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Old 06-19-2022, 01:06 AM   #1
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Substrate advice needed

I was wondering how many pounds of gravel is needed for a 20 gallon long tank? I will be keeping one betta fish in it, and will not be using live plants(will use betta-friendly fake ones, and will have an appropriate hiding house as well). I am going to do a fishless cycle before I buy the fish.

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Old 06-19-2022, 04:05 AM   #2
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You want about 11kg/ 25lb of gravel for every inch depth of substrate in that size of tank. So 2 inch of substrate would be 22kg/ 50lb.

1 betta in a 20g tank? Just do a fish in cycle. That volume of water with just 1 small fish in it should never see any elevated water parameters. Just monitor water parameters, you will probably have to change water weekly for a couple of months, and after that you should get away with monthly water changes. All that will happen if you fishless cycle is the bacteria you grow while cycling will die off once you add your fish because your lone fish will have such low bioload it wont support all the bacteria you put all the effort into growing.

We get a lot of traffic on this site with people not being able to get tanks cycled. By far more people have issues with fishless cycles. They dont understand how to do it, or expect it run to a timetable. Save yourself the grief of looking at an empty tank for several months, buy a fish and do a fish in cycle.
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Old 06-22-2022, 12:58 AM   #3
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I have a 20 high and I bought 20 pounds of gravel. I would say there is about 1 inch of gravel covering the bottom of the tank. There are some spots that are higher than the others and vice versa. I think it depends how much gravel you want. I would say 1 inch is the bare minimum but you could get more have more gravel.
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Old 06-22-2022, 01:01 AM   #4
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Also, you could consider getting some ember tetras as well. 1 Betta in a 20 gallon seems a bit empty to me but that is just my personal opinion. With 1 fish in that size tank, it would be pretty low maintenance which is an upside.
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Old 06-22-2022, 11:53 AM   #5
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It could handle snails, too. I have a 20g with one betta, one mystery, and three nerite snails for the clean-up crew. The tank is sparkling, thanks in part to those nerites.
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Old 07-01-2022, 02:50 PM   #6
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Thanks I appreciate it.
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