Best Aquarium Rocks Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Setting up an aquarium requires research. Depending on the type of decor you are considering as well as your budget, you will need to start with aquarium rocks as your base. There are many choices available on the market. We advise you to look for reputable brands.
Rocks come in different shapes and sizes. Look for those that are meant for freshwater if you are choosing these species of fish. The same principle goes for saltwater fish. The ones you select should be inert. Additionally, they must not endanger the health of your fish.
Certain rocks can be dangerous to fish when they affect the hardness of aquarium water. Go with varieties that will not affect the PH levels. This makes it conducive for fish to survive in that environment. This guide would assist you to select the recommended brands that your fish will grow and thrive in.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 8 hrs of research
10 Best Aquarium Rocks
1. ARC Reef
This brand is our topmost recommendation. This stone comes from dry rocks and is selected individually by hand. It is different from other stones due to their attractive appearance, distinguishing shape, as well as their porosity. By the appearance, nobody would be in doubt of the superior quality. These reasons are why this base rock is highly recommended and ranks #1 on our list.
Weighs 25 Pounds
The most distinguishing characteristic is the size and weight. At 25 pounds, the ARC Reef dry base rock is individually selected. When it comes to quality, this one stands out.
You cannot just find it just anywhere. They are mined directly from the earth and not from a coral reef. One can easily identify this stone from the porosity, which is good for the aquatic life it supports. This stone does not require any further treatment.
Full of Crevices and Holes
As stated earlier, this stone is extremely useful for supporting aquatic life. The first thing you will notice is that it is full of holes and crevices. This characteristic is very good for fish.
You cannot use every stone for aquariums. And if you opt for this one, you will discover that it comes ready to use as you do not have to subject it to any further treatment.
Cost and Value
This is a special type of rock. From the way it is procured, it is evident that it can support your saltwater fish. The most important aspect is that it is environmentally friendly.
Furthermore, to show that it is different from others out there, you should know that it is calcium carbonate based, which will not harm your saltwater fish. It remains the best for your aquarium as it contains no such things like silica.
2. Small World Slate and Stone
Natural Slate is another great brand specializes in aquatic stones for your fish. They are natural; and because of this, there are no dangers associated with using them. Furthermore, aquarium water will hardly affect it. This means that they will not easily deteriorate.
When preparing them for use, do not subject these stones to further treatments. You can simply incorporate them into your tank. Another great aspect is that they are PH neutral. This makes them the perfect choice for any type of aquarium, as they are capable of sustaining the lives of freshwater species.
Excellent for Freshwater
The PH of these stones is neutral. Because of this, they will not endanger any species that are chosen for your aquarium. These are special types of stones that cannot be found just anywhere. This means you have to be skeptical of different manufacturers that claim to sell them. This is to ensure that they are authentic.
If you do not buy them from a known dealer, chances are that you will end up with a fake version. These slate stones are founded by a company that engages in aquatic rock collecting as a family business. They are available to order in the USA, which means they are widely distributed.
They are naturally attractive. Because of this, some people choose to use them for other purposes other than the aquarium. It can make a visual difference wherever they are placed. Lots of people use them for other purposes like water fountains, landscaping, or even for rock painting.
Apart from the fact that they can serve outdoor purposes, this shows that they are environmentally friendly. This is why these stones top our list of the most recommended.
Cost and Value
These slate stones are certainly not the most expensive on the market. They are specially packaged in America and this means that they are widely available. Apart from the fact that you can use them for freshwater species, they are used as decor for other avenues.
It is certain from the above factors that Natural Slate stones remain the most valuable of such brands to choose. They are highly attractive. And most importantly, they are environmentally friendly.
Need cleaning before use
These are a special type of mixed stones. There are various choices available as they come in different colors and different sizes. When you are making a selection, be sure of the quality as there tend to be inconsistencies involving different brands. You can tell the difference from their weight.
The best range to select is within the weight of 15 to 20 lbs. This is the most preferred. Additionally, they are a lot safer to use. They are highly attractive and can support any aquatic life in freshwater.
You can tell the difference from other models by their design. They are designated to have a dragon stone shape. They are available in different sizes and colors.
You can tell the best quality brands from weight and size. These models are those within the weight range of 15 to 20 lbs. and will make a great addition to your aquarium.
Are Safe to Use
When looking for the best stones for your tank, the most important rule is to put the safety of your fish first. Experts recommend dragon stones because they are a lot safer to use. Buy those within the recommended weight range.
Because of their porosity, they are ideal for any tank. Moreover, the colors make them attractive not only to the human eye, especially with the right lighting, but they are also useful for supporting aquatic life.
