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Frequently Asked Questions

 

General

Pool

Aquarium

Garden Products


General

What are Universal Rocks products made from?

  • Probably one of the most asked questions we receive; our products are made with a polyurea/polyurethane combination, not fiberglass. The outside skin is a high density polyurea (similar to rhino liner); it’s a 2 part system that mixes together creating the skin that becomes totally inert. Most of our items have this part; this is the skin for our pool and pond products and our “AQUA” products consist solely of this, we use real rocks to weigh them down. We also use polyurethane foam, this is the supporting aspect of our products, it is what keeps the shape and provides structural support to hold peoples weight for our pool and pond products, our “FOAM” products are made entirely of this material, but at a much higher density than normal; as a result these products are more brittle, but have a much reduced cost. Not all products are available in FOAM only. For more info on material options please click here.

How are they colored?

  • We use a special blend of oxides, sands and crushed rock in the process of coloring our rocks; we don’t use any paints in our process. All of our rocks are hand colored and all of our colors are hand mixed, this results in some variations in the colors of the rock, while we strive to keep all of our products matching, we cannot guarantee that the rocks we make this week will match 100% to the rocks next week.

Will Universal Rocks products stand up to my hot summers/cold winters?

  • Another common question we get all the time, and the short answer is, yes! They will. We have had our rock products in extreme conditions throughout Australia, USA and Canada; both hot and cold, and they have shown little to no signs of Deterioration or weather erosion from ice or snow.

How much do these Fake rocks weigh?

  • The combination of our polyurea/polyurethane mix gives you the entire look and feel of real rock but at a fraction of the weight.

If these rocks are so light won’t they blow away?

  • This is again one of the most commonly asked questions and has not been an issue once our products have been installed with soil and mulch typically around the base of the product, stopping wind from getting underneath it. If this still concerns you, you can simply put one or more wooden steaks into the ground, place the products over the top of it and screw through the product into the steak to secure it.

Won’t they break easily for being so light?

  • The outside polyurea skin is extremely tough; it can’t be scratched or chipped, so you don’t have to worry about your weed eater damaging the rock. The polyurethane foam is what gives our rocks their structural strength, with most rocks being able to support more than 200lbs!

How will my product(s) be shipped?

  • Depending on your order size and what you have ordered, it will vary; but as a rule of thumb Aquarium products will almost always come in one or more boxes from UPS. All our other products i.e. waterfalls, ponds and rocks will almost always come on a pallet from various shipping companies.

Do you ship outside of the US?

  • No. We currently don’t ship outside of the United States. If you are outside of the US and are interested in our products you can see the list of distributors we have around the world at this link; Distributors

How long will it take to get my order once it is placed?

  • We allow 7-10 business days before you receive your item(s) after the date it was placed, although we generally make it well before that. We need at least 24 hrs. after the products were made to give it time to cure. In some rare cases we have exceeded this time frame due to hiccups in the manufacture process or weather conditions, but we always do our best to ship everything in a timely manner. For custom Aquarium orders, please allow 10-14 days.

I haven’t received payment confirmation!

  • If this happens please contact us immediately at 972-412-7179 or info@universalrocks.com to make sure your items have been ordered correctly.

I haven’t received tracking information!

  • If you haven’t received tracking information 7-10 days after placing your order please contact us at 972-412-7179 or info@universalrocks.com

I want to change/cancel my order, what do I do?

  • If your order has not left our facility you can modify or cancel your order and you will be charged or refunded the difference in cost. However if it has already left the facility you will need to pay for shipping back to our location and you will be refunded the cost of the items, but not the shipping, once we receive it.

Do these products have a Warranty?

  • Our warranty information can be found here.

Damages and Returns

  • If for some reason you are unhappy with your products you have purchased you may return them to us, at your expense, and a 20% restocking fee for the cost of the product will be deducted from the refund. You must notify us within 14 days (with proof of purchase) in order to receive your refund. If for some reason the product has been damaged under normal conditions or during shipping we will replace the product or issue a full refund.

Aquarium

Is it safe for fish?

  • Yes, our polyurea and polyurethane foam is 100% safe for fish. Once our product has cured the material has become inert, you could eat it if you wanted! (although we don’t recommend it, your fish might not appreciate that)

How do I clean my background/rocks?

  • On our AQUA and REPT products you can use any method you like to clean the algae; pressure washer, wire brush, chemicals (that you feel safe using). On our FOAM products you can use lower pressure water, chemicals and soft bristle brush, a wire brush on these products will scratch the surface.

Can I use bleach?

  • We do not recommend using bleach on our products, our products are porous and as a result bleach may get trapped in the pores of our items. We have done limited testing with bleach on our products and what we have found is that it hasn’t “bleached” the color out of any style, AQUA, REPT or FOAM, and it does not affect the structure of the polyurea or polyurethane.  ALWAYS RINSE THE BLEACH OFF THOUROUGHLY! It is a toxic chemical. Universal Rocks is not responsible for any discoloration of our products due to use of bleach or for any harm bleach causes to your animals.

Will Algae grow on Universal Rocks products?

  • Yes, algae will grow on just about any surface in a tank that has the means to support Algae growth i.e. light and a food source (fish waste etc.)

What do “AQUA”, “REPT” and “FOAM” mean in the drop down menu?

  • These are how we classify our different products. There is a detailed description here

Can I install this into an existing tank?

  • Yes you can. The clips we provide make for a quick and easy install into almost any tank, empty or stocked.

