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Old 04-22-2014, 03:46 PM   #1
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Are these rocks safe for my african cichlid tank?

I found these rocks in the woods behind my house. I was wondering if they'd be safe to add to my tank. They're more of a black color even though the pic makes them look more grey. I noticed on some of the rocks that there might be some rust but I'm not sure if it's rust or just dried on dirt and clay. I've read about some rocks leaching hard metals into the water so I want to be safe before adding them in. Does anyone have any ideas?Click image for larger version

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Old 04-22-2014, 04:37 PM   #2
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You could put them in Vinager or rub Vinager on it and if it bubbles don't use but if it doesn't with in a couple hours they are fine to use
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Old 04-22-2014, 05:51 PM   #3
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I actually just got back from the mountains. I went looking for rocks to put in a 55g that I will be setting up. A lot if the rocks I found do have some rust on them so I was wondering the same thing. Most of the rocks I found are granite.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:45 PM   #4
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Do you have any idea what kind of rocks these are? I hear the vinegar just tests if it's limestone and if it fizzes it's not necessarily a bad thing for an african cichlid tank because it will help buffer the water.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:57 PM   #5
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It's hard to tell what kind of rocks they are from the picture. They look pretty dark and don't look porous. What I would recommend is wash them really good and boil or bake them and then put them a container with water that you have tested and then test the water after some time to see if it affected the parameters of the water.
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Old 04-22-2014, 07:18 PM   #6
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If they are planned for Africans and they react with the vinegar they will be fine, it's just rocks for planted and softwater tanks that you don't want a reaction from, but definitely soak them in boiling water to kill any nasties that may be on them

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Old 04-24-2014, 06:16 PM   #7
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Put the rocked in your tub covered with the hottest water that you can put in there and let them sit for a few hours. Then add a very very small amount of bleach to the water. Scrub the rocks until you feel they are clean and set them outside to dry in the sun. After they are dry if you can smell the bleach then you need to wash them in hot water again until the smell is gone.
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:17 PM   #8
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And if you don't smell the bleach them your good to go. I've done this with every rock in my tank and I've had no problems
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:41 PM   #9
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Have you added rocks that have had rust on them?
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Old 04-24-2014, 06:51 PM   #10
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The rust really won't cause any problems I always just turned the rocks and stacked them to hide the rust, but it seems to add some nice character to the ones you have.

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