Arranging an aquarium is one of the most pleasant activities that await us when setting up a new aquarium. Young aquarists often reach for artificial figurines, ships and other fancy items, such as man-made stone mosaics. Most of them are no longer toxic, although this cannot be ruled out in the case of products not approved for aquarium use. Some of which can cause harm or even kill your live stock.
The best way to avoid harming the aquatic life in aquariums is to use natural products. When we look at nature, we can see that almost all bodies of water have rocks or pebbles on the substrate. There are many different kinds of stones which are recognised as aquarium safe and some of the popular stones can be found in nature as well as in our aquarium shops. While we can collect stones from nature, it can be challenging and it is not without an element of risk.
In this case it’s worth reaching for proven solutions. So what stones to buy?
At the discretion of granites, basalts, slates, sandstones, limestones and semi-precious stones of volcanic origin and others.
Can they be used in any combination in every aquarium?
If we control the water level and properly care for its pH by reacting with appropriate techniques – yes. We recommend sandstone for example. Its greatest advantage is its natural plasticity to adapt to different shapes. With the help of a hand drill and sandpaper you can build attractive caves that will be a great shelter for many species, and in the case of spawning – laying eggs (e.g. for a bushymouth catfish). Sandstone, however, slightly raises the pH of the water, which you need to pay attention to – similarly with limestones – these should be boiled until it does not foam.
Basalts, shales and granites as well as volcanic rocks do not affect the water properties in any way. As we are not geologists, it is worth checking whether the stone brought from a pond, for example, does not cause the water to become cloudy when scalded with boiling water. It is also worth avoiding stones with a metallic sheen – there is a high probability that they contain inappropriate chemical compounds, including, for example, sulphites.