VIVARIUM HARDSCAPE

A hardscape is the foundational element within a vivarium that acts as a structure for the overall design to build off of. The material that makes up the section typically consist of either rocks and/or wood. The process of hardscaping an enclosure is usually with the intent to decorate but can have a tremendous impact on the environment, whether for better or worse. It should always be the first step in any design that aims to provide a realistic and healthy ecosystem. 

When deciding on a hardscape material for a vivarium… Pay close attention to the influence that particular item will have on the environment. Aim for elements that will supplement ideal water parameters. Furthermore, some elements can be used to buffer others as well to obtain adequate PH or water hardness levels. Browse our complete list to find rocks or wood perfect for your specific terrarium or aquarium setup:

Complete list of aquarium & terrarium safe rocks

Rocks & Stones

A Rockscape is composed of rocks and stones. If the overall design for a vivarium will consist of rockscape materials, it should be established early in the build. Rocks can provide shelter, a place to breed, or an area to bask depending on the inhabitant. In addition, they can also have an influence on water parameters making the water harder or softer depending on the stone. Browse our complete list below to help you find the right rocks for your vivarium:

The Complete List Of Vivarium Wood & Driftwood

Wood, Driftwood, & Bark

A woodscape will consist of various types of sticks, branches, roots, and/or bark. Many hobbyists refer to wood suitable for vivariums as driftwood. Driftwood will typically have an impact on the environment where water parameters will lower in terms of PH and make it soft. The utilization of wood in an enclosure is a natural way to counter alkaline based stones they may raise water conditions in freshwater setups. Browse our complete list below to help you find the right wood for your vivarium:

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Bamboo Wood is an up and coming hardscape material being considered more and more in vivariums nowadays. The recent surge in popularity with Asian style gardening has had a major influence on the vivarium niche lately. It only makes sense that a wood native to that region would grow in popularity as well. If you…

With volcanic rocks like Scoria being so popular as a vivarium rock, it’s only a matter of time before you run across the word Basalt… You might even be considering the particular type of stone for an up coming project. Rest assure, this article will cover Basalt Rocks in detail and go further into depth…

Ghostwood is rather unusual and mysterious driftwood at first glance. The erotically twisted stems that branch out from the trunk can give off a very eccentric appearance to any vivarium it is placed in. If you’ve ever wondered what exactly is this type of driftwood and what is it capable of, this article will fill…

There might not be a more extravagant driftwood than that of Cholla Wood. This uniquely shaped wood looks like an ancient African artifact and can be extremely beneficial to a vivarium when used correctly. If you are considering it for an aquarium or terrarium, this article is perfect for you. This guide will provide a…

If you are looking for a hardscape wood that is eco-friendly, virtually waterproof, and extremely buoyant, you should consider Cork Bark. This wood is very unique from other driftwoods and is widely utilized within the vivarium niche. Many hobbyists might already be familiar with its use in dry enclosures like terrariums but Cork can also…

With Limestone being a popular vivarium rock to use in hardwater enclosures, I wanted to cover a more soluble variation of the stone in this article. Elephant Skin Stone is a rock growing in today’s aquarium hobby and for good reason. This weathered Dolomite Rock is a rather difficult stone find and has advantages that…

When it comes to traditional vivarium rocks, Granite was the preferred look for many years. Most faux rock aquarium backgrounds find inspiration from coarse-grained rocks. The aged aesthetics, availability, and inert ability of this stone made many hobbyists consider very little alternatives without question. With a rise in popularity with much lighter weighted stones in…

Sandblasted Grapewood Branches are very common driftwood sold in the vivarium hobby. Although they are great for some enclosures, other types of vivariums might not be a suitable place for these kinds of woods. There is a fairly good reason you find these sticks in the reptile section of most pet stores and not the…

When it comes to Limestone, there are tons of varieties found around the world. Depending on how it formed, it will look, feel and have a different classification associated to it. Amongst the vivarium hobby, there are generally two types that are very popular for use in aquariums: Coral Reefs (organic) and Carboniferous Limestone Rocks…

Malaysian Driftwood is one of the most popular woods to use in a vivarium to date. This wood usually comes to mind when hobbyist think of driftwood for aquariums. Everything about Malaysian wood defines the criteria of what enthusiast hope to expect from its use. This article will provide a full understanding on what exactly…