Cost and Value
It is not all the time that you get to see these types of stones. If you are looking for something different and unique to place in your aquarium, you can always opt for the Ohko dragon stones. They are highly attractive!
You will get a better deal if you opt for those within the weight range of 15 to 20 lbs. You have nothing to lose and plenty to gain when you choose the Aqualexs dragon stones.
4. Pure Water Pebbles
These are the perfect choice of pebble to place in an aquarium or pond. Anywhere they are placed, the visual effect is instant. One thing to note is that they are not expensive. This is so that people can afford it.
The weight of the gravel is just 5 lbs, which is why they will always settle at the bottom without any difficulty. They offer great living spaces for your fish and other aquatic species.
Great Filtering Ability
There are a couple of aspects that stand out when you purchase this gravel by Pure Water Pebbles. The obvious reason is that they are ideal for many aquariums. Wherever you put them, they will sink to the bottom. Once at the bottom, they will help with purification and makes the water more conducive for the fish in it.
Aquarium gravels help to facilitate the filtering process. This is great for anchoring plants and microbes inside the freshwater. Because of their unique filtering ability, they increase the surface area’s ability to nitrify the water.
Apart from the fact that they are natural, they are also highly decorative. They can make a pond or a tank bottom look very attractive. This is one of the greatest benefits of choosing the product.
In addition, they are nontoxic and whenever used, they will not alter the water chemistry. This means that they are rendered to be safe.
Cost and Value
This is a recommended brand you can use for your pond, tank or any type of decoration that uses pebbles. It has all the characteristics and aspects that support aquatic life. These stones furthermore help to purify the water and boots the nutrients that your fish requires.
Furthermore, the colors are eye-catching. You now know that they will not alter the composition of the water. All these factors are what makes them ideal for your aquarium.
This gravel aids your aquatic species in many ways. It appears that the greatest benefit is the fact that they can propagate bacteria life. This fact alone is very beneficial to fish.
This gravel is highly versatile as you can use it in different settings. You can also use it in ponds as well as in other various places for decoration. It is also common to see these gravels in gardens, fountains, and so forth.
Safe to Use
The most important factor to consider is the safety of use. This item is very safe and is good for fish and other aquatic species. It does not contain any toxic materials that can endanger the aquarium.
You will not encounter any problems during usage. When mixed with water, the gravel will not alter the composition. It will retain its freshness as well as the color.
As they are safe for the aquarium, they are also safe for the environment. The reason being is that they are 100% natural stones.
When you order, you can start using them with confidence! They do not alter anything and will not constitute any threat to your pet fish. This is certainly a recommended brand to choose!
Cost and Value
You will appreciate the affordability and will not experience any regrets when you invest in this brand. It will support your aquarium by making fish and other species healthy. You have also read that the gravel does not change water color or alter its composition.
It offers you every benefit you need for a healthy aquarium. If you are looking for the best stones, start with the Imagitarium brand. It remains one of our top recommended!
6. Aquascaping Stone
Not for certain saltwater fish
The Seiryu stone is different from others in terms of color. Apart from that, you can easily distinguish it by the sharp jagged edges. Furthermore, you will know it from the deep cut as well as the crevices which are abundant in it.
Furthermore, the layers are composed of calcite vein; and this tends to make a contrast from its bluish colors. Traces of white veins can also be found. However, you have to use it with caution - and that depends on the type of fish you choose.
If you have a shrimp and are looking for the most supportive rock, you can always start with this one. It is very popular for shrimp and other fish species. This model remains one of the most popular choices because of the bluish color.
If you want to raise certain shrimp species like Amano, glass, ghost, as well as red cherry shrimp, you can select this stone. Moreover, be diligent in your research because it does not support certain types of fish.
Another feature is that it comes in different shapes. This is great as you can choose one type or you can choose from a combination. Depending on the type of fish you want to raise, ensure that you get the correct size or a combination of sizes for your fish tank.
Moreover, the stone is available in different weights. In addition, it will look very attractive and can make a visual difference wherever it is placed. Before you use the stone, ensure that it is void of any particles.
The best way to ensure this is to wash it before use. It does not contain anything that is toxic that can endanger the species.
Cost and Value
Perhaps the greatest benefit is that it can support all types of freshwater species. The most important factor is to ensure the right weight and size. We recommend checking the product description before making your choice.
When it comes to value, this item is priced on the high end. But take into account that there is hardly any other piece of rock that compares with it in terms of supporting aquatic lives.
For saltwater fish, be sure to read the product description beforehand. For freshwater species, the Seiryu stone Is highly recommended for shrimp farmers.
