While in aquascaping the term "softscape" is used for soft design materials such as aquarium plants, "hardscape" encompasses all hard decorative objects. These include various types of stones that can be used in the aquarium, as well as driftwood.
With stones and driftwood, aquariums can be set up resembling nature as closely as possible, they offer the aquarium's inhabitants sufficient hiding places and ensure a good composition in the aquarium.
We have a wide range of different types of stone in our shop, which can be bought online by the kilo. Amongst others, you can buy all types of stone popular in aquascaping, such as miniature landscape (Seiryu), Dragon stones (Ohko), Frodo stones and the popular Manten- or Unzan Stones in various sizes by Aqua Design Amano.
Especially stones with interesting, fissured structure and grain are ideal for designs imitating Japanese rock gardens, called Iwagumi in specialist's lingo. Categorically, you should differentiate between neutral, non-hardening stones and water-hardening stone types.
The latter contain amounts of lime and raise, especially if a CO2 system is used, total hardness, carbonate hardness and the pH value. You want to set up your aquarium and don't know how many stones you need? No problem, our guide Choosing your hardscape by weight will help you find a decision.
In our shop we offer aquarium drift- or other woods as individual pieces, which are photographed and put online individually. This ensures you receiving exactly the unique piece you saw in the product photo. Since all driftwoods are different and unique, you can also prepare your aquarium project online in this way.
Many common and popular types of wood such as Moorwood, Red Moor Wood and Mangrove, but also varieties popular in aquascaping such as Talawa, Mekong and Dark Iron are available in our webshop. Depending on the type of wood, the roots can be rather filigree and heavily branched or compact and bulky with deep grains.
Also available in the Aquasabi Shop are the relatively new Bonsai Trees. These are bonsai tree imitations crafted from wood that can be greened beautifully with moss or other aquatic plants.
Especially during the cycling phase right after setup, driftwood may tint the aquarium water brown due to the humic acids contained in them. Also, bacterial coats may form on the surface o the driftwood, depending on the type of wood used.
How to deal with those problems and more tips and tricks can be found in our article Preparing driftwood.
An exact overview of our hardscape varieties of stones and driftwoods can be found in the corresponding article over at our Aquascaping Wiki.