Aquariums need to be decorated in order for them to look elegant, attractive and stylish as well. There are various items that can be used for aquarium decoration including plants, rocks, and other artificial items. There are a number of styles used in decoration of aquariums and one of the common styles themed in Japanese aquarium styling is the ‘Iwagumi layout’. This style usually features lots of carpet plants and stones. It is however important to know about the effects that using certain rocks especially in aquariums that have fishes and shrimps. Some rocks come with chemical effects to the aquarium water which must be established whether such effects can be fatal to the fish. Seiryu Stone is a popular aquarium stone that a number of aquarists have used for aquascaping their aquariums. There are numerous other stones that are used in aquarium decoration and beautification.
Important points to note before you put seiryu stone in your aquarium
Understand the stone chemical composition
It is important to note the chemical composition of the rock you intend to add to your aquarium. There are things like alkalinity and other elements that the rock might release to the water thus affecting its value such as KH, PH, GH, Nitrate and nitrite. For seiryu stone is a limestone based stone. Thus you need to expect it altering the water parameters of your tank.
Test for acidity or alkalinity
You can perform the carbonate test on the stone by adding HCL chloride hydrochloride and wait to see how it reacts. If you notice some sort of sizzling reaction occurring, this may be proof that the particular stone is alkaline. With this, you know that if you add such a stone to your aquarium water be prepared that the alkalinity levels in your water will go up.
Clean and Wash the stones
It is important for you to wash the stone thoroughly under water. This is to get rid of debris or other related impurities that may get into your aquarium water. You may even need to boil the seiryu stone in water for at least thirty minutes. This will help to kill any bacteria or harmful micro organisms on the stone.
Is it safe to add local sourced rocks yourself into the aquarium?
If you decide to collect rocks from your locality by yourself with the intention to adding them to your aquarium, that’s just fine. In fact doing this may even save you the burden of having to spend lots of cash on stores offering special rocks for aquascaping. What you have to take much caution with is to do everything right because if you mess up on anything then you can end up killing your fish.
Some rocks like Seiryu Stone that have chemicals in them that will alter the water pH of the aquarium. Worse still, there are certain rocks that will work to harden the aquarium water and this may not go well with some aquarium fish.
It is best to avoid using rocks from streams or rivers that are highly polluted with industrial waste. These kinds of rocks even if cleaned will still have some level of toxicity in them which if introduced into the aquarium may kill your aquarium animals. Never attempt to add rocks collected locally into the aquarium before performing keen observation for any possible presence of metallic elements.
The kind of rocks not to add to your aquarium
There are many types of rocks out there you can use to decorate your aquarium with and there are some that you need to avoid at all costs. Carbonate types of rock should be avoided because they usually change the chemistry of the water they are added to. Most types of carbonate rocks will either increase the hardiness or pH of the water.
This one may not have much of an effect on already hard tank water but will have great adverse effects on soft and acidic water. You place limestone in a tank that has got the African Cichlid the result will be disastrous to them!
Other examples of possible carbonate rocks to avoid include:
- Various types of sand
Other types of materials used in aquariums that may affect pH and hardness:
- Crushed seashells
Advantages of adding dragon rocks to your aquarium
Certain rocks usually change the parameters of the water in the aquarium naturally without the need of using chemicals. Rocks such as limestone or Texas Holey Rock can greatly help to raise the pH of your tank water. Using driftwood on the contrary will help to lower the pH of the tank water.
Algae growth and less nitrate
Rocks also provide a safe haven for the growth of algae which certain aquarium animals will feed on. Aquariums that have rocks in them have a tendency to have less nitrate or ammonia problems. This is beneficial to your aquarium animals because these substances usually are toxic to aquarium animals.
Natural to their habitat
Rocks helps to give the fish the impression that they are living in a place similar to their natural habitat. This can go a long way in reducing stress in fish which is usually considered one of the major causes of fish death in captive tanks.
Rocks usually provide the fish in the tank sufficient hiding places where they can escape to when they feel shy or threatened. This way the fish in tanks with rocks will feel much safe and will even lay eggs on the rocks.
The bottom line
Using seiryu stone to help you perform aquascaping in your tank is great although it needs to be done with much caution. While rocks can greatly add to the natural feel of an aquarium they also have the potential of changing the tank water parameters. Take for instance Seiryu Rock a common rock that is commonly used in Japanese aquarium styling. It is a great aquarium rock that will really add some oomph to your aquarium but it will have to be treated well before it is added to an aquarium with animals. Other kinds of stones to be careful with before adding into the aquarium include limestone, alabaster, dolomite, sandstone, and marble.