What are the benefits of aquarium lava rocks (pros and cons)?

Lava rocks are very beneficial for aquarium use because they are used as bio media inside aquarium filters. They can keep water clean, & are used to build structures inside the fish tank. Lava rocks have some disadvantages too such as they could have sharp edges that might hurt fish, & they can get clogged.

Pros of aquarium lava rocks:

Lava rocks are a nice addition to the aquarium. They can keep water clean at a low price.

Holds both nitrifying & denitrifying bacteria:

Lava rocks hold both nitrifying & denitrifying bacteria for removing every impurity. They will wipe out ammonia & nitrites using nitrifying bacteria, & will absorb nitrates too using denitrifying bacteria.


Lava rocks are cheap:

Lava rocks are cheap in comparison to other bio media. They hold both nitrifying & denitrifying bacteria & it is one of the best bio media suitable for aquarium filters.  


Building caves:

Small inhabitants love caves & hiding places. Stressed fish can use caves as a place for resting. Fries can use caves for hiding from predators.



Lava rocks can be used as substrate for holding plants. Many fish keepers grow live plants in lava rocks. Lava rocks are relatively low-cost substrate.

Lava rocks can keep water clear:

Lava rocks will keep your aquarium water clean. They can simply enhance the water clarity because they have elements for keeping the water clear.


Natural environment inside aquarium:

Lava rocks offer a natural environment inside your aquarium that mimic the fish’s wild habitat because they can be used to build structures like caves & offer lots of hiding places for the fish. Lava rocks are porous & look natural inside aquarium water. You can attach carpeting plants like java moss or java fern to lava rocks.

Cons of aquarium lava rocks:

There are some disadvantages of keeping lava rocks in aquariums.


Can’t skip regular water changes:

Lava rocks can even remove nitrates from the aquarium water but you can’t skip regular water changes.


Scratch your fish:

Java rocks might have sharp edges that could scratch your aquarium fish. Some fish like to dig the substrate & lava rocks might scratch them. It is recommended to rub 2 lava rocks together to smoothen the sharp edges.


Preparing lava rocks is a time-consuming process:

When you buy lava rocks from the fish store, then it is mandatory to clean your lava rocks. First it is recommended to use a brush & clean water to wipe out physical solid particles. Then disinfect your lava rocks with boiling or bleach solution. It takes lots of time to prepare lava rocks for the aquarium.


Lava rocks can clog:

Lava rocks have many tiny little pores that could get clogged if fish waste & other debris stick in them.


Needs maintenance:

If your lava rocks are clogged which means that detritus is stuck in the pores of lava rocks, then they require cleaning.

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