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turtle rocks for aquarium

Turtle Rocks For Aquarium | Selection Proper Rocks For Turtle Aquarium

Since you are ardently here and reading this article, I guess you are all set to get a turtle for your aquarium. Thus I can’t go further with the write-up without congratulating you for making the best decision in life- getting a turtle as a pet.

Now, let’s get to the point of an engraving discussion on turtle rocks for aquariums. Since turtles will spend most of their time in the water, approximately 50% of their lifetime, choosing the right stones for the aquarium is essential.

It will create an attractive ambiance within the turtle tank and serves the purpose of essential bacterial growth to keep the tank’s biological filtration continuing.

So, let’s see how to pick the appropriate rocks for a turtle aquarium along with rock testing procedures and where to get these rocks.

So, are you ready?

Why You Need to Use Turtle Rocks For Aquarium

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As I said earlier that turtles would spend most of their lifetime in the tank water, so, you need to arrange the tank water accordingly to make it more of natural turtle habitat. One way of doing so is to fill the tank or aquarium substrate with proper rock and gravel.

The proper utilization of rocks for a turtle tank or aquarium will also boost the natural filtration system within the container. What’s more, the quality of the aquarium rocks will directly influence the water chemistry of the tank and the well-being of the turtle.

The three most common use or functions of rocks in the turtle aquarium is described below.

Filtration and Bacterial Medium

The aquarium rocks serve as the filtration medium within the tank. So, the biological system continues and flourishes within the container naturally and exclusively to help the turtle thrive in the condition. Also, it helps in the nitrate cycle within the turtle aquarium.

It performs the filtration and nitrate cycle through the growth of beneficial bacteria in the fish tank. The rocks, in this case, act as a bacterial medium. As the bacterial colony spreads, it finds an appropriate residing space in the aquarium rocks.

Also, if you are keen to use live plants in the turtle aquarium, the rock bed will act as a nutritional platform along with the other substrates for the plant. It also provides support to the plant root.

Turtle Habitats

Habitat refers to the natural living condition of any species. For instance, the room where you live is your habitat. Similarly, turtles have their habitat in the wild which often includes a lot of plants and rocks around the housing.

So, rocks for the turtle aquarium help you create a close-to-natural habitat within the tank for your pet. It is even more crucial since some turtle species like to burrow in the tank bottom. Furthermore, if you are using glass made aquarium or a tank that has reflective nature, using rocks as substrates is even more vital.

It will prevent the turtle from reflecting from beneath the water and make the turtle feel safer. Sometimes, if there is a reflection from the water underneath the tank, the turtle will mistakenly consider it as his opponent. It causes extreme stress in it, which the rock bed prevents with a fair amount of success.

Aesthetical Value

You can immediately add an aesthetical charm to the turtle tank with the selection of quality and colorful rocks in the container. When you combine the stones with the living and ornamental plants in the turtle aquarium, it enhances the visual effect of the aquarium.

Also, it brings a calming appearance to the tank that most people love to have. Lastly, if you can manage the proper color for the aquarium rocks, it will animate the color pattern of the turtle even more. Hence, foundations also play an active role in enhancing the exquisite appearance of turtles.

Testing The Rocks For Turtle Aquariums

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The risk with turtle rocks for aquariums mainly comes from the presence of calcium and chlorine. So, before you choose a stone to place in the aquarium, you need to make sure it doesn’t contain any such elements. Also, you have to check the pH and hardness levels of the rocks.

The testing of rocks for these two elements is pretty straightforward. First off, clean the stones correctly. Then pour a few drops of vinegar on the rock. If it contains any calcium, the vinegar will soon turn into a foam or will fizz on the rock. At this point, could you not use it?

Next, submerge the rocks in a small bucket. Then use a test kit to measure the hardness level and pH in the water. After a couple of days, take the 2nd measurement and compare it with the previous one. If you see a considerable increase in the water’s pH and hardness, don’t use the rocks. It is because the increasing amount of both water parameters means the stones have high pH and hardness that can create a potential danger for the turtle.

Which Rock Is Safe and Which Is Not For Turtle Aquarium

By this time, you should realize which rock you should opt for the turtle tank and which needs to be avoided. Yet, for your convenience, we state it again-

Avoid the calcareous rocks. It means rocks with a high amount of calcium are misfits for the turtle aquarium. On the contrary, stones with minimal calcium are your go-for option.

Thus, you need to avoid the rocks in the following list:

  • Shells or crushed coral
  • Limestone
  •  Marble
  • Dolomite
  • Geodes

And the following list contains the perfect rocks that you can use for turtle aquariums.

  • Onyx and ground glass
  • Granite
  • Slate
  • Lava rock
  • Quartz

You can also use the gravel along with the rocks to create the perfect substrate for the turtle tank. It will make the turtle feel less stressed and create a lovely ambiance within the container.

Where You Can Get The Turtle Aquarium Rocks:

If you are living near a beach or rocky mountain, you are lucky since the rock collection will come naturally to you. However, 99.99% of us aren’t that lucky. So, we know people would look for alternative sources to collect the rocks for the aquarium.

You can get the rocks from:

  • Landscape companies selling natural rocks
  • Aquarium kit manufacturers
  • Aquarium sellers
  • Trusted online shops


Turtle rocks for the aquarium are one of the most engaging parts of the aquarium setup. Ignore it, and your turtle is at the brink of high life risk. So, it would help if you chose a safe rock for turtles. Also, please don’t ignore the aesthetical value it will bring to the tank.

Hence, we suggest you choose a variety of stones with color variations as well to make the turtle aquarium safe haven for the pet.

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