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Old 07-29-2003, 03:58 PM   #1
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Lava Rock Background

Hi All,

I'm new to this board, so bear with me -

I am in the process of setting up a 70gal all glass tank. In a pretty labor-intensive endeavor, I am gluing 100lbs of lava rock to the back and sides of my tank. It will come up out of the water about 4" and hang over the tank slightly, with a few waterfalls and streams in a sort of pseudo-paludarium setup. Ok, here come the questions:

1. While the lava rock is secured to the tank (100% silicone), there are lots of spaces behind the rocks, and I am worried that they may become traps for all sorts of detritus and anaerobic bacteria. Would you reccomend snaking airlines down between the rocks to provide some water movement behind the rock, or will this just suck more junk in?

2. Because the rock is so porous, and will have water pouring over it and sitting below it, will the portions of rock that are supposed to be "dry" and above the water line become covered in mold and algae? I boiled all the rocks and then dried them in a 500 degree oven (took forever).

3. I plan on having the tank mildly planted, with a few swords underwater, and a bunch of terrestrial/bog plants in the top part. I would appreciate some info on what sequence to add the plants and fish to cycle the tank.

Sorry about the hodge podge of subjects,

Thanks alot!

-Jeff
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Old 08-03-2003, 02:21 AM   #2
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Please don't get angry but I think I remember reading something about lava rocks causing all kinds of problems for fish. because the edges of the rocks are pretty sharp and may injure the fish.
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Old 08-03-2003, 03:48 AM   #3
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That would definitely be a concern I would have. Even some of the commercially available "aquarium safe" decorations have enough sharp edges that our fish have been injured (they're very skittish). We had to take out a few things and sand down edges.

Ryan
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Old 08-03-2003, 09:36 AM   #4
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I know of many people that have used the lava rock and have not suffered damage.
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Old 08-03-2003, 02:19 PM   #5
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I would not worry too much about the areas behind the rock in terms of dead spaces, though I think a bubble wand would be pretty with bubbles coming through the rocks. I would worry about fish getting stuck back there, though. I have had that problem with fish getting stuck in tight places! It also makes it very tricky if you ever have to catch smaller fish.
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Old 08-03-2003, 03:02 PM   #6
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administrative note

please use the edit feature to re-title your posts, rather than creating a new "copy" of the old post.

also, it is OK for you to reply to your own original post, asking for more suggestions, which will move it to the "top" of the list again, inviting more people to read and chime in.

I tried merging your posts, which have the exact same questions, but the merge feature isn't working for me ...

here is a link to your original post

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=6208

thanks!
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Old 08-11-2003, 03:42 PM   #7
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I'm not really worried about fish getting stuck, because this is designed to be a piranha tank, so they should be too big to fit between any of the rocks- I've spent alot of time making sure all of the rocks fit together really well, it helps look more natural.

I'm finally done cementing all of those darn rocks on, now I can't wait to move into my new apartment so I can fill it up and start planting

If I remember, I'll post some pictures tonight. I just have to convince my girlfriend to let me use her digital camera

Thanks for all of the input! I'll try to keep everyone updated as the tank comes together.

-Jeff
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Old 08-15-2003, 04:44 PM   #8
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Ok, the pictures I promised are finally up in my gallery - Lemme know what you think!

-Jeff
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Old 08-15-2003, 05:28 PM   #9
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Fantastic! I can't wait to see it when you fill it up. Hope you have a good stand, that's going to be one heavy tank! Looks great.

Ryan
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