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Aquarium Rocks

Aquarium rocks, ornaments, and decorations can be used not only for fresh and saltwater tanks, but also for reptiles and other small pets. The safety and comfort of the fish and other creatures in your aquarium should be a top consideration.

How should you select stones and decorations for an aquarium?
  • Safety for your Fish Tank: In a fresh water aquarium, only use stones and other decor in your tank that can be sanitized to prevent the spread of disease. Gravel or sand is also important to keep on the bottom of your aquarium.
  • Materials: Rocks and other decor for your aquarium can be made of stone, resin, or plastic. Ornaments for the aquarium can also be made of glass. Some materials can alter the pH of the aquarium. Texas Holey Rock and limestone can raise the pH of your water, while driftwood can lower it. Some fish eat driftwood while they are browsing for food. In a marine aquarium, live rock carries microorganisms, bacteria, and invertebrates from the ocean. When planting a reef fish tank, water must be tested regularly for the health of your corals.
  • Enhance the Environment for your Fish: Natural decor can reduce stress for your fish and provide hiding places. Some fish will also lay eggs on stones and other decorations. Cichlids do well in an aquarium with sand and many rocks. Stones can be used together with live or silk plants in a tank to provide more of a natural environment for your fish or reptiles.
  • Ability to Clean Rocks and Decorations: An advantage of artificial stones and decorations for your fish tank is that they are easy to clean and sanitize. Natural rocks have more crevices and cracks than store bought ornaments. Ornaments such as corals made of plastic or resin are the easiest to keep clean. Plastic plants are easier to maintain than natural ones.
How many rocks per gallon should be used in a fish tank?

For substrate like sand and gravel, use one pound of gravel per gallon for each inch of depth. For example, a ten gallon tank with 2” depth would need 20 pounds of gravel. Cichlids need plain river sand.

How can the user sanitize aquarium rocks and decor?

For a fresh water aquarium like a cichlid tank, new items from the store generally do not need to be sanitized, but secondhand rocks and stones collected from nature must be. Use one cup of bleach per gallon of water. Soak or wipe the accessories or fish tank. The most important thing is to rinse everything well, finishing with a dechlorinated water rinse.

Why do fish tank rocks and glass turn green?

Fish tank rocks and glass turn green primarily due to overfeeding. Algae overgrow when there is uneaten fish food and fish waste in the tank. Also, leaving the lights on in the tank for too long each day may cause algae overgrowth. Fresh and salt water tanks should be cleaned regularly.