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Thread: Question About some rocks and drift wood in aquarium.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    25

    Question About some rocks and drift wood in aquarium.

    First off I want to say hello to everyone I am so happy to find this place.

    Finally my 10 gallon planted tank project is on the way after a lot of reaserch I'm pretty confident I will do good. Especially after me finding this forum/website with lots of wonderful info and people who know their stuff gives me even more confidence.

    Right now I'm just getting all the equipment that I need to start off my planted tank right, it will take me a couple of weeks to get everything I need. So I will be posting more questions as the weeks go by

    So right now my question is how safe is the rock I got for my tank, it's a small rock about 6-7 inches I got it at the petstore in the fish department. I want to attach a little bit of java moss on it. But I made a mistake and did not get the name of the rock type, so now I'm wondering if it's a safe rock to use in my planted tank? I read in one of my books that I can do a little fizz test to see if the rock will alter water quality, you put a little bit of white vinegar on it and see if it will fizz. Well it did fizz like a tiny bit, hardly noticeble and it looked more like it was because the rock was dry. So anyway I'm not sure if it's safe. If anyone can help me please and tell me if this rock is safe to use in my planted tank? I added a picture of the rock.

    I also got a driftwood from a private seller, (for a very good deal that I couldn't say NO to) drift wood is from an undeveloped pristine reservoir with restricted boat use. The piece is soaked, scrubbed, and rinsed to remove any loose debris with hot water only (no-chemicals). It is also attached to Bluestone base using aquarium safe stainless steel screws. I do not have it yet but it's a nice piece and will look wonderful in my tank but the question remains the same is it ok to use in my fishtank.

    Here is a picture of a rock:





    Thanks for all the help

  2. #2
    I've spent a while working in masonry-related industry, with rock almost exactly like this. It looks like you've got your self a chunk of weather worn shale with a nice dump of iron in it. You'll notice where the sharp edges are, the color is gray and more uniform than the more weather, rounded edges that are brown. It looks soft enough that a strong pair of hands could almost pry the layers apart. It's going to be loaded with calcium and minerals. If in doubt, try pouring a little HCL on it and wait for the fizz.

    -Philosophos

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philosophos View Post
    I've spent a while working in masonry-related industry, with rock almost exactly like this. It looks like you've got your self a chunk of weather worn shale with a nice dump of iron in it. You'll notice where the sharp edges are, the color is gray and more uniform than the more weather, rounded edges that are brown. It looks soft enough that a strong pair of hands could almost pry the layers apart. It's going to be loaded with calcium and minerals. If in doubt, try pouring a little HCL on it and wait for the fizz.

    -Philosophos

    Thanks for the reply.

    Maybe it's a stupid question but what is HCL?
    I did a test that I read I can do by puting a little bit of white vinegar on it to see if it will fizz. It did a little bit in some places and that's what made me doubt this rock. So I think I will need to find something else, which is too bad because I really like this rock for what I want to do with the aquascape. And pet stores should not sell these rocks in the fish section... grrrrrrrrr
    Could I possibly find a suitable rock in a lake at the forest preserve beside my house? What should I look for?
    Thanks again for all the help
    "Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."

    http://irenastankadventure.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
    HCL is hydrochloric acid. The easiest source is from a hardware store, available in varying dilutions depending on the brand as, "muriatic acid" for keeping the pH down in swimming pools. If it's fizzing with an acid as weak as vinegar, then it's definitely no good.

    Unspecialized pet stores, quite often, are about as competent at keeping fish as, "all natural" health food stores are at brain surgery. They may know the territory a bit, but usually you're waiting for them to offer leeches as a cure for ich.

    For IDing safe rocks, it's best to do a bit of your own reading. Avoid things with calcium, keep an eye out for color changes between weathered faces and a freshly cracked interior, and try HCL for a fizz test. Think about the physics behind what you're looking at. Does it have a lot of horizontal cracks? Is it falling appart? Does it look like it's bleeding iron oxide? These are all good indications of bad rocks to use. If all else fails, test for what ever you can via GH, KH and pH. Even a test run with other fish couldn't hurt if you're going to put it in an aquarium full of expensive fish.

    -Philosophos

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    25
    Thanks so much for your help! And I'm off to do some reading on IDing rocks

    Thanks again
    "Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."

    http://irenastankadventure.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
    BTW, the Windy City has several good clubs, and a plant club also, might want to look into them. Landscaping and dirt supply yards are great for rock(10-60 cents a pound etc)

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Barr View Post
    BTW, the Windy City has several good clubs, and a plant club also, might want to look into them. Landscaping and dirt supply yards are great for rock(10-60 cents a pound etc)

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
    I did not know that, thanks for letting me know

    By any chance do you know the name of those clubs or how can I look them up?

    Thank you
    Last edited by irena; 03-16-2009 at 01:02 AM.
    "Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."

    http://irenastankadventure.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Here is what I found with a quick google search:
    http://www.geocities.com/cagagroup/
    Hoppy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    25
    You guys are the best!
    Thanks soooooo much
    "Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."

    http://irenastankadventure.blogspot.com/

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