Best Rocks For Freshwater Aquarium

Fishes In The Aquarium

Product FAQ

What Are Rocks for Freshwater Aquariums?

What Do the Best Rocks for Freshwater Aquariums Do?

What Is Most Important When Choosing the Best Rocks for Freshwater Aquariums?

Where Can You Buy the Best Rocks for Freshwater Aquariums?

COMPARISON TABLE

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How We Reviewed

We reviewed the best rocks for freshwater aquariums based on their Features, Pros & Cons, and Where to Buy. Actual user reviews were considered.

What We Reviewed

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The Carib Sea ACS00370 South Sea Base Rock has 50% large and small void space, which means it is very porous. It is a naturally weathered stone, is safe for salt and freshwater tanks, and it is made of calcium carbonate for healthy tank pH.

Pros

  • Porous nature encourages microbiome
  • Calcium carbonate adds to minerals

Cons

  • Sizes vary and are unpredictable
  • Man-made

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These are made of natural red volcanic rock and are also very porous for cultivating bacteria. The size of the stones differs in this 400 gram (0.88 pounds) bag.

Pros

  • Good customer reviews
  • Porous

Cons

  • Color-specific and dark

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SunGrow mineral rocks are light colored, with mostly earth tones, and they have rounded edges and textured surfaces. These rocks contain 60 essential trace elements and minerals that release minerals back into the water for up to six months.  They contribute to the health of the tank by purifying water through ionic exchange and provide a space for bacteria helpers to thrive.

Pros

  • Contributes to health with mineral and purity
  • Attractive looking
  • Enjoyed by tank life

Cons

  • Small size rocks

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These are strictly decorative, non-toxic natural stones that look much like river pebbles. They are mostly polished. They run about 0. 5" - 0. 8", and the package weighs 5 pounds in total.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Smooth and safe

Cons

  • No porous area for bacterial growth
  • No added mineral benefit

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These are what stereotypical aquarium gravel look like. They are small in diameter, smooth, and come in a 5-pound bag. This brand offers pink, green, blue, black, white, and fluorescent gravels.

Pros

  • Multiple colors available
  • Stands out under a blue light

Cons

  • No porous area for bacterial growth
  • No added mineral benefit

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These are not rocks at all but smooth glass marbles that are flattened out for use in aquariums. They are about a ¾ inch across and come in a 5-pound bag.

Pros

  • Clean and smooth
  • Glass is non-toxic

Cons

  • No porous area for bacterial growth
  • No added mineral benefit

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These are 100% real slate stones that come in pieces 3-5 inches long and are mostly gray; although sometimes there are some white or brown pieces. They hold heat and can be stacked to create caves, mountains, and spaces for plants to be placed.

Pros

  • Hold heat
  • Flat slabs good for stacking
  • Porous

Cons

  • Cannot root plants due to no substrate

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These aquarium rocks are natural, smooth pebbles available in two color combinations. One is slightly lighter than the other. They include shades of brown, white, and black.

Pros

  • Attractive
  • Smooth

Cons

  • No porous area for bacterial growth
  • No added mineral benefit

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These decorative stones are made of glass that is shiny when under water. They come in a variety of colors and sizes.

Pros

  • Blue, white or black
  • Large, small or sand-sized

Cons

  • Very small pebbles

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These rocks look like coral and are a natural reef rock that is not harvested from the sea. It is environmentally friendly and free from organisms.  A 10-pound box comes with 2-3 pieces of varying sizes. They are some of the best rocks for freshwater aquariums.

Pros

  • Porous to promote healthy bacteria
  • Attractive
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons

  • May not appear as pictured

The Verdict

We really like the SunGrow mineral rocks for their texture and the added benefit of mineral composition. However, it would be cost prohibitive to create an entire substrate out of them, even if your aquarium is small. We recommend using a combination of natural, rough stone such as Carib Sea ACS00370 South Sea Base Rock or MarcoRocks Key Largo Dry Rock, along with Royal Imports Decorative Ornamental River Pebbles and then supplementing with SunGrow mineral rocks.

You are sure to find a combination that is attractive and effective at maintaining the health and well being of your tank and fish.

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