View Full Version : Lava Rock

01-28-2004, 03:30 PM

Any ideas where I can purchase lava rock that will not require me to give up my first born. LFS seem to be very expensive for a small piece.

Thanks for the help. I always find tons of great information in here and people have been most generous with their patience and in answering questions.


01-28-2004, 05:27 PM
Hi Mike

Here's a thread on that very question:

01-28-2004, 06:51 PM
Thanks Tom,

that thread was helpful. I would think that the bbq bags would be way too small for a larger tank. Since we just had a foot of snow in CT today I will probably have to wait until Spring to see if local Landscape yards might carry it. I guess I can check some stone yards too.


01-29-2004, 10:35 AM
Go to a landscape supply yard. That is where I get all of my rocks, including lava rocks. A good yard will have a endless supply of different kinds of rock in all different sizes. Lava rocks generally come in everything from small 1-2" rocks, up to huge 3-4' boulders. And the pricing is extremely cheap when compared to any other source.

01-29-2004, 02:41 PM
thanks Chet. What other types of rocks do u use/get?


01-29-2004, 05:45 PM
Now I use lava rock exclusively, because it doesn't alter your pH, is fairly light weight for it's size, is easy to make caves with (see my post on lava rock caves below), and I love the red coloration.

African cichlid keepers also use Texas Holey Rock, which costs and arm and a leg in the LFS, but can often be found very cheap at a landscape yard. The quality of the pieces is usually not quite as good, but if you look, you can find some good stull.

Some people use slate, or any one of several other types of rock in their tanks, all of which can be found in a landscape yard at one time or another.

Again, I would recommend lava rock above anything, for any situation. You can create just about any type of cover or cave out of it with a little creativity and work. Furthermore, by drilling, cutting, or carving a single piece of lava rock into your desired shape, you avoid stacking rocks, which can and will occassionally collapse, often due to the digging of an industrious cichlid.

01-29-2004, 05:46 PM
I realized my post about lava rock caves was in the DIY section, not here, so I have provided a link to the post for your convenience. I hope it helps.


01-29-2004, 07:07 PM

Read your diy post. wow very clever. I see u are in Texas so you probably have landscape places that are open. I, on the other hand, am in Connecticut and under a foot of new snow. Might have to wait till Spring. LOL but great idea. I like the fact that lava rock is so light weight.

Any good sites for seeing a bunch of different tank rock formations so I can get some ideas of what I might want to do. The LFS just has bare bones as they are constantly knocking things over as they attempt to net fish.

thanks again.


01-30-2004, 11:08 AM
Actually, I haven't seen or heard of anyone doing what I have done with my lava rock. I'm sure it's being done, I just haven't seen it. It does take some time and can be fairly frustrating and difficult, but the rewards are fantastic. I would look through the cichlidgallery and see what setups others have. I'm sure you looked at my tank. You can make almost any shape or design you want from lava rock, and do it in one solid piece. Whether you want a tall tower shape with lots of hole through it and small caves for fry and small fish to hide, or you want to build a rock wall on the end or back of you tank with several medium sized caves. Just think of what you would like and then use your imagination. The only limiting factor is that you have to design the decore so that it is difficult to know over. This, however, is easy to do and usually results in a more natural looking design anyway.

Remember, you can combine the lava rocks with plastic plants bought at a decorating store, like Hobby Lobby or Garden Ridge pottery, etc. Just drill a suitable sized hole in a rock and hotglue the plant into the rock. In this fashion, the plant will always be weighed down, and it will look like the plant is growing out of the rock. If you have fish that like to move your plants around, you can opt to use small rocks, so they can move them, just to have them sink again, or you can use heavy rocks to they cannot relocate them. I have a combination of both, but have found that my fish don't try and move either, they will only dig up the standard aquarium plants.

Decorating this way, all of my plants for my 135 cost about $40, and all the lava rock cost about $25.

Oh, the plastic plants from a decorating store often can be pulled apart in pieces because of the way they are designed, consequently, I would not recomend using them with fish that are naturally herbivorous, as they may attempt to eat the plastic plants.

04-15-2004, 07:54 AM
I am convinced that no one in the Twin cities area has large pieces of lava rock ARGH!!