nourish the . They encourage healthy plant root growth too. They work perfectly as substrates for both fresh water and salt water aquariums.