Safe and Attractive Rocks for Terrariums

If the rock is not in the list below or on the Rocks NOT to use. Perform a test to find out if it is safe to use.

Perform a vinegar test to ensure the rocks are inert. Drop vinegar on the rock; if it fizzes, it contains calcium carbonate and may alter water chemistry (not suitable for aquatic or amphibian terrariums).

Choosing the right rocks for your terrarium is essential for both aesthetic appeal and the safety of the plants and animals housed within. Here are some recommendations for safe and attractive rocks to use in terrariums:

1. Slate

Slate is smooth and flat, often dark grey, blue to black.Slate is non-toxic and does not alter water chemistry. Its flat surfaces make it ideal for creating ledges and levels.Use slate pieces to create backgrounds, ledges, or stepping stones.

2. River Rocks

River rocks are smooth, rounded stones, available in various sizes and colours. Naturally polished by water, these rocks are safe and aesthetically pleasing. They are inert and won’t affect water chemistry.Ideal for lining the bottom of the terrarium, creating natural-looking pathways, or as decorative accents.

3. Quartz

Quartz can be clear, white, or colored crystals with a shiny surface. Quartz is a hard, non-reactive mineral that is safe for all terrarium inhabitants. Its crystal-like appearance adds visual interest. Use quartz as focal points, accent pieces, or combined with other stones for a sparkling effect.

4. Lava Rocks

Lava Rock is porous, rough texture, typically red, black, or brown. Lightweight and porous, lava rocks provide excellent drainage and aeration. They also offer a unique, rugged look. Use lava rocks as a substrate base for drainage or as decorative elements.

5. Sandstone

Sandstone is grainy texture, available in various earthy tones such as tan, red, and brown. Sandstone is relatively soft and easy to shape. It is inert and safe for terrariums.Ideal for creating naturalistic backgrounds, cliffs, and rock formations.

6. Granite

Granite is hard, speckled appearance in a range of colours, including grey, pink, and black. Granite is very durable and non-reactive, making it a safe choice for terrariums.Use granite pieces to add a touch of rugged elegance to your terrarium.

7. Dragon Stone (Ohko Stone)

Dragon Stone is brownish rock with a unique, craggy texture and lots of holes.Dragon stone is lightweight and has a distinctive appearance, ideal for creating intricate designs. Excellent for aqua scaping and creating intricate landscapes in both open and closed terrariums.

8. Petrified Wood

Petrified Wood is fossilized wood with a smooth, polished look, available in various colours. Non-reactive and visually striking, petrified wood adds a natural yet ancient feel to the terrarium. Use as focal points or combined with plants and other natural elements for a prehistoric look.

Safety Tips for Using Rocks in Terrariums

  1. Thoroughly clean all rocks before placing them in the terrarium to remove dirt, debris, and potential contaminants.
  2. Perform a vinegar test to ensure the rocks are inert. Drop vinegar on the rock; if it fizzes, it contains calcium carbonate and may alter water chemistry (not suitable for aquatic or amphibian terrariums).
  3. Smooth any sharp edges that could harm animals.
  4. Ensure the rocks are stable and won’t topple over, potentially injuring inhabitants or damaging plants.
  5. Arrange rocks to create natural-looking landscapes and hide any wiring or equipment.

By selecting the right types of rocks and following these safety guidelines, you can create a beautiful and safe environment in your terrarium that enhances the well-being of its inhabitants and adds to its visual appeal.

See Rocks NOT to use