How To Prepare Lava Rock For An Aquarium

An aquarium is one of the best ways to decorate your home. An aquarium will not only help you to rear some fish but also add beauty to your home. Thus maintaining an aquarium is very important, there are different ways you can manage your aquarium and adding some lava rocks is one of them.

Lava rocks will help your aquarium in many ways. Adding lava rocks will enhance the beauty of your aquarium and make a more conducive environment to the aquarium inhabitants.

However, you should prepare lava rocks before adding them to the aquarium to prevent water contamination.

How to Prepare Lava Rock for an Aquarium

When adding lava rocks to your aquarium, you will not only have to buy the rocks and add them to the aquarium directly. You need to make sure you prepare them enough to remove any substance that might be harmful to your aquarium inhabitants. Preparing lava rocks will involve three major steps, that is cleaning, drying and disinfecting the rocks. So how do you clean the rocks? You will only need running water, a brush, and a bucket. Don’t use any household cleaner as many of them will have residue that is very harmful to the fish.

Step 1: Add your rocks to the empty bucket

Step 2: Add water to the bucket until its full and scrub the rocks, pour the water and repeat the process until the water is clear enough. Also, you can rub two rocks together to remove any sharp edge that may harm your fish.

Step 3: The final step is drying your rocks. This is very simple as you will only use a mart and bust them to the sun.

After removing excess dust and all the dirt, you should make sure you disinfect your rocks to avoid carrying any disease to your aquarium. You can sterilize the rocks by boiling them or soaking them in a bleach solution.


Although boiling is not that much recommended for porous rocks like lava rocks, it is the most effective if you want to disinfect your rocks thoroughly. Boiling will help you to remove all the harmful organisms and bacteria. While using this method, you should be very sensitive to avoid any damage to your kitchen or injuring your self as the rocks may explode when boiled excessively.

Rocks should be boiled in a submerged condition and the boiling pot covered. Don’t assume any safety measures so that you can prevent the explosion. Make sure you use a large pot, and you don’t boil the rocks for more than 3o minutes.

Make sure you don’t add the rocks directly to the aquarium after removing them from the boiling water. Use a paper towel to absorb all the water and cool them for one hour or more before adding them to the tank. When dealing with lava rocks make sure you are very careful, and you don’t boil them in excess to avoid crumbling or breaking.

Using a bleach solution

This is the less effective method, but you can use it when you want to be sure your lava rocks will not break. It is also suitable when dealing with large sized rocks or when you want to avoid dangers associated with the boiling method.

Bleaching your rocks shouldn’t be a hard task. You will only need to add them into a bleach solution and leave them for 24 hours. Make sure the ratio of the bleaching agent to water is 1:10 or maybe a higher concentration. Before adding the rocks to your aquarium, you should remove any trace of the bleaching agent using treated water.

Preparing your aquarium before adding lava rocks

Keep the following tips before adding rocks to your aquarium:

1. Make sure your tank surface is flat before adding the rocks. This will ensure equal distribution of the weight making it easier for your tank to support the load from the rocks.

2. Use Styrofoam sheets – If your aquarium is made using glass, then you need to use Styrofoam sheet to before adding the rocks.

3. To prevent scratching of your aquarium, you can add clean sand to form a layer then add large sized rocks.

Benefits of adding lava rock to your aquarium

Lowering nitrate levels

Producing a conducive environment to your aquarium inhabitants is the primary goal you should have. Lava rocks will help you to achieve this quickly and without the struggle. These rocks are covered all over the surface by holes and pores which act as the shelter to the beneficial bacteria known as denitrifying bacteria. This bacteria helps in maintaining the nitrogen cycle within the aquarium. They break nitrate to form oxygen and nitrogen offering a conducive environment for your fish to grow.

Provide caves

Caves are the best shelter to fish. This is where they use as a resting place and having them in your aquarium can be beneficial to a great extent. Lava rocks are very porous and will be the best option to create safer caves for your fish. This rock is very light, and you will not worry about breaking your aquarium glass. You can add large rocks which will create the best caves to accommodate your fish no matter the size. Lava rocks will remain attractive even after the caves have been formed and you don’t have to worry about the beauty as it will stay at the same level.

Hold plants

Plants are also essential when it comes to maintaining your aquarium. They will purify the air and provide a conducive environment for your fish. Lava rocks will help you to keep the plants as you can tie them down using these rocks.

Improves water clarity

Apart from providing a conducive environment to your inhabitant lava rocks will also help you to have clear water. By buying high-quality lava rocks, you can improve the clarity of your aquarium water as they will release some elements that help in adding clarity. If you need clear water, then lava rocks will be your best option.

How can you add lava rocks to an aquarium safely?

Don’t pile the rocks against the glass

One of the biggest mistakes you may make when adding rocks to your fish tank is piling the rocks against the glass. This glass is not that strong to support the weight from the rocks, and it may break when excess pressure is exerted to it by the rocks. To make sure your glass is safe you should pile the rocks away from the glass, this will guarantee the safety of the glass even if the rocks fall.

Glue the rocks together using silicone

Piling the rocks away from the glass will not guarantee the full security of the glass. When these rocks fall, they may reach the glass and scratch or break it. To make sure your aquarium glass is completely safe you need to pile the rocks together in a way that they will not fall even if they are hit by the fish while moving around. The only way to stack the rocks together and they don’t fall is by using silicone to glue them together. Silicone is harmless, and it will not have any effects on your aquarium inhabitants.

What you should be concerned about when buying lava rocks

Benefits of lava rocks in the aquarium makes them very admirable to many aquarium owners. However, when you are buying your rocks, you need to make some considerations depending on the size of your fish to get the best lava rocks that will not have negative effects to your aquarium or fish. Following are tips to help you when buying lava rocks:

Don’t purchase lava rocks with sharp edges – Lava rocks with sharp edges might be hazardous to your fish. Especially if you have scaleless and smaller fish, they can be injured by this sharp edges, and this is the main reason you should avoid rocks with sharp edges when shopping. Consider the size and type of fish you keep before buying lava rocks with sharp edges.

Buy the quality with the less durst – Choosing lava rocks with less durst will not only save you time and water when cleaning them but also when cleaning your tank. Rocks with high durst will form debris at the base of your aquarium making the cleaning process daunting. Make sure you buy the high quality, and it will save you much in the long run.

Where to buy lava rocks for an aquarium

There is no specific place where you can buy your rocks. You can buy them in any of the reputable online store or any other reliable store in your town or city. But be very careful when purchasing lava rocks for your fish tank as some rocks will contain minerals that are harmful to the fish. Shop around and make sure you get the best quality to get the best result. Also, don’t go for the available cheap quality as it may cost you a lot making you even to lose your fish.

In conclusion, lava rocks for the aquarium are essential when it comes to proving a conducive environment to your fish. Make sure you get the best quality, and you will be happy about the results.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.