Small in size
These decorative pebbles are outstanding! They have fantastic features that separate them from several types. They are highly multifunctional, and this means that you can use them for different decorative purposes.
They come with a polished surface. The implication is that these stones are easier to clean and there is no difficulty of any tiny particles getting in between them.
Most importantly, they do not wear in water and will not pose any threat to fish. Wayber decorative rocks are user-friendly and are highly recommended for use in different aquariums.
This brand is extensively popular. You have read that they are ideal for aquariums. But they can be used for other purposes such as decorating fountains and ponds to usual tasks such as chakra cleansing.
Furthermore, they can serve as a decoration for flower pots, beach wedding accessories as well as filling up glassware and vases. Whatever the reason, it is recommended to keep gravel away from the reach of smaller children.
Cost and Value
There are three things that make the Wayber brand outstanding. The first is that the gravel is safe. There is absolutely nothing to fear when you place them in your aquarium.
Secondly, they are long-lasting. They will serve you throughout the lifetime of your fish. Lastly, when you buy this brand, you do not ever have to worry about replacing it. These reasons are what makes these stones valuable. They are readily available to order.
Supports aquatic life
Bigger than expected
As the name suggests, these stones emanates from the river. They are available in many colors and designs. This is good because it makes your choices a lot easier.
Because of their beauty, many people use them beyond the aquarium as they can be used to beautify different aspects of the home. It is common to see them in water features, driveways, as well as in walkways and so on. It is a versatile product.
The stones can be used for different decorative purposes. They are very colorful. They help to bring a bland looking aquarium to life or anywhere they are used.
It is not surprising that their use goes far beyond just the aquarium. People have used them to help decorate their homes, therefore adding value to it.
Research has shown that decorative gravel are great for different purposes such as crafts. In addition, they are applied to different home projects such as floral arrangements, bowls, vases, as well as centerpieces. If you are looking for colored stones with superior quality, you can opt for this brand.
The multipurpose use is possible due to their durable nature. They do not wear and will remain strong for a very long time. In aquariums, they will not harm your fish.
Cost and Value
When it comes to value, you will discover that these stones are most versatile. Furthermore, they are durable and do not constitute any threat to your aquarium. You can use them with confidence without any worries!
These agate stones can serve for more than one purpose. For aquarium owners, they remain one of the best options because of the support they give. The stones are highly polished. For that purpose, they can serve as decorative items.
They are imported from India and are polished to achieve the best quality results. They are smooth and will not deteriorate when they are placed in water. This means that they can support aquarium life.
This brand is miles ahead of its competitors for featuring aquatic stones that are both durable and attractive. They are shipped worldwide. For this, they have achieved positive results for aquariums therein as they do not wear.
Owners had always feared about accessories wearing out in their aquariums and harming their fish. These black agate stones will not deposit unwanted materials that can disrupt the PH levels in the water.
Even though these larger stones are shipped worldwide, they are completely natural. They are tumbled stones that are completed with a quality finish. The result is a smooth look and a very attractive feel.
When you put them in water, you will discover that they will enrich it to sustain the life of your fish.
Cost and Value
There is no doubt that these agate stones will be valuable for your aquarium. They are attractive to be used for inside or outside decorations. Fluval is a brand that is highly recommended. That is why it made our top 10
Medium/ larger size
These are great stones for freshwater. If you are planning to use them for landscaping, these natural stones are rated high as they are better for this task than mulch. Moreover, they have wider usage compared to similar brands out there. They can be used for both indoor and outdoor purposes.
In addition, they are long-lasting and will not deteriorate. They offer many benefits; which is why they are strongly recommended.
These are unique types of aquarium stones. Unlike several others out there, they are also polished. There are many advantages associated with that. The first is that they offer an appealing look and feel.
Because of their polished nature, they are much better than other alternatives for an aquarium. This is because they do not deteriorate.
Safer to Use
Most importantly, people consider the safety of their fish before they make a purchase. These pebbles do not emit or leave behind any dangerous toxins that can negatively affect aquatic life.
This brand is recommended by experts because they are 100% natural. You can use them without any worries.
Cost and Value
If you are looking for the best natural stones, this brand is recommended for you. It features everything you need to sustain your aquarium.
Futhermore, they are eco-friendly if you will be using them for outside landscaping. And for these reasons, they are considered the best alternative to mulch. This item is readily available for purchase and ships quickly.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Aquatic organisms need a place to retreat whenever they feel threatened. Some of them have shells, while others rely totally on their environment for shelter or to hide. There are different designs of stones that look like caves or tunnels. These chambers give these animals a place to rest.
