Is basalt too ugly to use to scape a show tank?
I am a technical person with not much of an eye for design or composition. My daughter and I are upgrading our 35g tank to a 180g acrylic tank. It will have a potting soil bottom capped with gravel. We want it to be nicely scaped and pleasing to look at.
We live in Central Oregon... volcanic country... we literally have tons (more like hundreds if not thousands of tons) of basalt on our property. I have researched basalt and it is inert and aquarium safe. Basalt is porus but much denser than water... all those little nooks and pockets should be ideal for microbial colonization. Why isn't basalt used in tanks more often? Is it just too ugly and offensive to the eye?
I also have easy access to obsidian and red porus lava rock (scoria is the proper name I believe). Rather than spending hundreds of dollars on dragon stone or other ornamental rock it seems like I should use the local natural resources? Obsidian doesn't seem like it would be very pleasing for scaping a tank. I can't picture red lava rock either but basalt seems like it would be less offensive than the others. Does anyone use basalt in their tanks? Does anyone have any pictures? We are planning a low tech tank without CO2 injection. I would like to try to grow moss on the rocks and wood. I figure if the rock is going to be covered the look of the rock isn't going to make much difference? I also thought that moss might attach to porus basalt easier than a smooth rock like obsidian, granite or the like?
Our stocking will be relatively small fish. Guppies, dwarf gouramis, hearty tetras, maybe angle fish and the like. With small fish and a big tank I don't think I need to worry about the fish injuring themselves on sharp edges?
We have a trip to the Oregon coast planned this summer and hope to find some nice manzanita wood for scaping. I am not opposed to ordering wood or rocks if it gives us the look we would like... but it seems like I could spend a good amount of money and not really have any idea how it will look in the tank until after it arrives.
Last edited by Oughtsix; 06-07-2018 at 06:14 AM.