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Old 03-15-2005, 11:53 AM   #1
cJw
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Natural Decor

I hate store bought decor.

The same thing that you see in every dentist office tank; the same things your annoying cousin has in their goldfish 'tank'; etc etc.

I had the opportunity to collect some quartz and (what I have been told is) iron ore.



I'm wondering about using them as decor in my new 30 gal setup and I'm wondering about preparation, or if it's even something I should attempt.

Boiling? Soaking? Give it up?

tia, as always.
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30g long planted fw
1 blue gourami
6 rummy nose tetras
6 gold barbs
3 peppered cory cats
1 'maldito' cory cats=
1 yoyo loach
1 clown pleco
6 ghost shrimp


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Old 03-15-2005, 12:23 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA, cJw!

Iron ore - or any other metal ore, for that matter - will leach metals into the water and slowly poison the fish. If you have inverts, they would be the first to die from metal poisoning. I've read where people have coated metallic rocks with clear epoxy to make them safe before putting them in the tank, but I have no experience with this myself.

Quartz is perfectly safe, but are you sure what you have is quartz? I may be wrong, but from the pic, it looks like blue calcite (calcium carbonate). An easy way to test it is to place a drop of concentrated acid (you can get muriatic acid at the paint/hardware store) on the stone. If it fizzes, the rock is not quartz, and it might change the hardness and/or pH of your water.

If you like the natural look, consider river rocks, brick, sandstone, slate, and petrified wood. They are all safe for aquariums, and will not change the water chemistry. You can get all these stones for cheap at a building supply center.

I buy my aquarium stones at the lfs or a building supply. Before placing rocks in my tanks, I just scrub them clean with a hot water and a stiff brush. Any rocks that you collect yourself should be soaked in dilute bleach for a day to kill pathogens, and rinsed extensively with water containing a heavy dose of dechlorinator. HTH
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:33 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info, Q! I've found some similar info online but you've answered my questions precisely.

Something else I just saw online as a test for rocks was vinegar, as opposed to muriatic acid. Would this work as well, do you think?

I've a few building suppliers in the area; great idea for cheaper than LFS decor! Thanks for all the info!
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30g long planted fw
1 blue gourami
6 rummy nose tetras
6 gold barbs
3 peppered cory cats
1 'maldito' cory cats=
1 yoyo loach
1 clown pleco
6 ghost shrimp


There are no coincidences.
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:38 PM   #4
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I think that vinegar is too weak to give an accurate result, but let's wait for QTOFFER's answer to be sure.
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Old 03-15-2005, 02:07 PM   #5
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Vinegar is a very dilute (5%) solution of a relatively weak acid (acetic acid). It's true that it may not give accurate results with some rocks. The muriatic acid you can buy at the hardware store is hydrochloric acid (30%, I think) - strong stuff! Wear rubber gloves and use this stuff outside - the fumes can really clear your sinuses.
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Old 03-16-2005, 07:12 AM   #6
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Duly noted. . .

I have another question, though; can anyone give me some more ideas for decor in my aquarium that I won't get @ the lfs?

As it sits, there's a terra cotta pot and a cheesy castle (inherited along w/ tank) as well as a few plastic plants. I'm not quite brave enough to be planning to go live plants, but I do know that there simply isn't enough in the tank for the fishies.

Anything I haven't thought of?

(scouring the net now for other ideas also. : )
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30g long planted fw
1 blue gourami
6 rummy nose tetras
6 gold barbs
3 peppered cory cats
1 'maldito' cory cats=
1 yoyo loach
1 clown pleco
6 ghost shrimp


There are no coincidences.
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Old 03-16-2005, 07:59 AM   #7
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If you want live plants, java fern and anubias will do fine in your tank. These are slow growing low light plants that are so easy they could practically grow in the dark. I keep java ferns and anubias nana and barteri in my 29 gallon tank, and even with my crappy light strip they do really well. I've heard the same about vals and cryptocornes (sp?) although I've never kept them. A great way to give your fishies hiding places is to get some driftwood (I buy mine from my LFS) and tie some java ferns to it after clipping the roots. A few weeks later, cut the string off and the ferns will be attached to the driftwood.

I also buy lace rock from the LFS or other rock from a garden center, and stack it in the tank to make caves. My fish (especially plecos) love it.

Nice to see another Kentuckian here! I have family in Louisville.
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:29 AM   #8
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I was considering a driftwood planted w/ java fern AND anubias; any problems with that?

Lace rock, I'm guessing, is an LFS specialty? Fortunately I have a landscaping supplier not too far from home, so I'll be looking into that soon enough. I'm hoping to make some caves by the time I have demanding fish in there. You stack the rock, as opposed to using silicone? I guess it'd depend on the rocks. . . btw, what any special type of silicone I'd wanna use if I were to be adhering rocks together?
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30g long planted fw
1 blue gourami
6 rummy nose tetras
6 gold barbs
3 peppered cory cats
1 'maldito' cory cats=
1 yoyo loach
1 clown pleco
6 ghost shrimp


There are no coincidences.
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