If you are setting up your tank for the first time, you may want to consider adding some rocks to your tank. While you may think of stones that simply serve as a visual aid in your tank, in fact, they have many benefits for your fish and other things that live in your tank.
Best Aquarium rocks serve many different purposes. They help create a natural-looking aquatic landscape, provide a home for colonies of beneficial bacteria…
Give your fish and others a place to explore, and it can even provide a base for coral to grow.
What are the best aquarium stones? It depends on what you are looking for!
Today’s post covers it all. I will review the types of stones used for freshwater aquariums and then compile a list of the best stones to buy online. In the posts, there will be affiliate links where I can get a commission if you decide to make a purchase at no cost to you. Let’s get on with that revelation.
The 9 Best Rocks For Freshwater, Saltwater Marine Aquariums
Best Aquarium Rock Reviews
This base rock of the southern seas of the Caribbean Sea is absolutely beautiful. They are formed by natural weather processes and erosion that create beautiful shapes that make any aquarium look like the bottom of the ocean. However, these rocks do more than just look cool.
They have an impressive 50% empty space for incredible porosity levels. While water moves easily through this rock, it is also extremely durable and long-lasting. Plus, all the little nooks and crannies are the perfect place for beneficial bacteria to thrive.
The rock of the South Seas has more structure than almost any other rock used for water construction. It is safe for all saltwater tanks and freshwater systems operating at a high pH. This rock is composed of calcium carbonate that supports a high pH and is mined from ancient underground coral reefs. You can use it as an alternative to live rock or as a base to start a colony.
These Nature’s Ocean Coral Base Rocks come in 2 large pieces, each about 12 to 18 inches, for a total of about 40 pounds. To get the shape you want, just use a hammer and chisel to cut it through until you have what you need.
You’ll find that if you’re working with large chunks of rock, dust and other debris will break away to open them up further, revealing holes and tunnels that you may not have noticed right out of the box.
This is an all natural 100% premium aragonite stone. They are absolutely covered in holes and cracks, which makes them exceptionally porous. It also allows you to create very elaborate and interesting setups as you lay a foundation for new coral growth. It is also a great addition to established coral tanks.
This next rock from the Caribbean Sea is a base rock in the South Seas that’s perfect for reef and marine tanks or if you’re looking for something to add with African cichlids. It is an excellent base for living coral because it is clean and extremely porous with macro and micro parasites.
There is no need to cure this stone, it is immediately ready to go in your aquarium. This pack contains a total of 10 pounds, but as each stone is unique, the number of pieces in each pack varies.
One great thing about this rock is that it is filled with so many nooks and crannies that building a structure to suit a waterscape is quite easy.
For a piece that really makes a statement, this Marine Naturals unlock is sure to turn heads.
These large, intricately designed formations can be used individually or together with others to create arches, cavities and tunnels that fish will love as it gives them plenty of nooks and crannies to swim and hide.
This product is made of non-toxic material that does not affect the chemistry of the water. It is safe for freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
Last on our list is Deep Blue’s man-made Texas holey rock. Although it is not a natural rock, no one will be able to see it because they look very realistic. If it is in an aquarium, it is indistinguishable from the real thing.
Deep Blue uses polyresin material that is safe for any aquatic environment and does not alter the chemistry of the water. It is safe for plants and animals.
This design is very long and hollow and the fish love it. They are attracted to it because it makes their environment more interesting. Add interesting arches and holes for them to swim in and create a focal point in the aquatic landscape.
Ohko Dragon Stone is one of the favorite aquarium stones to use in Iwagumi Aquascapes. These rocks are not only beautiful, they are also natural in nature. They will not change their pH or hardness because they are based on granite. They look great in any planted tank setup. They are full of holes, nooks and crannies, making them great rocks as a natural refuge for your fish.
These are the hot stones for pro aquascaping projects these days. Watch the video above from BucePlant to see how amazing they look. Like any favorite aquascaper rock, they come at a higher price.
If you are looking for a unique looking Best aquarium rock, check out Black Mountain Seiryu Stone. The unique white veins really show up in a waterscape. They won’t change your pH or hardness, so you can add them to any aquarium setup. These rocks are hard to find, so be wary if you like them and want to buy one. The best thing about buying from our link is that Buce Black Seiryu sells very high quality and in packs up to £30!