If you are considering the use of Marble Rock in an aquarium there are a few things you need to know first. Rather or not it is safe for vivariums of any type will totally depend on what type of biotype it will be used for. This Metamorphic Limestone can be beneficial for some tanks…

Mopani Wood is an excellent driftwood to consider for aquariums that require lower PH parameters. This versatile wood is also fitting for other types of vivariums as well and can have additional benefits for inhabitants that reside in the enclosure. If you are thinking about using Mopane in a new setup or already have some…

With the many variations of cooled magma found in nature, Obsidian Rock is by far one of the most remarkable. This stone has been found to be very useful in a number of industries today. Having it in a tank may not be as common a practice as other types of vivarium rocks but it…

The hardscape is essentially the backbone to every vivarium. Having rocks and wood provides a natural environment as well as shelter for inhabitants to find comfort and security within. Ohko Stone is arguably one of the most sought after vivarium rocks used as hardscape material in recent times. This guide will provide a full understanding…

There are undoubtedly a countless amount of patterns Sandstone can form. As of lately, a popular style to come along in the vivarium hobby for hardscaping rocks is the staggered layer formation. Pagoda Rocks are becoming one of the most saught after stones that suit this style perfectly. This article will dive deeper into the…

Petrified Wood is one of my absolute favorite stones to use in aquascaping. The exotic look bares a close resemblance to vivarium rocks like Dragon Stone and Strata Rock and makes a nice alternative when those stones aren’t available. Despite the lack of benefits this rock may offer compared to others, it is an inert…

You know that fizzy layer at the top of a two liter soda bottle when shake it up right before opening it?  That’s kind of what Pumice is to cooling Lava Rock. This stone has a multitude of uses in many industries but few may know its potential benefit to an ecosystem when used in…

When deciding on a suitable driftwood for a vivarium, Manzanita Branches are a great choice to consider. These woods come in a variety of fashions and provide a number of benefits for aquariums as well as terrariums. These driftwood are long lasting and very eccentric materials to use for decoration. This article will act as…

River Rocks come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. Figuring out if rather or not they’re suitable for an enclosure can be confusing. Regardless if you own a planted tank or saltwater aquarium, finding the right type of stones is very doable and can be essential to the longevity of your vivarium if…

Sandstone is a common rock used as vivarium rocks. They come in a range of different varieties depending on it’s origin. Figuring out which type is right for an aquarium can be difficult but hopefully, this guide will help understand a specific type that is great for your enclosure. The particular type this article will…

There might not be a more abundant hardscape material than that of volcanic rock. Since the source of these rocks spring from volcanic activity, they can be virtually found all over the world. So many factors make it possible for these kinds of stones to come in a number of varieties. This article will focus…

Sedimentary rocks are some of the most common stones used as hardscapes in vivariums. Could it be the fact that there are some of the most aesthetically pleasing materials to use… Or because they are some of the more easily obtainable stones to acquire compared to some of the more pricey metamorphic and igneous rocks.…

Shale isn’t usually the first stone to come to mind for most when it comes to traditional use in an aquarium. Contrary to believe, many hobbyist may find it in their vivarium in some form or another without even realizing it. Claystones are a very versatile and adoptable aquascaping material to put in ponds, terrariums…

Metamorphic Rocks can make a great source of material when it comes to hardscaping an aquarium or terrarium. These types of stones are a compressed version of sedimentary rocks which we know to be very popular amongst vivarium enthusiasts. This article will provide a deep dive into slate rock and aim to cover every aspect…

Spider Wood has been a relatively new type of driftwood used in aquascaping recently. With the amount of character this wood exhibits along with its colorful nature, one glance at it in a vivarium and you’d know why. The two most common questions we get asked about this driftwood is; What is it exactly and…

A popular type of rock formation found in nature is rock stratum. Being able to capture this look in a vivarium is challenging if you don’t know exactly what rocks naturally take on this type of development. This article will cover Strata Rock, an inherently eccentric sandstone that makes a suitable replica of the vertically…

Be sure to click “load more” above to make sure you’ve seen all the vivarium hardscape materials we currently have information about. New wood & rocks are added often!

Feel free to request a hardscape material that has yet to be added to the collection or suggest edits here: