Lava Rock for Aquariums: A Quick Guide
We have some lovely Lava Rock available in 20k sacks. It comes in 2 colours for use in your aquarium. “Black” and “red”
Setting up your new aquarium can be pretty exciting. Whether it’s for the home or your office, having the right size tank, the perfect fish and the best accessories can create a brilliant focal point for any room.
One of the big challenges, of course, is what to include in the way of aquarium ‘furniture’ and how your fish are going to react to it.
Here we look at using lava rock in your aquarium and some of the unique benefits it provides, particularly when it comes to keeping the water clear.
What is Lava Rock?
Lava rock is a by-product of the high heat found in volcanoes and is a favourite with aquarium owners all around the world. One of the key properties is its porous nature which not only looks fantastic but is light and easy to maintain as well.
Adding pieces of lava rock to your aquarium will also add definition and aesthetic appeal along with other aquarium accessories such as plants or the odd sunken warship.
The Benefits of Lava Rock
While it looks great, there are also some quite important benefits to including lava rock or something similar in your setup.
Aquariums are often affected by the build-up of nitrates in the water. The lava rock makes an ideal habitat for bacteria that help filter out these – they do so by consuming the nitrates and producing oxygen and nitrogen as a byproduct, something which is more beneficial to the overall water quality.
Lava rock is also a great place for your fish to forage for little scraps of food that get lodged in the small holes or pores. It often has large enough holes to act as caves for smaller fish and can even be used to support plants.
Gravel or crushed lava rocks can be used as a substrate to form the base for your aquarium and will perform a similar function in helping keep ntirates down.
Tips for Putting Lava Rock into Your Aquarium
You shouldn’t just throw your lava rocks straight into the aquarium after they have been delivered as they can contain dust or organic matter from the collection, storage and transit process.
It’s useful to clean them carefully by putting them in a bucket of water and then scrubbing. If you wish to be extra careful, you may want to disinfect them by boiling them for a short while (no longer than 10 minutes, preferably in a biggish pan).
Lay the lava rock carefully in your aquarium once they have had some time to dry out in the sun. Some people do use bleach to clean their rocks but this creates problems including potentially contaminating the water and harming your fish.
If you do choose to bleach clean you rock be sure to rinse it well and soak it in clean water with plenty of dechlorinator which will help neutralise any residual bleach.
Lava Rock Alternatives
There are alternatives available if you would like a different type of rock. You could consider the Aquaforest synthetic rock. This will effect (raise) your pH so if you are looking at having a “soft” water set up then this would not be the decoration for you. Aquarium grade bogwood would be a better choice.
At TankBred, we provide everything you need to set up an aquarium from scratch including attractive and affordable rocks as well as a range of wood, gravel and sand.