Lava Rocks in Betta Fish Tank – Is it Safe?

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There are many ways to decorate a Betta fish aquarium so that it can decorate the whole room. One accessory that has gained a lot of popularity among fish keepers is using lava rocks. These rocks come in all shapes and forms and they can make your aquarium look absolutely amazing.

However, lava rocks in their raw form can actually contaminate your water and even make your Betta fish sick. In this article, we are going to show you how exactly to prepare these rocks so that they won’t do any harm to your fish.

Benefits of Lava Rocks in Betta Tank

The most important benefit of using lava rocks in a Betta tank is that it lowers the nitrate levels in the water. This is mainly thanks to the tiny holes that the lava rocks are covered with. Beneficial bacteria can live in those holes and help facilitate the nitrogen cycle.

Lava rocks will also make the water clearer in the aquarium thanks to the elements they release into the water. If the water in the tank gets cloudy from time to time, then buying a couple of these rocks will solve your problem.

Since it is recommended for every Betta fish keeper to provide hiding places, you can’t go wrong by adding lava rocks of various shapes and forms. Your fish will be able to hide behind them and even go inside if the rock is cave-shaped.

Lava rocks are not like your everyday stone. They are featherweight compared to typical stones and will look amazing in your aquarium. You can even use them as plant holders, further decorating your aquarium and improving the water quality.

How to Prepare Lava Rocks for Aquarium Use?

Lava rock is not a simple accessory that you can just buy and put it in the aquarium. They need to be cleaned in order to remove the leftover bacteria from it. To do so, you are going to need a bucket, a soft brush, and running water.

Detergents that you can find at home simply won’t work because they contain chemicals that can be harmful to your Betta fish. First, grab your newly bough lava rocks and put them in the bucket you prepared. Then comes the water until it completely covers the stones.

The next step is to use the brush and scrub every inch of those lava rocks with it. The water will get dirtier and dirtier, which only means that you are doing a great job. You will need to change the water a few times until those rocks don’t change its color at all.

This cleaning process is also a great opportunity to rub those rocks together, thus getting rid of any sharp edges that could cut your Betta. The last step is to disinfect the lava rocks by boiling them. The chances are always there that the rocks can transmit diseases to your aquarium.

You can eliminate all the harmful bacteria and dirt with this sterilization method. Prepare a pot, put those rocks in and make sure that the water completely covers them. In order to prevent your lava rocks from breaking or even exploding, you should not boil them for more than 30 minutes.

Does Lava Rock Affect Water pH?

Although lava rocks contain various different elements, none of them will affect the pH level of the water in your aquarium. They also do not have any effect on your fish or the water conditions overall. All they do is keep the nitrate levels low in the water.

Of course, you still need to wash those rocks thoroughly before you put them in the aquarium. In a raw and dirty form, lava rocks probably affect the water conditions but unfortunately, they will affect the health of your Bettas as well.

Can Lava Rock be Used in Aquarium Filter?

Since we have mentioned that beneficial bacteria can live in lava rocks, the idea of using them in filters already comes into mind. But is it any good? As the water goes through the rock and thus its tiny holes, the bacteria in it consume the nitrate and produce nitrogen and oxygen.

This makes lava rocks usable as filter media and you can put them into your biological filter unit. Usually, biological filter units cost a lot of money so you can substitute them with lava rocks and thus save money. Of course, this is not something you can find in your typical pet store.

Instead, make sure to visit the garden or barbeque-grill section in any shop.

Are Fire Pit Rocks Safe for Betta Fish?

You can use fire pit rocks in a Betta fish tank as long as they were not treated with chemicals. Although washing them thoroughly is important, it should be done with plain water instead of detergents. While you clean the pit rocks you have bought, make sure to rub them to each other.

Do it as much as needed because there shouldn’t be any sharp edges. Your Bettas are likely going to bump into those rocks and they can hurt themselves if those edges are still there. Other than that, pit rocks are completely safe for Bettas.

Wrapping Up

We can conclude that lava rocks are simply amazing, you just need to clean them properly and they are ready for your aquarium. If you are looking for some cheap biological filter media, then feel free to buy lava rocks. They are outstanding for the purpose as beneficial bacteria can live in its tiny holes.

You can consider these rocks as natural filters, as water can go through them and become cleaner as a result. You can also use pit rocks as caves for your Bettas or simply hiding places. No matter what you use them for, they look amazing and will make your aquarium look stylish.

One of the best combos is to use them as aquatic plant holders so that you combine the two types of decoration. They can be plant holders, caves, filters and rocks at the same time.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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