Thus, depending on your pet’s habitat and tank size, there are various designs of stones to choose from which range from simple styles to complex designs with chambers. There are even designs that are crafted into objects. They may resemble a sunken ship or an aquatic villa.
Simple styles: These types of stones are entirely composed of pebbles. They are being bought collectively to form the tank base. They may either be small, medium, or large as per your choice. Uniqueness includes color, shape, and distinct properties such as them glowing in the dark. They are also available in larger varieties.
Complex styles: With these types, medium or large sizes are what they are being composed of. They have chambers such as caves, tunnels, and can even resemblance objects. They are being designed to give an ornamental look as well as provide a safe habitat for your animal. Their shapes have both natural appearances as well as man-made creativity.
Select the best types depending on your pet. Despite the beauty that some may hold, ensure that your pet fishes will have a haven which is homely. Also, the style should allow free room for swimming.
Despite serving aquatic animals, everyone needs beautifully colored rocks to provide a stunning appearance. Thus, they are available in different shades of colors. This gives you the opportunity to select the preferred theme of color.
Also, a good fish tank should be able to complement the aquatic organism itself. For customer satisfaction, there are wide ranges of stones to select from. This includes those with light or bright colors as well as those with dull or dark colors.
A blend of different colors that match can create a chic look with stunning beauty. Also, when selecting the right shade of color, consider the house theme and the animal color. As both the vessel and water are transparent, an outstanding color will give your aquarium an aesthetic appeal. And as a reminder, you should clean and maintain it regularly.
This is a major factor that should be considered. The type of stone or pebbles you choose will mainly rely on the size of your aquarium. Smaller tanks mean you will need smaller types. This will enable good fit as well as being within the capacity limit of your tank.
The size of the aquatic animal and the stones should be able to fit well in the tank. Ensure they will allow your animal to move freely. The gravel should be comfortable enough so that your fish will not get trapped between the spaces.
In setting up an aquarium, the safety of your fish is paramount. This begins with the water temperature and the stones you will use. Different types have different properties. This affects their reaction when placed in either fresh or salt water.
Depending on their composition when placed in water, they will have a different effect on the PH. For instance, carbonate types of stones raise both the pH as well as the hardness of the water. Crushed seashells and corals also affect the hardness of the water. If your fish is not tolerant to a higher pH, it is best to avoid these types of stones.
There are different types of stones in our environment, but not all are recommended to be used in an aquarium. Therefore, selecting the right types will guarantee you the safety of your animal, as well as the aesthetic value. But you may be wondering which types of stones that are safe to use? Listed below are neutral stones that work best.
Granite, slate, quartz, lava rock, and petrified wood. These can be used in saline and fresh water. They have no effect on water levels; thus are considered neutral. They are perfect for any type of aquatic animal, especially if you are not sure which type you need for your pet.
Also, bacterial growth is a major aspect to consider. Some stones have the capacity to host different types of bacteria. Some bacteria can thrive best in your fish tank or bowl. Thus, if you prefer picking out stones yourself, avoid any polluted or dirty environment. Doing this will guarantee the good health of your pet fish.
The material of your stones, gravel, or pebbles is vital. Depending on the source, their creation involves using different methods and material composition. Furthermore, there are certain materials which are present that will make certain types of stones unfit for an aquarium. They include:
Metal: A metallic material will guarantee you rust. Rust can compromise the aesthetic value of your aquarium as well as the health of your aquatic pets. Fish can ingest the metal, which might be very fatal and cause death.
Carbonate materials like marble, sandstone, limestone, coral, dolomite, and alabaster should be avoided. They have the properties of changing the salinity of the water. Therefore, stones with neutral properties are what you will need.
Artificial stones are composed of resins. This material has no toxins, thus making them safe for your aquarium. These offer a perfect alternative to natural types of stones. Moreover, using them as an ornamental design is easier and cheaper than natural stones.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
• They compliment the look of a fish tank.
• They offer a natural habitat resemblance to the fish.
• They are needed to form the base of the bowl or tank.
• Offers space for biological filtration.
• Provide a breeding site for the fish.
• Offers both ornamental and aesthetic value.
There are many types in our environment. When selecting, do not pick randomly. You can consider the following: granite, slate, lava rock, quartz, and petrified wood. They are all neutral since they have little to no effect in the water.
Avoid those from environments that have pollution, come from bodies of water or channels. They could be harboring harmful microorganisms which are unhealthy for your fish tank. Avoid those with metal components due to rust. Last but not least, rocks with carbonate can alter the pH of water. They should be avoided at all cost.
