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Shylis 02-18-2013 04:35 PM

lava rock in vivarium
I am planning my vivarium (tropical), and im wondering if lava rock is safe and suitable for use in it as both the drainage layer and you "build" background eliments. I really like the look of it, its light weight and i can get it relativly cheap.

lochaber 02-18-2013 07:55 PM

Lava rock should be fine. It's inert, and won't affect water chemistry (unless it's got other stones mixed in, or some sort of contamination, but I think that's somewhat rare).

My first paludarium build was just a bunch of lava rock siliconed together to create a background, waterfall, and ledge.

It was incredibly time consuming and heavy, but worked pretty well, didn't look bad, and moss loved growing on it.

Shylis 02-18-2013 10:16 PM

Awesome! Thats what i was hoping for. You wouldnt happen to have pics of the setup youre talking about, would you? Id like to see some lava rock creations. What kind of silicone did you use or reccomend?

lochaber 02-19-2013 08:43 PM

No, I don't, sorry. I had given the tank away over a decade ago.

I just used the standard aquarium-safe silicone, I believe it was just the GE windows&doors clear, but I'm not certain. went through several caulk-gun tubes.

I just bought a bag or two of lava rock at a hardware store/garden center, and then tried to piece them together sorta like building a stone wall, to minimize the gaps betwixt them.

I started by gluing in some pvc or something for the pump chamber/overflow, and a piece of tubing going to the opposite corner for the waterfall output.

Then I just laid the tank on it's back, and started siliconing lava rocks to the back pane and one of the sides. After that was done, I then built out a ledge at about water level, with a few pockets to hold substrate and terrestrial plants, built up the waterfall area, and built a pillar to support the ledge.

It's definitely lighter then bricks, but it can still get fairly heavy. I was just doing a 10 gallon, and the thing must of weighed about 40 lbs or so when I was done.

I'm currently messing with some pumice I bought at a landscape supply place (labeled 'Feather Rock') and considering using it in a paludarium/riparium I'm currently planning. Also lightweight, and it can be cut/shaped fairly easily (for a rock...).

Nubster 03-10-2013 01:49 AM

Gorilla glue works great for joining lava rock too.

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