Aqua Della Combo-Lava Decoration Rock
Today I am reviewing the Aqua Della Combo-Lava faux rock for aquarium decor. This rock was purchased in January of 2015 and was in the tank for approximately 70 days. Aqua Della makes several different sizes and colors of faux rocks, none of which I would recommend purchasing based on my experience. This rock is designed for freshwater aquarium decor, and is made of a plastic-like material which is then apparently painted to look more realistic. This review is of their 29.5 x 26 x 9cm version, for which I paid $18 on Amazon. My first impression of the rock, upon unboxing was that it was well-packed from amazon, the box was undamaged, and the product box was packed with air cushions and showed no signs of damage. However, upon opening the Aqua Della product box, the piece was broken out of the box. Having no UPS shipping center here makes returns via Amazon impossible, so I decided to put the broken side face down, and use it anyway. The product had no toxic smells from it, which I was pleased with, as other plastic aquarium decor in the past has smelled absolutely toxic for months, this did not. I was initially pleased with the rock, but upon closer inspection, the rock had many unfinished edges inside the mold, which had very sharp edges. I filed them down as best I could using an emery board, and felt it was probably safe to put in the tank with my guppies. I would not have put it in with bettas for fear of fins being torn. I placed the "rock" in the tank on January 9th. The following day, I saw many pieces of "paint" floating around in the tank, but did a gravel vac and figured it would just shed the loose stuff and be ok. I continued to see more floating rock finish for the week, and decided to take the rock out, give it a scrubbing with a washcloth and see what came off. I washed the rock in mild dish soap with a flannel cloth under warm water, and not much of the finish came off except areas that had been on the gravel substrate. Well, I say "gravel" but it's actually very fine grain substrate, not actually gravel, but abrasive to some extent. I rinsed it, treated it to dechlorinate, and put it back in the tank. I did half tank water changes every other week, partial changes weekly, and continued to see rock finish in the tank, plus, the rock has a hollow core, in which a LOT of debris and nasty gunk accumulated, making taking the rock out and washing it in the sink necessary with every tank cleaning. Every time I took it out, it was missing more and more of its finish.
I have for you some pictures of it tonight, as it has been out of the tank for about a week. One angle shows the side that was broken upon arrival, which I filed down to dull and make safe to use. I also included a photo of it in the tank.
My conclusion: Not worth the $18, not even sure it is "safe".