May 21

5 Best Aquarium Rocks for Your Cichlid Tank


Rocks for Cichlid Tank

African Cichlid tank with ocean rock

Aquarium accessories like plants, rocks, and caves are usually seen as serving decorative functions in the tank. However, there is more to some of these items as they have greater benefits beyond just beautifying the home of an aquatic community. To a large extent, the advantages of having a set of these items further advance the cause of building a befitting ecosystem that certain fishes and other aquatic creatures can thrive in.

As far as building a tank community of cichlids is concerned, having rocks in the aquarium can help in several ways. Firstly, cichlids, being capable of displaying territoriality, may not tolerate others encroaching into space. So, to avoid any scuffle within the tank, you should look to put in some rocks.

The rocks will ultimately create areas that can be marked off by a cichlid thus providing it with a marked territory. More so, cichlids like the African Cichlid will also find the algae that may grow on the rocks a worthy meal to munch.

Rocks are, however, not items you should rush to buy without factoring in their composition. For one, the health of your fish may be adversely affected in the instance whereby the rocks have chemicals that could alter water pH level. In view of this, I have elected to write this review on five top recommendations for the rocks you should consider having in your cichlid tank. I implore you to read and find out more about them.

1. Plecoceramics Cichlid Large Aquarium Rock

Pleco Ceramics Cichlid Large Aquarium RockCheck best price in Amazon

Here is a finely made rock that can be safely incorporated into your cichlid tank. The rock is wholly moulded from ceramics which gives it a very smooth texture thus you can rest assured that your pet will not get bruised by it.

This particular product weighs 0.30kg and will be suitable for a tank with a carrying capacity of between 55 – 190 litres, which is well within the tank size range for a typical cichlid. It has a dimension of 16 X 10 X 11 cm. The Plecoceramics Cichlid Aquarium Rock features two large holes thus making this rock a perfect hiding spot for your cichlids.

Aquarists that use this rock in their home aquarium do not appear to have any form of regret whatsoever. It is not uncommon to hear them speak glowingly about its functionality, as well as how it does not compromise the water quality in the tank. And, even more importantly, there are multiple testimonies on how cichlids get comfortable around this very rock.


– It has a smooth texture

– Very safe to use within the aquarium

– It is quite sturdy

– Provides nice hideouts for your pet


– None

    From all indications, this Plecoceramics Cichlid Large Aquarium Rock will make a wonderful and valuable addition to the cichlid tank. It is commendable to have such a rock that will neither soil the aquarium water nor injure the fish in the tank – it will certainly make the tank a comfortable abode.

    2. DR. Moss Cichlid Stone

    DR. Moss Cichlid Stone

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    This product, which is available in a pack of five, is also made from ceramics. The rocks have got colours and texture that make them blend in to create a natural feel within the aquarium – so, you will not be in the wrong taking them for a decorative piece. They are suited for freshwater and saltwater aquarium environment.

    The rocks have varying sizes and weight and feature holes that have a diameter of between 3.8 – 5 cm. This means that while they may serve decorative functions in the tanks of all cichlids – whether small or large – they will hardly provide good hideouts for large-sized cichlids. In this wise, I will recommend them for cichlids like Thomasi, Demasoni, Julies, and others of similar size.

    The fact that this will not release any toxic compound into the aquarium is yet one of its advantages. Additionally, there are positive reviews on how the rocks gave the interior aquarium space a lift as a decorative piece.


    – They make nice hideouts for small cichlids

    – Safe and non-toxic

    – Add decorative appeal to the aquarium

    – The rocks have smooth surfaces


    – The price is a bit on the high side

    – Not made for large cichlids

    Barring its relatively small size, the DR. Moss Cichlid Stone is another quality option of rock for cichlid tanks. You should find it useful if you are breeding small cichlids in your home aquarium.

    3. Aqua KT Rock Cave Cichlid Stone

    Aqua KT Rock Cave Cichlid StoneCheck best price in Amazon

    Here is a unique rock for cichlid; it has the appearance of a tree stump. Though it is artificially made from resin [which has organic make-up], you may mistake it for a natural piece due to the look and feel. This rock has a height of 13cm and a length of 12cm.

    The Aqua KT Rock Cave Cichlid Sone has an oak-like colour with patches of green all around it; this is what gives the rock a realistic and/or natural look. Again, it features two holes that will ensure your fish has a viable resting spot to withdraw into. It, however, has to be emphasized that this rock may not be suitable for large-sized cichlids.

    The usefulness and decorative appeal of this product are among the major reasons aquarists have gone for it. Nonetheless, the presence of sharp edges has sometimes raised concerns over its suitability in the fish tank. That said, the durability, which is brought about by the high-quality resin it is made of, is also regarded as a bonus point.


    – Good quality

    – Provides comfortable hiding spots for small-sized cichlids

    – Highly durable

    – Sturdy

    – Does not compromise water chemistry

    – Reasonably priced


    – Has some sharp edges

    The Aqua KT Rock Cave Cichlid Stone is a solid piece that would stand the test of time in the fish tank, and to think that it comes at a low cost is a plus. However, the manufacturer needs to look into giving it a better finishing touch to take care of the sharp edges.

    4. Penn-Plax Deco-Replicas Aquarium Ornament Series

    Penn-Plax Deco-Replicas Aquarium Ornament Series

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    Penn-Plax is no stranger to manufacturing premium-quality aquarium accessories, and in this Deco-Replicas Ornament Series, it has delivered one of the most sought-after rocks for cichlids. This rock is made from granite sand; this imparts a considerable degree of durability and solidity on the piece.

    This product is available in a pack of 2, 3, and 8 rocks of varying sizes including small, medium, large and extra-large sizes. These variations mean you should find a Penn-Plax Deco-Replicas Rock that would be perfect for small and averagely sized cichlids. The rocks can be stacked on each other in the aquarium to create a scenic view therein. Each of the rocks has 3 holes through which the pets can move in and out of the rock even as they utilize it as a hiding spot.

    The functionality of this Aquarium Ornament Series is simply undeniable, and this is well attested to by many aquarists that have used [or are still using] it in their cichlid tank – cichlids enjoy swimming through the holes and spending (relaxation) time in the caves. Plus, it has also got a mark of quality on it.


    – Good quality

    – Appreciably functional

    – Aesthetic appeal

    – Sturdy

    – Good value for money


    – It has a rough interior surface

    The Penn-Plax Deco-Replicas Ornament Series will be really helpful in giving some natural tone to your cichlid tank. Even more importantly, these rocks, with the multiple caves available, will ensure that peace is maintained within the aquarium ecosystem. However, you should not be so bothered about the rough interior surface as you can easily use a hand file or sandpaper to smoothen it – and it’s all cleared.

    5. Aqualexs Aquarium Ohko Stone

    Aqualexs Aquarium Ohko Stone

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    Remember that saying about saving the best for the last? Well, this is exactly what I have done in the review on rocks for cichlid tanks. The Aqualexs Aquarium Ohko Stone reflects the impressive quality and this can be largely credited to the craftsmanship that has gone into its production. This is one of the very few sets of aquarium rock that belong in the top rank.

    By the way, Ohko stones, which are also called ‘Dragon stones’, are naturally sourced and have a composition of clay minerals and other organic matter in trace amounts. The rocks from Aqualexs, as being reviewed here, have not been subjected to any form of treatment. They are available in three weight categories hence you should be able to get a set that would fit into a tank of any size – whether nano, medium, or large.

    It is not so hard to see why the Aqualexs Aquarium Ohko stone has caught the attention of many aquarists keeping cichlids in their home aquarium. The versatility of this product is one of the attributes that sets it apart; it can be adequately used to mark off territorial space, and also even serve exceptional aquascaping purposes to give your aquarium a distinctive aesthetic look.


    – Excellent quality

    – Versatile and highly functional

    – Durable

    – Sturdy

    – Great value for money

    – Does not alter water chemistry

    The Aqualexs Aquarium Ohko Stone is, no doubt, an aquarist’s delight – who wouldn’t love it? It is a fantastic addition to the tank, particularly as it helps in replicating the scenic view attainable within a natural aquatic environment in the home aquarium. Your cichlids will cherish swim around the heap of these rocks to your amazement.


    Now that you have read through this review, I am sure you will be considering getting a set of rocks – if you have not done so already – for your cichlid tank. But just before you head to the pet supplies store, I must emphasize that you watch out for certain factors before making a purchase.

    First and foremost, you should be careful not to pick a rock that would eventually alter the chemistry of the aquarium water to the detriment of your pets’ health. So, you must pay heed to the material composition of the rocks you come across at the store. Besides, it is often advised that whatever rock you will be introducing into an aquarium should be rinsed to get rid of particles or dust.

    Another factor you will need to look at is size, and this should be done from different angles. For one, you need to see to it that, for rocks featuring caves, the holes are large enough to allow your aquatic pal to easily pass through – you have to avoid the scenario whereby the pet gets stuck in the rock. Again, the size of your cichlid tank should also be put into consideration before you push through an order for aquarium rocks. Having done your due diligence, you can anticipate getting your choice rock for a cichlid tank and setting it up to your delight.


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