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Using natural stone as apposed to store bought?

Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center: General message area: Using natural stone as apposed to store bought?


Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 08:51 pm
We have a creekbed with a lot of neat looking stone of all shapes and sizes. My husband thought it would be neat if we rinsed the stone well and used it in our freshwater tank as apposed to buying it. We have a 90 gallon tank. Is this a good idea? We havent got any fish yet as this is a new hobby. All info is appreciated.

Thanks, Tammy



Saturday, March 16, 2002 - 11:27 pm
As long as you clean them well, there shouldn't be any problems. The only exception depends on where you live. If you live in an area with a lot of limestone, this may not be a good idea. Limestone will raise the pH and hardness of your water to levels that may be less desirable to several species of fish. If you want to keep South American fish, or some types of Asian fish, you might be better off not using the rock if you suspect it may be limestone. If you want to do African Cichlids, or Central American livebearers, the higher pH and water hardness will be just fine. If you aren't sure whether or not the rocks will affect pH, collect a few of the rocks, and do an experiment putting several rocks in a bucket filled with tap water, and measure the pH before you put the rocks in, and after they've been in a couple of days. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to set out another bucket of water filled with tap water and nothing else to use as a "control" for the experiment. Sometimes the pH of water will change as it sits out (generally more so of well water I have found, but it may change with tap water too). Keeping a bucket filled only with tap water will help determine whether any changes in your water parameters can be blamed on the rocks or not.



Sunday, March 17, 2002 - 08:04 am
I also read that if you drop some vinegar onto the rock type in question it will bubble if it is a type of rock that will dissolve over time and adjust your ph. I would also suggest boiling h20 to kill off anything that may be lurking on the rocks.



Sunday, March 17, 2002 - 01:13 pm
Thank you so much for the info. We have all sandstone where we live, no limestone. Is that not good either? What is a good fish to start off with, to help get the water where it should be? How long should we wait before we put any fish in the tank? I know the ph needs to be right, but what other things should we check before putting living creatures in? I'm sorry I have a lot of silly questions.
This is new to us, but hopefully we will learn fast. Thank you very much, Tammy



Monday, March 18, 2002 - 07:08 am
Have you read the "Genesis" and "Basics" sections on this site? They give a good description of "cycling" a new tank and what to expect. After your tank has been running for a couple of days - a week with only water in it, you can add a small amount of fish to begin cycling. talks about good and bad starter fish.

I'm sure different websites will say different things but this is what one said about what kind of rocks are safe for aquariums (safe in that they won't adjust your h20)

Safe Rocks:

Crystalline Quartz
(Rock Crystal, Amethyst, Citrine, Rose Quartz, Smokey Quartz)
Lava Rock
Microcrystalline Quartz
(Jasper, Agate, Chalcedony, Sard, Carnelian)
Petrified Wood

Unsafe Rocks:

(Commercially harvested coal is treated with an oil by-product to reduce dust)
Fools Gold
(or any other rock with metallic veins--Acid Producing)

Good luck and have fun! 90 gallons---I'm jealous!



Monday, March 18, 2002 - 07:40 am
If you are keeping African Rift Cichlid that like a high ph actually limestone,dolomite and coral are a good choice. If you are keeping softwater fish or fish that like a neutral ph...obviously these would be a bad choice. I know I have lots of limestone in my 75 mbuna tank! Also Tufa rock(found in LFS stores) can raise ph.


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