Maintaining a beautiful and well-maintained aquarium is not an easy task, if only because you need to pay attention to many different details. However, putting together a satisfying waterscape can seem like an even more daunting task. That’s why we’ve put together a small practical guide to familiarize you with the necessary knowledge about the famous Dragon Stone. I hope you enjoy!
What is Dragon Stone rock?
Dragon Stone is a sedimentary rock, so named for its peculiar scaly texture reminiscent of a dragon’s skin. This rock is often mistaken to be man-made, but that’s not true!
In fact, Dragon Stone is a natural, light rock composed of minerals from silt, clay and organic matter coalesced as a result of high pressure waves. In addition, its surface has numerous ridges and crevices of different depths that make it look like logs or petrified wood.
Dragon Stone holes are formed when sediment is pushed into softer sections of rock. These sediments remove loose particles, leaving rough marks on their surface, while the harder sections remain intact.
Also, as more clay and microorganisms accumulate, the sun hardens the rock and changes its color. It can be olive or brown in color, depending on the proportion of organic matter to clay content.
Is Dragon Stone safe for aquarium?
As long as you clean and anchor the Dragon Stone properly, it’s completely safe to keep it inside the aquarium. It is important that you keep in mind that it is a very fragile rock due to its porous composition.
Therefore, you must be careful when cleaning it, without hitting it or dropping it. It is also advisable to wear gloves or goggles when handling it to avoid accidents.
What are the benefits of having Dragon Stone in the aquarium?
While the Dragon Stone requires extra care and maintenance, it has a number of hidden benefits, which we’ll discuss now.
1. Inert properties (does not affect water chemistry)
Dragon Stone is an inert rock by nature and will not come off or disintegrate in the aquarium unless kept in high pressure environments. unlike the corals or limestone, it has a neutral pH and does not affect the concentration of hydrogen ions in the water.
You can even keep those little rocks in planted aquariums pH sensitive without major problems. The only thing you need to watch out for is that they can accumulate a lot of dirt.
In short, the Dragon Stone will not affect the pH of the water on its own, but residue trapped inside it can create problems. Still, it’s no big deal if you’re an active aquarist and clean the aquarium frequently.
2. Aesthetic beauty
Moving on, Dragon Stone is very beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, all thanks to its unique structure and colors. They come in different shapes and sizes so you can create your own mix inside the aquarium.
Despite its robust appearance, it is a light rock due to its clayey composition, which makes it ideal for remodeling. Then, you can simply break it into pieces as per your assembly need.
3. Provides hiding places for shrimp and small fish
The scaly structure of Dragon Stone allows its various holes and crevices to serve as hiding places for small aquarium creatures such as, for example, Cameroon, snails and small fish. As its holes vary in size, this rock can accommodate aquarium mates of different shapes and sizes.
In addition, slightly larger fish can hide behind their structures and be safe from more aggressive species.
Some more shy fish, such as bettas benefit from these settings as the rocks make them feel safer and reduce their levels of stress.
4. Great option for anchoring plants and mosses
Dragon Stone is an excellent rock to anchor plants and mosses, as its pores provide plenty of surface area for plant roots to attach to. The roots get stuck in the crevices and feed on the organic material present inside them. As a result, more plants will take root and make the aquarium vegetation richer and more beautiful.
Plant roots also act as anchoring units, holding rocks together and preventing them from splintering. This ends up making your aquarium landscaping much more natural. In addition, the fish and invertebrates will love it because of the increase in amount of oxygen in the water and through additional hiding places.
What are the dangers of having a Dragon Stone in the aquarium?
Although the Dragon Stone has several beneficial qualities, it can also bring some dangers that we will check out below:
1. Small fish can get stuck in their holes
As some holes are big enough for fish to hide in, some of them can end up getting stuck inside. Small creatures usually get in there and then can’t get out. So you need to be careful and choose rocks that have holes big enough for your little creatures to move around easily.
2. They can easily fall apart
As we discussed earlier, Dragon Stone rock is essentially a large chunk of sediment and clay mixed together. That’s why it can splinter and crumble easily, which can scare off your aquatic animals.
To avoid this, run tests every now and then to make sure this doesn’t happen. It’s very easy to do and will help you rest, knowing your rocks will remain intact. Simply soak the rocks in a container of aquarium water for about 24 hours.
If the rocks retain their original shape, they are safe to be submerged in the aquarium.
How to prepare and clean Dragon Stone rock to put in the aquarium?
A dirty Dragon Stone rock can drain harmful compounds into the aquarium, as a result. changing the pH and changing the water color. That said, here’s how you can prepare and clean the rock properly before putting it in there.
Start by thoroughly rinsing the rocks in a bucket full of cold water to rid them of surface dirt and organic matter. Then carefully wash the holes using a small hose set to a medium pressure level.
If all the dirt doesn’t come off, gently remove the stuck material using a wooden skewer. Continue rinsing until the water is clear of all sediment and compounds present.
It’s worth mentioning that treating Dragon Stone with chemicals is a bad idea, as they can penetrate your pores and stay there, raising the pH of the water or making it unsuitable for fish. However, you can sterilize it with diluted bleach to get rid of harmful microscopic organisms.
For this process, you can put a little bit of bleach in a bucket filled with cold water. Then soak the rock in this solution for 10 – 20 minutes and then wash it well with tap water. Finally, keep the water in a bucket with chlorine free waterusing a good water conditioner for about twenty hours before finally placing it in the aquarium.
Deciding what types of plants, rocks, and waterscape you will mount in an aquarium can be an arduous task. That’s why it’s natural to have doubts about the use of Dragon Stone rock.
After reading our guide, we hope you have found some clarity on the matter. These rocks are great for general landscaping, increasing fish safe spots and adding a rustic aesthetic safe appeal to the aquarium.
However, the Dragon Stone needs thorough cleaning and extra care, so be prepared for that. Overall, we suggest putting these rocks in your aquarium because they have a lot of benefits and are very easy to find at pet stores.