How Much Does Pea Gravel Weigh? The Amazing Answer!

Last Updated on January 23, 2022 by Fabiola L.

Pea gravel is a common addition to any fish tank. Read this article to find the perfect answer to the question: How much does pea gravel weigh?  

Understanding the weight of the things that you put into your tank is important for many reasons. Tanks can only hold certain amounts of weight. If you exceed the maximum weight capacity, your tank will break.

Pea gravel is commonly used as your tank substrate. A tank substrate is what your plants will root into and grow in. When selecting your tank substrate, there are many factors to consider.

Many people choose pea gravel because it looks very natural and functions well. Continue reading this article to understand more about using pea gravel in your fish tank. We will also answer the important question: How much does pea gravel weigh. 

Keep reading now!

All About Pea Gravel

Before we get into details of pea gravel, let’s overview key details about it. First off, you may be wondering, what exactly is pea gravel?  

At its most simplest explanation, pea gravel is basically small broken rocks. It is usually made from breaking up larger stones and shaping them into tiny round stones that can be put in your fish tank.  

Pea gravel comes in many different colors. This is one reason it looks very beautiful at the bottom of your fish tank. Usually, it is a mix between light pink, white, and beige.  

A huge benefit of using pea gravel as your tank substrate is that it has a neutral PH. This means that the PH levels of your fish tank will not be affected by the use of this substrate.  

Why is this important?

Well, pH level is one of the most crucial parameters to pay attention to in aquaponics. According to New Mexico State University, “The compromise that is optimal to all three components of an aquaponics system—fish, plants, and nitrifying bacteria—is a pH of 6.8 to 7.0.”

As long as you keep your tank within that range, you shouldn’t have other major problems in your system. Thus, using pea gravel as your tank substrate is a great and easy choice to avoid altering your PH.  

Another benefit of pea gravel is that it is very porous. Porous means that things are easily able to flow and filter through. Since things can more easily flow through it, you can avoid issues of bacteria buildup at the bottom of your tank. 

It is for this reason that pea gravel can also be used as a layer in your tank filter.

Now let’s move on to answering the important question: How much does pea gravel weigh?

how much does pea gravel weigh

Pea Gravel Weight

The weight of pea gravel depends on a few factors. First off, you need to know your tank size in order to calculate how much pea gravel you will need for your system. Once you know your tank size, you can begin to determine how much does pea gravel weighs.

Next, you will have to figure out how thick of a pea gravel layer you need. As a general rule of thumb, you should use at least a 2-inch thick layer at the bottom of your tank.  

If you want to go above that thickness, it’s no problem. Make your decision based on which plants you want to grow and the look in your tank. Plants need enough space to root down into the pea gravel.  

So, be sure to check the growing habits of the water plants you plan to grow. If you have a lot of plants, it is better to use a thicker layer of pea gravel. This will give your plants enough space to grow to a large size.  

Once you know how thick of a layer you need, you will be able to calculate the cubic feet measurement. Cubic feet is calculated by multiplying the length, width, and height of your pea gravel.  

Let’s say you have a tank that has the dimensions of 30 inches by 20 inches and a gravel thickness of 2 inches. You will need to multiply 30 x 20 x 2. This equals 1200 cubic inches or 1.200 cubic feet.  

From there, you can use the equation that 1 cubic foot of pea gravel weighs roughly 96 pounds. Then you multiple your cubic feet number by 96 to find your final weight. So, in this case, you will get a weight of around 115 pounds. 

How Much Does A Cubic Yard Of Pea Gravel Weigh?

Of course, this will not necessarily be a perfect calculation. The precise weight of your pea gravel depends on the size and shape of the specific product you buy.  

Usually, they are sold in stores as 50-pound bags. You can use this as a reference for your calculations.  

So far, we have been working in Cubic Feet. But for larger projects, you may want to work in cubic yards. A yard is equal to 3 feet. On average, a cubic yard of pea gravel weighs 1,000 pounds! 

Pea gravel is not super light material. However, if used correctly it is a great choice for your aquaponics system. 

What are the benefits to knowing the answer to the question: How much does pea gravel weigh? Basically, you will avoid putting too much weight into your tank. If your tank is overloaded, it will break.  

You absolutely cannot skip this step! If you want to use pea gravel as your tank substrate, make sure you understand this article fully.  

The thickness of your pea gravel is determined by the plants you want to use. Buy your fish tank and make your whole system design before purchasing your pea gravel. If you choose not to have any plants, you can use a much thinner layer of gravel.  

Overall, as long as you pay attention to the weight, there isn’t much more for you to worry about when working with pea gravel. In fact, it is one of the easiest substrates to work within your fish tank.  

Have fun, and feel free to ask questions and comment below!