I would like a background but you don’t have my tank size. Can you do custom sizes?

  • We absolutely can. All custom features can be ordered straight from here 
  • There are some restrictions however, for example we can’t make some things bigger like our canyon or Ledge molds. Contact us for more info.
  • Custom backgrounds take longer to manufacture than similar sized backgrounds available as standard options. Please allow up to 2 – 2 ½ weeks for custom items.
  • They also cost more when compared to backgrounds of similar sizes. A lot more work and time goes into creating custom sizes, as a result they are pricier.
  • Custom backgrounds called in over the phone, will require a minimum of 50% non-refundable deposit to start the order. Similarly any custom backgrounds ordered through the website that are cancelled prior to shipping will also be subject to the same non-refundable 50% amount.

How do I install my background once I receive it?

  • Most of our backgrounds will come with clips (more details here) to secure them in place. Some backgrounds won’t however, because they are too thick, similarly some tanks won’t be able to use them either because the glass is too thick or something is in the way. In those cases silicone can be used to hold it in place. Generally the background should be tight enough that the gravel at the bottom and tension from the sides holds it upright. Also in many cases decoration or 2 leaning on the background can help hold the background up.

Can I modify the background/rocks when I get them?

  • Yes. Almost all of our products can be cut to suit specific needs. Our AQUA style needs a sharp straight blade knife and it helps if the product is warm, it makes cutting much easier. Our FOAM style should be cut with a fine tooth blade, like a hack saw or “scored” with a razor for the best cut. Cutting AQUA decoration rocks can be difficult because of the real pebbles used to weigh them down.

Are magnets still available in Universal Rocks backgrounds?

  • No, we no longer supply magnets with our backgrounds, we use clips instead.

Pool

Does Chlorine or Salt affect the finish of the waterfall?

  • Under normal conditions Chlorine/salt has no effect on the finish of our products. However, do not run your pool waterfall after you have shocked your pool until it is safe to swim again.

How do I secure the waterfall to my pool deck?

Can I jump off of the waterfall?

  • While our products do support some weight, we do not encourage the use of our products as jumping or diving platforms and will not be held responsible for any damaged caused to the product or persons involved. It is not a diving board.

What plumbing is included in the waterfall?

  • We supply a standard 1½” PVC SCH. 40 fitting embedded into the waterfall. All additional plumbing will need to be supplied by you or your installer.

What pump do I use?

  • Typically our water features are connected to the existing pool pump, on the outlet side of the pump, with a 3 way valve. In rare cases an additional pump may be required if your pool pump isn’t sufficient enough.

Will these waterfalls work with my pool cover during winter?

  • All of our pool products have a “rolled-over lip” that drops down into the pool. This can interfere with pool covers. When you are going to use the cover you can simply remove the waterfall (depending on how it was installed) or some pool companies make custom pool covers that go around water features.

Garden Products

What product should I match with the pond/waterfall I have chosen?

  • Underneath the product description on the product page is a list of suitable waterfalls or ponds to match that particular item.

Why do some ponds have suitable ponds?

  • These ponds have a “spillway” on them and need an additional pond to catch the overflow. These are typically used in a setup with 3 or more items.

Are these safe for fish?

  • Yes. All of our products are fish safe.

Can I use water plants in my pond?

  • Yes, we actually encourage it. It promotes a cleaner pond, provides shade and hiding for fish and it looks good.

Do all of these ponds require digging into the ground?

  • Most do, but we have a selection of 3 patio ponds that have been created for a flat surface, therefore no digging is required. We also have 8 more Self-contained units that can be placed on a patio area. Alternatively you can dig you pond into the ground half way and landscape around the protruding other half, this creates a nice raised effect and results in less digging.

What size pump should I buy?

  • All of our waterfalls have a recommended pump size listed on the right hand side of the page near the measurements.

What size tubing/hose do I need?

  • All of our pond waterfalls come with a 1” barbed fitting for use with flexible 1” Inside Diameter (I.D.) hose (except for SRW-016 which uses a ¾ “fitting). The length you need will be determined by the size of the products you are buying and how many you are using

Do I need to use a filter in my pond?

  • Generally having a filter is a good idea, and if you are planning to have fish then you should use one. All pumps we sell come with a simple filter that catches leaves and other debris. For more complex filtering a mesh filter can be attached to the inlet of the pump that promotes good bacteria growth.  There are many types of other filters available, please contact us for more information on this subject if necessary.

Do I have to run the pump 24/7?

  • No, but if you are using a biological filter you shouldn’t leave your pump off for more than 4 hours, as the bacteria begin to die. The pumps we supply are designed to run 24/7, if power usage is a concern you can always put them on a timer, however the cost to run a pump is comparable to 2 40 watt lights.

Should I drain my pond in the winter?

  • Our products suffer no damage during the cold winter months, even in Canada! However the pumps could become damaged if they freeze. So as a precaution you should remove your pump in the winter especially if you have a shallow pond (less than 3’ deep).

I have green algae, is that normal?

  • During the warmer months, especially if your pond/waterfall is in full sun it is normal for algae to grow. Some people like this effect, saying “it makes it look even more realistic!” however if you don’t want that look you will possibly have to upgrade your filtration system, to minimize algae growth. Having water plants in your pond will help reduce algae growth as they use up the nutrients before the algae can. There are some pond chemical in the market that are made specifically for this, that are safe for fish, plants and rocks.