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Old 04-06-2011, 06:28 AM   #1
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Rocks for my cichlid tank

Hi I was thinking if heading to my local river to get some rocks I just want to know if this is wise? If it's ok what would be the best way to prepare them for my tank?
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:10 AM   #2
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Mine came from a local creek. Just be sure to scrub them really well. I let mine dry, bake in the sun, then took a wire brush to them, soaked them for a few days, then put them in.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:18 AM   #3
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I found my rocks near the ocean. All you need to do is boil the rocks for 25mins. Scrub them to remove grime n soil. Let the rocks sit out and dry over night. Sometimes you might want to boil them again but that depends on the rock. When you boil them you will see you efforts for doing so......good luck!
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:20 AM   #4
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Also do a vinegar test, put a few drops of vinegar on it before boiling, and if it doesn't fizz, it's safe. If it does fizz... It's not safe.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:55 AM   #5
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Also do a vinegar test, put a few drops of vinegar on it before boiling, and if it doesn't fizz, it's safe. If it does fizz... It's not safe.
It's still safe to use the rocks if the vinegar fizzles, it's just it will raise/buffer the PH levels in the tank.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:04 AM   #6
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I gave never vinegar tested a rock, i find em scrub them and soak them in scolding hot water for a few hours.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:58 AM   #7
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If I were going to use rocks from a water way, which I do, I soak them in a bleach solution. That will burn off any biofilm that may be attached to the rock. I can't imagine going to the trouble of boiling and scrubbing with a wire brush. pretty much all my rocks came from the shore of Lake Ontario. I prefer these rocks because they are all worn smooth by wave action. There is also a huge variety of non calcerous rock.
I have done the same with gravel obtained from the lake shore. Again the gravel is made up of smooth rounded pebbles of various sizes, sorted by size, by the waves.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:07 PM   #8
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The vinegar test means nothing IMO. If this is an african tank (which one wouuld assume with the rocks), a high pH is perfectly fine (recommended actually). Boiling rocks can be a bad idea. If there are any air pockets in the rock, boiling them can cause them to explode. Never done it, never felt like I needed to, never wanted to take the risk.
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:49 AM   #9
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Thank everyone for the advise. I have also been told putting them into an oven for a few hours kills any parasite on them. I am not sure if that's wise as they might go off with a bang. I am from Australia so getting them from that lake BillD might be a little hard for me. I have a good local stream/ waterfall which has some really good rocks.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:05 AM   #10
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Ausitrailia? You live by any of the streams that have cichlids in them?
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:35 AM   #11
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not really although we have many fresh water streams/rivers here which house some big fish. I dont think australia has any cichlids in the water ways. well I wouldnt call what we have cichlids any way. I have been tempted to go down and catch a fish we call brim and put it in the tank and grow it up and eat it later but other than that id rather get something from a store which will look really nice not something that will grow upward of 60cm and is only silver. they are nice fish but not what i want
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Old 04-08-2011, 08:44 AM   #12
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I use to love catching freshwater fish, bass, pike, perch, now all i do is observe....where I live now r only grouper,(most common) ,red fish, etc. But its all saltwater and I grew. Up around freshwater. So, my fishing for croppie or walleye days are over. Anywho, african cichlids r very smart and timid fish (for a fish), I think anyone who loves fish should have some cichlids! They are colorful, mine come to the corner of the tank before feed time to let me know its time for some chow....to me that's an intelligence. I am thinking that growing your own food source is a good idea but american law might make you get a license so gov't can have a piece of your action too.....love the idea tho......
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Old 04-08-2011, 09:03 AM   #13
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:42 AM   #14
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Yeah but they caught them on the other side of Australia. I have never heard of anyone catching them in Perth western australia
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wheelz
Hi I was thinking if heading to my local river to get some rocks I just want to know if this is wise? If it's ok what would be the best way to prepare them for my tank?
I agree with the vinegar test, my rocks came from the side of the road, I brushed the dirt off and threw mines in the dishwater on pots and pans cycle
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:15 PM   #16
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The vinegar test means nothing IMO. If this is an african tank (which one wouuld assume with the rocks), a high pH is perfectly fine (recommended actually). Boiling rocks can be a bad idea. If there are any air pockets in the rock, boiling them can cause them to explode. Never done it, never felt like I needed to, never wanted to take the risk.
Agreed. All the vinegar test tell you is if the rock is limestone or calcium carbonate. All that means is that they will break down over time in the water and release the calcium carbonate molecules into the water, thereby raising the pH of the water. Since African tanks are recommended to be ran at a pH of 8.1 or higher, using these types of rocks is IMO actually preferred as it helps to buffer the water and keep the pH up where you want it.
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