Quality lava rock is hard to find online. It is quite common to see lists of lava rocks used as biomes or chimneys. This makes sense because they are excellent at harboring beneficial bacteria and are excellent hearthstones. However, this limits what you can buy online. When it comes to aquarium lava rock, these black lava rocks from BucePlant are exactly what we’re looking for. These are large stones with unique shapes, unlike what you will find in most pet stores. If you are looking for quality lava rock, check out their store and selection.
If you want a professional quality waterscape rock, but the Ohko is out of your budget, I highly recommend Dive Seiryu Rock. Seiryu is the godfather of all water rocks. These are stones collected by hand at Buce. With their excellent customer service and high-quality reviews, you can’t go wrong!
Types of Rocks to Use For Aquarium
There are different types of natural stones that you can put in an aquarium. They are classified into 3 categories: sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic.
Sedimentary rocks include limestone, sandstone, and shale. They are made of small particles and chunks of sediment that settle over time and press against each other. As time goes by, the cycles repeat. This forms layers that are actually visible in most sedimentary rock formations.
Igneous rock forms when molten rock crystallizes from the Earth’s core or reaches the surface. Finally, metamorphic rock is the result of another type of rock being subjected to intense heat and pressure causing it to change from one shape to another.
Be sure to do your research before adding rocks to your aquarium that are not from a reputable company. There are some that you should definitely avoid such as limestone, marble, geodes, dolomite and shells or broken corals in tanks, except those in which African cichlids live.
Also keep in mind that not all aquarium stones you buy are natural stones. Today, there are companies that make polyresin bricks that look just as real as those found in nature. They’re usually a bit cheaper than the real thing, but because they’re made from molds, they don’t offer that much variety.
How to Choose Rocks for Aquarium?
There are a few important things to keep in mind when choosing rocks for your aquarium.
First, you should know that the rock is suitable for aquariums. If you order from a reputable company, you are almost guaranteed to receive a safe aquarium product. While it may be tempting, it’s not a good idea to collect rocks outside and assume it’s safe to put them in a tank.
Avoid stones with sharp edges. Some of the natural rocks we include in our list may break during shipping or you can choose to modify their shape and size. If so, round off any sharp edges.
If you are using real rocks that are not hollow or porous, be careful not to exceed the weight limit for your aquarium as this can cause significant damage. Also make sure there is a layer of sand or pebbles between the rocks and the glass bottom of the tank.
Soak or clean the rocks before adding them to your aquarium. Some stones need to be cured by boiling them in water. Follow the instructions that came with your Best aquarium rocks to be safe.
BEST AQUARIUM ROCK FAQ’S
CAN I USE ROCKS I FIND OUTSIDE IN MY AQUARIUM?
Generally, using rocks you find outside in your aquarium is advised against. This is because the rocks outside have not been treated and can therefore sometimes contain micorogranisms that could harm your fish. They can also contain calcium which can alter the pH of aquarium water. It is for this reason that you should buy rocks specially designed for aquariums.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ROCKS FOR SALTWATER AND FRESHWATER AQUARIUMS?
Saltwater and freshwater aquariums are different and therefore have different requirements. Just like some fish can’t live in freshwater and saltwater and others can only live in freshwater, the same goes for rocks. The wrong type of rock in the wrong water can also affect the water, which can then harm your fish. You should always check the rocks you use are suitable for the type of aquarium you have.
Rocks for saltwater aquariums include Fiji Rock, Pukani Rock, Aquacultured Live Rock, Dry Rock and Tonga Branch Rock. Rocks for freshwater aquariums include Slate, Lava Rock, Petrified Wood, Mountain Stone and Quartzite.
When it comes to choosing the best stone for aquariums, there are many things to consider. Do you want natural or artificial stone? Something just for looks or looking for a solid foundation to start a reef tank?
Regardless of your needs, the Best aquarium rocks we’ve included in these reviews are among the best available. We’re confident you’ll find one that’s right for your aquatic landscape.