View Full Version : lava rocks

02-27-2003, 02:10 PM
Hello all,
I was just reading an article online about somebody who went to home depot, found a bag of lava rock (for bbq grills) and he put them in his tank. I will admit that I am a penny pincher (or at least my girlfriend is) and if this might work I will try it so I figured I'd ask everybody here..
I'm looking for really cheap decor for my new tank but I don't really have a lot of money. for example, I went out yesterday and payed 1.5cents per pound of sand for a substrate and spent 3 hours cleaning it all just to save a buck.(plus I wanted to try sand anway) But anyways, feedback would be appreciated...

I think it should work... might have to boil them first... who knows?

02-27-2003, 06:13 PM
Go to a landscape yard to get your rocks. I've heard people say that the BBQ rocks are treated, but in my experience that's not true. I tried some out just to see what would happen and the only problem was that many of them would float. Landscape yards give you more choices and excellent prices.

02-27-2003, 07:41 PM
cool, thanks....

What type of rocks should I ask for?

02-27-2003, 11:17 PM
Sorry, no help on treated rocks or not but an idea, you could silicone the grill lava rocks together to make caves and such and it might keep the floaters down too. I had thought about doing this once but never did.

02-28-2003, 05:30 AM
What type of rocks should I ask for?

Slate or lava rock for most fish, or if you have Rift Lake's get limestone. There is more chance of injury with the lava though.

02-28-2003, 09:57 AM
What type of rocks should I ask for?

you can also get tufa or coral/reef/base rock if you have rift lake cichlids.

02-28-2003, 05:12 PM
I wish they had tufa at the landscape yards here. I get stuck with all that crummy old Texas Holey Rock at 10 cents a pound. :rofl:

02-28-2003, 09:11 PM
I wish they had tufa at the landscape yards here. I get stuck with all that crummy old Texas Holey Rock at 10 cents a pound. :rofl:

ya bum!! :sygypsy: :mad: :sygypsy:

05-11-2003, 10:06 PM
I use nothing but lava rock or lace rock and slate in my tanks. There is a chance that the fish could be injured on the lace and lava, but so far I haven't had a problem. Make sure you boil them at a full boil for 15 minutes or more. LOL

05-12-2003, 04:50 AM
I've got one fish that looks like a pirate from running into a lava rock. Half it's dorsal fin missing and one eye scarred over. The melafix saved it, but it's one ugly fish.

05-12-2003, 01:01 PM
i have a couple of one-eyed pirates, too--but they were one-eyed when i bought them. one is a huge synodontis ocellifer who had a run-in with some cichlids. the other one is very ornery jewel cichlid who killed an o. mossambicus that was at least twice his size.:mad:

05-21-2003, 12:57 PM
Does anyone know another name for lace rock? I'm having trouble getting landscape people to know what I'm talking about.

05-21-2003, 01:38 PM
I have seen lace rock called Volcanic Rock here in Florida.

Be careful in your lace rock choosing, because most lace rock can have very sharp edges. My P.Phenochilus Barnabus has injured himself on lace rock a number of times. So I moved all lase rock out of his tank. The good thing is that the holey lace rock acts as a biological pre-filtering agent. Plus the fish look cool swimming through the holes.

05-22-2003, 10:38 AM
Got a picture of the holey lace rock?

05-24-2003, 09:54 AM
Yep, I do in fact.

Jewel coming thru rock (http://home.attbi.com/~aquaart/14.htm)


90 gallon tank (http://home.attbi.com/~aquaart/20.htm)

Please disregard my idiotic ramblings on the 90 gallon page :)

05-24-2003, 11:15 AM
i enjoyed your ramblings.:wink:

02-02-2004, 01:33 PM
Overawed...I would like to see your pictures but they won't open....can you send to my email at



04-17-2004, 04:52 PM
What are you guys calling "lava rocks" because that isn't really the proper name. I believe you all are talking about pumice or scoria. Free samples are found at almost every explosive volcano or caldera...why pay for rock when you can get it for free. :)
In my tank I have a bunch of andesite (not very vesicular) from Mt. Baker, WA and a large chunk of obsidian from Long Valley Caldera, CA. If you live relatively close to a volcano or caldera, I would suggest you visit it for some free rocks, most of which will be bigger than you can buy at any landscape store where they jack up the price... Ah, you gotta love people who sell rocks.

04-17-2004, 05:00 PM
btw Im a geology major so I know alot about rocks... if i was anal in my last post, thats just cause i like rocks called by their proper names. Oh, i forgot to mention if you do pick up some free rocks anywhere dont forget to hard boil them...and then let them cool....