Get yourself a stiff brush and scrub them one by one under running water until they are spotlessly clean. Ensure there is no residue on the surface. Any residues left behind have the potential to cause an imbalance in the pH level of the water. You also have an alternative of bleaching them to ensure thorough cleaning.
Once you are sure they are clean enough, boiling them is the next step. Boiling kills all the harmful microorganisms both on the surface and within. Pick a pot which is large and deep enough to accommodate all your gravel or stones.
In this process, do not add any additives. Only pure water is needed. Water should cover over them well. Using medium heat, boil them for 30 minutes. Afterwards, remove them from the pot and air-dry them. This should be done on a clean paper towel. Allow an hour of cooling time. After which, you can put them into the fish tank.
Most fish tanks are made from glass that is strong enough to resist breakage. However, any imbalance on the pressure points can cause it to crack or break. This is where you need a careful technique to prevent breakage.
Place them uniformly on the bottom, but do it slowly. No clumps should form at any point on the base. This ensures uniform distribution of pressure, thus prevents damage. When you wish to create a particular design, a stronger tank glass is what you need.
A stable tank also comes in handy. Your fish may move around the tank and knock down the stones (depending on the design). This will damage it along with the organism itself. Ensure they are being laid well enough to avoid collapse by any means.
In the market, there are both artificial and natural types. Based on your needs and that of your pet, you can use this as the first consideration. The natural types may be quite costly since many people prefer them over the artificial ones. They are processed already and all you have to do is place them in your fish tank. Despite the cost, they guarantee the health of your fish.
For artificial types, you have to be more careful. Ensure they are safety-rated and are void of any form of toxins. Rub on the surface to confirm there is no debris coming off. Also, inquire about their resistance to corrosion and water tolerance. Both types are effective in their role if you opt for the best quality.
Other Factors to Consider
Since our environment has lots of gravel and stones, many people would prefer picking them. Yes, this is cheaper and does not incur any costs. But if you have not researched on the right ones to choose, this can be fatal on the health of your fish.
Rather than picking up stones randomly and ending up with the wrong ones, it’s much cheaper to buy. Doing it on your own also means that your pet’s survival will depend on the probability of success or failure. And if you are wrong, you will end up buying another pet. Why go through this hassle? You can easily get them at cheaper rates.
When you purchase stones from the store, you will have the added security of choosing stones that are guaranteed safe for the life of your pet. You get to choose colors depending on your theme. This is because there are different variations that come in different designs and colors. You can get them for as low as $3.00. Isn’t your pet worth that and more?
Build a beautiful environment for your pet by choosing from the realistic designs available. Moreover, these types have a guaranteed aesthetic and ornamental value. They are crafted to impress both you and your pet.
The best brand should be versatile. Neutral stones fit this description perfectly. This is because there are types which stay put regardless of the water’s parameters. Versatility ensures their durability by preventing corrosion.
Stones that are resistant to corrosion help to maintain the quality of the water you place your fish in. This ensures a healthy and conducive environment for them. This also safeguards you from the losses you will incur from the replacement of your stones and your fish.
Weight is of the essence. For a large and permanent aquarium, there is no movement of stones in it, thus any weight is perfect with it. For smaller fish tanks or bowls, movement is inevitable. Most or all smaller tanks lack water cleaners. Therefore, all cleaning and maintaining are being done by hand.
In this case, lighter stones are recommended. They are much easier to remove, clean, and can cause no damage to the vessel. They also enable easier portability of the fish tank as you reorganize it or when moving. You can select the weight limit based on the method of cleaning and the size of the fish tank.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What amount of gravel or stones are required for a tank?
They come in different sizes. The smaller sizes weigh about 5 pounds. For the bigger sizes, they are sold individually. This is because they are being designed to be ornamental and stand alone. Because of this, select gravel and stones based on the size of your bowl or tank.
q: Artificial or natural? Which is the best?
Both types work best. Be careful when choosing so that you do not pick the ones that contain harmful toxins.
q: Do they affect the water pH?
Most brands that are sold by a retailer have little to no effects on the pH of water. However, if you pick them yourself, testing and thorough cleaning will be needed. This will show whether the ones you have picked are safe or not.
q: What materials are the artificial types made of?
The artificial types are made from resin. This material is safe and has no toxic emission.
q: Are the colored pebbles natural or are they painted?
Some have a natural color appearance with a bit of polishing to make them shine. Other pebble stones contain toxin-free paint and are polished to look natural and shiny.
q: Which types are suitable for saltwater aquariums?
Most naturally occurring types that are being sold have neutral material. The same case applies to artificial designs. Both types are mostly made to be used in both fresh and saltwater.