AQUARIUM ROCKS: description and features of Dragon Stone, Seiryu, Slate, Rainbow, Pagoda, Quartz, Lava rock

AQUARIUM ROCKS: description and features of Dragon Stone, Seiryu, Slate, Rainbow, Pagoda, Quartz, Lava rock

Iwagumi-Aquascape-Style_2In aquariums, the rocks are very used as a decorative element of a tank, and with the advancement of Aquascaping the demand for the most varied forms and qualities has increased. Usually when we want to set up an aquarium, especially if we want a “Iwagumi” style layout, that is composed mainly of stones and vegetation, we need a lot of rock material, for this reason we need to know the aesthetic and chemical effect of each rock that we place in the biosystem. In this article we will know all the most famous and common stones that we find on the market like Seyryu stone, Dragon stone, Mountain stone, lava rocks, quartz, pagoda, rainbow stone, slate, bricks, sodalites and river pebbles; But before explane all details it is very important to know the treatment that you will must to do in all cases before being placed in the tank.

1 – Know for certainty the alkalinity of the rock and the release of elements that could affect the water’s water values such as PH, GH, KH, Nitrite and Nitrate.

2 – Carbonate self-test by putting a simple drop of limescale “Viakal” or Muriatic Acid or HCL Chloride Hydrochloride and wait for the “sizzling” reaction.  More the reaction will be stronger, more the stone is alkaline and will release carbonated in water that will increase PH, GH, or KH.

3 – Wash thoroughly with the help of brushes under water to remove debris or any animal inside.

4 – Boil in water for 30 minutes to eliminate all possible pathogenic elements such as bacteria or tiny insects.

seiryustonesSEIRYU STONE , MOUNTAIN STONE: There are rocks of limestone origin, along with Dragon Stone and Mountain Stone are the most used in Takashi Amano’s layouts, the color is from dark gray to light gray with white veins. They are very famous for their rich coves and crevices, they recall rocky landscapes and are great for epiphytic plants and Iwagumi aquariums; being of limestone origins, unfortunately release carbonates and therefore alter the values of water, so it will have to be used in little quantity in the composition of the layout or we suggest, besides the above described treatment, to place these in 30% HCl hydrochloric acid solution with water and leave for 3/4 days to react the outer part of the rock and release less carbonate when will be used in the tank.

Ohko_stone_1_grandeDRAGON STONE: Like Seiryu Stone and Mountain Stone are the most used in Takashi Amano’s layouts, the color are brown and dark yellow with red or green reflections, has the characteristic of being very light for their numerous holes and creeks, so it is practical for the glass basins of the tanks. Dragon stone is very good for epiphytic plants that will attack very quickly and has the good characteristic of not releasing carbonates, therefore will not alter the water values, so it can be used in large quantity in the composition of the layout. Finally, it is advisable to make a good washing and boiling, because in the holes there is a lot of mud or soil and can caused consequence like the possibility of contamination of the biosystem.

72182-7024681LAVA ROCK , POROUS STONE: These stones are natural aggregates of lava of volcanic origin and therefore very light because they are exceptionally very porous. This is a good feature for the total weight on the glass of the tank, but the most important feature of these rocks is the presence of millions of micro-holes that will help the establishment of nitrifying bacteria, such as Nitrobacter and Nitrosomonas, propedeutic to aquarium development.  For this reason it is also used in reduced forms as a substrate to facilitate the water flow and to make the bottom more oxygenated. Another excellent quality is also to not alter the water values.

granulati-ardesia-grigia_2SLATE STONE: This rock originates from thin silt stratification, has a relatively light weight and is mainly composed of slabs, which offer large smooth surfaces (very useful for laying eggs of some species) and has a very elegant and useful shape. The color is very dark, usually black or dark green, with some white veins. Slate has the characteristic of not releasing carbonates and therefore will not alter the water values, so it can be used in large quantity in the composition of the layout.

quarzosassoaQUARTZ ROCK: Quartz is a very present mineral on the earth’s crust and is composed of tetrahedrons of silicon and oxygen, it is presented in various shapes such as sandstone and granite, usually in aquarium we find it in the form of small pebbles or gravel to form the substrate and It has the characteristic of not releasing carbonates, so it will not change the water values. Her only disadvantage, for apersonal opinion, is the aesthetic effect a little bit “synthetic” for its shine and color.

sassi di fiume wutel.net_crelabRIVER STONES: There are oval or spherical smoothed pebbles with a smoothing effect for water passage, they have infinite colors and are highly appreciated for their naturalness, especially for “Biotope” layouts where we try to recreate the most similar conditions to reality where the various species live. Most of the time, they are limestone rocks, so they will affect the values of water by releasing carbonates, for this reason is usually used for African cichlid. If you decide to collect them directly from the bed of a river, in addition to above mentioned treatment, carry out the carbonate test to find the real effect in your aquarium.

vasi-teracotta-giardino-anfora-tagliataLATERIZES, CERAMICS: The laterizes in general, mostly made of clay, have the characteristic of having micropores that will help in the establishment of nitroglycerating bacteria such as Nitrobacter and Nitrosomonas, that are propedeutic to aquarium development. They can be used in aquariums where we want to recreate biotopes, such as river basins, or in tank dedicated to reproduction because the smooth surface will be good for egg laying,and the hole like in the drilled pots or bricks will offer shelter for couples or fry in growth.

roccia arcobalenoRAINBOW STONE: The rainbow rocks are distinguished from the others by their very varied coloration, usually white and orange or white and red and green. They are stones of sedimentary origin and come from Mexico, usually artificially plucked into the center to aid the attachment of epiphytic plants, and although their aesthetic effect will be not very natural but a little synthetic, will not release carbonates and therefore will not alter the values Of water, so they can be used in large quantity in the composition of layout.

13443PAGODA STONE: These rocks have the peculiarity of having a great aesthetic shape and look, is formed by several layers of gray and brown, almost remembers the wood. It As a good quality, it is a stone that does not release carbonates into water, so it can be used in large quantities in the composition of layouts, always after all the treatment explaned at the beginning.

r1220SODALITES STONE: These stones are the so-called “silicate stones” and have the characteristic of being very colorful and bright, usually blue, yellow or red. They have the good feature of not releasing carbonates and therefore not altering the water values, so they can be used in large quantity in aquarium layout, the only bad thing, in our opinion, is the aesthetic effect a little bit synthetic, but this depends on personal opinion.

Immagifdsfdsne_2 copiaIn conclusion, the choice of the rocks to be inserted into the aquarium will be done according to aesthetic criteria, according to functional criteria in relation to plants and fish, but also based on the chemistry and values that we would like to have in the future. We should also evaluate the sum of other elements that will place into the tank and create an equilibrium that suits our needs. If for example, we have difficulty to raising the kh, gh and ph, we can use quartz deposits and insert some limestone, but if, as in most cases, we have difficulty to reduce ph, gh and kh, we should utilize allophones or fertilized sand and non-limestone stones, or use slightly calcareous rocks, but treated with 30% hydrochloric acid with water and let it work for 3/4 days to react to the outside and release less carbonates in the water.