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Old 10-02-2004, 08:47 PM   #1
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Preparing rocks from nature

I found some awesome rocks outside and scrubbed them off with a scrub brush. What else do I need to do so they are safe for a fish tank?
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Old 10-02-2004, 09:26 PM   #2
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I would boil them if you can. If you can't, stick them in a rubbermaid type tub outside filled with a very weak bleach solution for a half-day or so, then rinse the heck out of them. Fill the tub back up with water and use an overdose of dechlor, soak for an hour or so, then you are good to go.

Be sure they do not have rust-colored veins or otherwise look like they might contain metals.
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Old 10-02-2004, 10:02 PM   #3
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I just prepped some river rock by soaking in a weak bleach solution for a few hours, rinsed, rinsed, rinsed , rinsed and then soaked in water with dechlor twice. The fish are fine and the rock looks great.
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Old 10-03-2004, 12:41 AM   #4
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definitly boil it.
you should do a vinegar test to see if it's leeching.
bob fenner suggests the vinegar test and you could ph test your tap, put the rock in wait a day or two and retest ph.
heres the links:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PlantedTk...kwdscapeag.htm
and
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PlantedTk...wdscapfaqs.htm
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Old 10-03-2004, 12:44 AM   #5
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Some say that vinegar is too weak of an acid and muriatic is the only way to really tell, but since I don't feel like tracking that particular item down, I rely on vinegar and a little basic geology. Softer, coarser rocks will tend to leach, harder, smoother ones won't. This is not going to hold true always and is not purely scientific, but if you find your pH rising, you will know why.
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Old 10-03-2004, 01:08 PM   #6
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I also use a scrub brush on any rocks I find outside then I boil them and put them in the tank.

Has worked great so far...
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Old 10-04-2004, 12:37 PM   #7
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i tested my rocks with vinegar first - if they sizzle they are out. Then I soaked them in a weak (< 10%) bleach solution for 2 days. Then I saoked them in water for 2 days to remove the bleach. Then I boiled them for 30 minutes or so. Then again kept them in water for 1 day and then rinsed and rinsed again !
My rocks had some red stains and I went through the trouble to make sure they are safe. But it was worth the effort - they look beautiful in the tank and the fish love them
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Old 10-04-2004, 01:00 PM   #8
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yeah i did near the same, alot of slate around here but it comes in some odd colors, so i wasnt taking any chances either
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