Stones - Aquarium Decoration

Stones - Aquarium Decoration

Natural stones are the most popular aquarium decoration after plants and woods. They give the tank an impressive appearance, imitate the natural environment and can be used to build caves or other hiding places for
fish. They are also important for water parameters - they influence its reaction as well as hardness. Therefore, they must be chosen carefully. What stones are suitable for freshwater aquariums?

Aquariums use various stones, both river and exotic, available in aquarium shops. The choice depends on your own preferences, the fish stock and the type of aquarium. Stones should always be laid on a "cushioning" layer, this is the function of the substrate. Avoid stones with excessively sharp protruding edges, which may injure the body of fish, especially delicate ones (squeaks, kirisks, Siamese algae). Stones from the sea are unlikely to be suitable for aquariums, as they can drastically change water parameters.

Where do I get the stones for my aquarium? Let's go shopping!

In aquarium shops there is often a variety of stones from many regions of the world. As a rule, they are more impressive than domestic ones and allow you to create non-stamped arrangements. Seiryu Stone, a grey stone
with an uneven, rough surface with cracks, from Asia, is very popular. It is widely used in the aquaristic art of laying stones - iwagumi and the Ragwork technique referring to it. They are safe, even for shrimps. They are often planted with glossostigma, eleocharis and anubias plants. They increase water pH levels. Similar reputation has Dragon Stone (Ohko Stone) available in shades of yellow, orange, olive and brown.

The stone has numerous small holes and cavities, which brings to mind dragon scales. In fact, it is a petrified river sediment. Trenches and holes can be filled with perishable clay, so the stones need to be rinsed well before being placed in the tank. They are easy to arrange and do not affect the pH. Grey Mountain works well in nature type aquariums. They are rocks from the Far East with grey or graphite colour. They are arranged individually or in groups, imitating rocky ground. Samurai Rock is used in the same way.

The above mentioned rocks give the reservoir a bigger colour as they have a copper-brick colour. Limestone rocks are used to recreate the environment of Lake Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria. They have a light colour and rough surface with numerous cavities. They are unlikely to be suitable for general reservoirs as they increase the hardness of water in addition to increasing the pH.

How to prepare the stones for an aquarium?

The stones should not be placed in the aquarium immediately - preparation is important. The stones must be rinsed and cleaned thoroughly every time. It is also recommended to pour boiling water over them, especially those from your own collection. This will reduce the risk of mass occurrence of river snails or parasites. The stones can be used as hiding places or spawning places. Individual stones should be glued with special aquarium glue or silicone. The requirements of the fish should be taken into account. In the case of species that like soft water, do not exaggerate with the amount of stone decorations. On the other hand, sand is an optimal substrate which absorbs a considerable amount of stones and rocks. When creating an arrangement, one should be guided by safety considerations (the influence of stones on water and directly on animals) and by the aesthetic sense. You cannot exaggerate, stone islands (except for some specialized aquariums) rather do not look good. It is also better to avoid combining different stone species and contrasting colours. Such a rich mix does not look good. The underwater world should imitate the natural environment. An exception can only be made in children's aquariums.

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