Aquarium stones: a guide to choosing the most suitable ones

Aquarium stones: a guide to choosing the most suitable ones

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On the market you can find many rocks or aquarium stones, which you can use to create a better aquatic environment.

However, contrary to what one might imagine, their choice is anything but casual: it is indeed very important to decide which one to use, and what are the effects resulting from their introduction into the aquarium.

Aquarium stones or aquarium rocks

That of using rocks or aquarium stones has become a trend particularly followed all over the world and, moreover, is well able to satisfy any type of need, given that on the market you find thousands of variants with different shapes, sizes and colors, according to your tastes.

Just take a look at the major online retail sites, or perhaps go to your local and favorite pet store, for an almost unlimited choice.

Obviously, you will still need to make sure that the stones you will add to your aquarium are not dangerous, especially if they are rich in chemicals and other minerals that can harm your fish as the days and months go by.

Tips for choosing aquarium stones

Introduced the above, we recommend that you always avoid rocks with sharp edges and small pores. And if you particularly like an aquarium stone that has these characteristics, try to round the edges with the use of sandpaper.

Also remember that, contrary to what one might think, real stones could alter the oxygen in the aquarium water, and therefore in principle, for your fish, artificial rocks are better if you do not have many resources or a long time to prepare and care for your aquarium.

In any case, do not overload the aquarium with very heavy stones, because this could in the long run break the glass of the aquarium or the support of the same, which may not be able to support the additional weight once the water is added.

Also, always remember to clean the rocks or aquarium stones before adding them to your fish tank. Soak them in boiling water for ten minutes to rid them of any unwanted algae, bacteria, fungi or parasites they may contain.

Then add a layer of gravel or sand before placing the stones in the container, to avoid breaking or splintering the glass, and make sure the stones are safe in the substrate or wall of the container to prevent them from falling. Finally, before and after the water has been added, be sure to check that all your stones are safe enough, that they do not come off or break.

Which aquarium stones should you use?

There are three main categories of aquarium stones that you could use for your fish tank, each with its own sub-categories.

Let's try to summarize the main classes:

  • sedimentary rocks: include marl, limestone, sandstone and shale;
  • igneous rocks: those that can be used in an aquarium include dolerite, gabbro and basalt;
  • metamorphic rocks: they include quartzite, dolomite, marble, phyllite, slate.

Depending on the biotype, these rocks may be suitable for an aquarium. It is interesting to know that sandstone, granite, slate and basalt can be used for low pH levels of water, while marble and limestone can be used when it is necessary to contain water with high pH levels.

Other popular rocks that people use in their aquariums usually include lava rocks, which in turn can be used to fertilize aquatic plants. Slate ages very well in fish tanks, but can have very sharp edges. Granite is also a really safe type of rock, but it can be very heavy on the glass in your tub.

Read also: How fish breathe

Is it better to use aquarium stones?

There is no precise answer to this question!

Many people use aquarium stones for purely aesthetic purposes, because they like to see some of these formations in their bottom.

In fact, there are also other reasons for using aquarium stones, and alternating the pH level of the water is one of them.

However, our suggestion is to always proceed step by step, avoiding underestimating the importance that the insertion of aquarium stones inside the tank could have.

Any object you put in the fish tank will end up changing the environment in which the fish will have to thrive, and sometimes they can do so in an extremely negative way, to create a scenario in which the survival of the fish can be jeopardized. .

Therefore, avoid underestimating this issue: often less experienced aquarium owners, in total good faith, end up enriching their aquarium with artificial and natural elements, forgetting that by doing so they run the risk of seriously altering the environment in which your fish live.


Although the addition of rocks or aquarium stones is becoming a very popular trend, it is always advisable to do a little research before buying or collecting rocks to put in your fish tank.

In short, make sure that your stones are suitable for fish and aquariums. If you have difficulty selecting your rocks or identifying them, you can ask your local aquarist for assistance.

In any case, always clean any stones before adding them, and if you have done everything you can to ensure that your rocks are safe, you just have to enjoy the show.

In case of doubt, we still remember the main suggestion: ask for the opinion of an expert aquarist who can protect you from serious mistakes!

Video: Which Substrate is Right for Your Aquarium?? (May 2022).