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What is the point of holey rock in a Malawi aquarium? I have seen beautiful show tanks with this rock, however it provides no "caves" only holes to swim in. In my aquarium at night, a good number of the fish have little caves to retreat to, however in these holey rock caves, where do the fish go to feel safe?
 

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At night the fish may not even use caves, just sleep on the substrate. Even in the daytime the idea of caves is more attractive to humans than to fish sometimes, I find my fish using the spaces between the caves just as often if not more often. I don't see why they would not use the holes in holey rock just like a cave.

Also I have found the fish don't necessarily prefer a cave with a roof and back...just a ledge to lurk under or two rocks to hover between. Rocks may be more markers for the boundary of a territory to defend than a wall or a roof.

Personally I don't like the look of holey rock.
 

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i use the holey rock with the bigger holes, around 2-4 inches. the place was calling it kansas holey rock. while it still has a few smaller holes the majority are bigger. my fish claim the spaces between the rock more than anything. i think its so widely becuase it helps keep the water parameters where africans like it. that and the smaller holes help in fry survival.
 

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DJRansome said:
Personally I don't like the look of holey rock.
+1

I got rid of mine. It looked like something out of a cave, not a Rift lake. Some have managed to make a nice setup with holey rock, so I am not intending to offend anyone, just personal preference. It does give smaller females a spot to hide from dominant males when enough is enough.

Most of my Mbuna find a spot on a ledge or just sleep on the sand.
 

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I personally do like the look of it :) In my mbuna tank I have a few big pieces which do have some nice tunnels in them that are used by my juvies and my female lab when holding. I have a few smaller pices that are kind of flat and have a hole or two in them which I use to create caves by propping them up against the other rocks. That is hte space that gets claimed most often by the fish. They tunnle between the two rocks and create a nice sized cave and hide out in there fairly often. They don't stay in there for long periods of time and different fish use it at different times, but they do use it.
 

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BoilerFan said:
I personally do like the look of it :) In my mbuna tank I have a few big pieces which do have some nice tunnels in them that are used by my juvies and my female lab when holding. I have a few smaller pices that are kind of flat and have a hole or two in them which I use to create caves by propping them up against the other rocks. That is hte space that gets claimed most often by the fish. They tunnle between the two rocks and create a nice sized cave and hide out in there fairly often. They don't stay in there for long periods of time and different fish use it at different times, but they do use it.
What is the BB barred fish in your 46G tank?
 

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Fry/juvies need places to hide so for grow out tanks it's perfect in my opinion. If THR is used for haps and peacock tanks than becareful they do not get stuck :x
 

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I thought the real value of texas holey rock was the natural ph buffering accomplished by the limestone.
 

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You could use any hunk of limestone for that. And also as I am learning from triscuit, the stone could not possibly dissolve fast enough to buffer 50% weekly water changes, so any benefit is minimal.

I think people like the look of it.
 

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It seems to be working for me as I had a problem with that before I added it and now I don't.
 

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its a great buffer but it is pretty expensive unless you live in texas. i spent a fortune on a lot of it but i am starting to regret it. it looks awesome but like someone already said it is not very natural looking for a real malawi setup.

another major issue i have with it is the really tall show pieces are very awkward. since cichlids like to dig the large pieces are prone to tipping over. i'm deathly afraid one day one of my large pieces will fall and crack the glass.
 

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$2 a pound is a good deal. call me a cheapskate but i still think that is mighty proud for some rock :D

i have about 125 pounds and i am sure what i spent on it borders on crazy.
 

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About $60 of that was shipping.

I have seen it sold in fish shops at $5-6/lb.

I have seen it on eBay at ridiculous prices also....

I have also seen red slate at the lfs for $2/lb which is really high considering I can buy it at a local landscaping yard for $.15/lb.
 

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I have about 80lbs of it in my tank and when they're young, they love the holes, etc.

Now that they're adolecents, they use the holes less and less, but I like the looks when combined with other rocks (and algae on them).

I ended up picking up 80lbs of just slim river rocks for .07/lb. MUCH better deal than the $2-2.50 (with shipping) I paid.
 

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DJRansome said:
Personally I don't like the look of holey rock.
I thought I did until I used it. I pulled it all, and added back my creek rock. Since then, I've used it in my fry tanks and it's ideal.
 
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