Tips for choosing stones for your aquarium
Any aquascaper wants his aquarium to look beautiful and interesting, while maintaining its natural environment. It is often not necessary to invent something new, but it is enough to add something that is often found in nature. One of these "highlights" for decoration can be aquarium stones. They perfectly complement the interior, and due to their unusual shape make the design unique in its kind. In nature, rocks in the water are a completely natural part of the habitat. Fish spawn in them, and sometimes they just hide from predators.
Let's first figure out what types of stones for the aquarium exist. They can be divided into 2 main groups and have their own subspecies:
Artificial ones can be purchased at the pet store. They are made from safe and non-toxic plastics. Choice of cheap multi-colored glass stones to more expensive but more real ones.
Processed ones are also sold in pet stores, usually in the form of caves, rocks, grottoes. Of the minuses, one can single out that to create such compositions, you need to glue the stones (but ordinary glue can negatively affect the environment) and paint, and also often use a fragile material. The better the processing, the more expensive the price.
Natural stones are most commonly found by experienced aquascapers. Careful handling is required before placing them in the aquarium. You can take stones directly from nature. Of course, the big plus is that they are taken directly from the natural environment, thus, they feel great in the aquarium and do not harm the inhabitants.
Impact on the aquatic environment
Stones in water can be roughly divided into neutral stones that increase hardness and increase alkalinity.
Of course, they cannot be assembled from any materials, except that they can be glued together, painted, but this can be toxic to the inhabitants, but it is quite possible to find stones in the aquarium yourself.
Quarries where building stone (for example, marble or granite), sea or river bank are mined are suitable places to choose. Sea stones are in good demand. They can become part of your interior, and due to the fact that they are brought from the sea, they will add a special exoticism.
There are certain rules that are followed when choosing:
- Choose rocks that are lightweight so that they do not damage the aquarium if they fall. And also keep in mind that the base should be smaller than the top, because you can put them down, and after a while in the water they can fall.
- Stones affect the water environment, so find out in advance what effect they have on the water, that is, increases its alkaline environment or makes it softer. The water must meet the necessary conditions for the fish living in it.
- They should not crumble and be crumbled under mechanical stress.
- There should be no stains or odors on the surface, as they indicate the presence of metal or impurities that cannot be washed off.
- Check for sharp corners or protrusions (that is, flatter and blunt at the edges) to prevent the fish from getting hurt by them.
It is necessary to choose darker types, since they look the most advantageous as decorations.
On the contrary, it is forbidden to use and put stones found near quarries and mines in places contaminated with pesticides or radiation, and it is also not worth taking ore, since it is metal and dangerous for fish.
One of the most popular types of stones is sandstone. Refers to sedimentary rocks, formed by mixing sand and clay. It is represented by a large species of varieties, but only hard and durable sandstone can be used, since soft and fragile begins to affect the water, which can harm the inhabitants.
And they also distinguish the Sansibar Rock (often also called Kenya). It also belongs to sedimentary rocks and is one of the most beautiful species. Its shape is uneven, and its structure is porous. In nature, it is formed by mixing limestone, calcite, and sometimes shells. This makes it suitable for water with a high alkaline composition and hardness.
Treatment of rocks
It is advisable to carry out processing, even if you purchased them in a store.
- It is necessary to rinse it well, then clean it with a brush with hard bristles. Specifically good and clean, not washed.
- Take acetic acid, sulfuric acid, or hydrochloric acid and drop it onto the surface. If a reaction occurs - the appearance of gas bubbles or the appearance of orange or green spots, then they are unusable. This is due to the fact that when interacting with acid, iron and copper begin to manifest themselves. Unfortunately, pebbles with such metal ore spots will be removed by washing.
- If the acid test is successful, then rinse it again under running water.
- Boil it. You need to cook it for 20-30 minutes. Alternatively, you can heat it well in the oven for 20 minutes.
- After boiling, the prepared stones should be allowed time to cool down, after which they can be placed in the aquarium.
This is a fairly simple and effective way to prepare rocks for your aquarium so that you don't have any problems in the future. It is imperative to boil or anneal the stone in the oven, since the brush will not be able to wash off all microorganisms.
Stone growth algae
One of the most common problems that arise is when stones start to turn green. You can get rid of this. Water and other surfaces often turn green or black. This indicates the appearance of algae. This is not a serious problem, but this is the first sign that water is contaminated with too much nitrates. And aquarium starts to bloom, so it is still advisable not to ignore it.
To remove green or black deposits, you just need to carefully monitor the aquarium. Do not forget to make water changes, do not add too much food to the fish, check the filter and, most importantly, track the length of daylight hours. It should not be too large, because excess light is one of the main reasons for the appearance of algae. Special products bought in the store can also come to help in getting rid of plaque. The plaque or black beard, before removing it, is cleaned with a scraper from all available places. But without caring for the aquarium, no matter how much you peel off, the algae will not just go away.
In the design of the aquarium, the stones look unobtrusive, but at the same time gives it a special look. They serve as decorations. Not all stones are suitable for an aquarium, however, due to their various shapes, which are numerous when buying or choosing stones, you can choose the perfect one for your design.