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Rocks From The Beach In An Aquarium

Discussion in 'Do-It-Yourself Projects & Hardware' started by batbeanz, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. batbeanz

    batbeanz Member

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    hi.
    i was just wondering if i could use pebbles i collected from a beach in my tropical tank?
    how should i clean them?
    i have been told to boil them to kill any germs is this true.
    cheers
     
  2. bobf

    bobf Member

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    Boiling would work but might be impractical - how about using the sterilising solution used for baby's bottles?

    That would be easy enough - just mix a batch of it and soak the rocks in a bucket of the solution for a while, quick rinse and your done :good:
     
  3. hikinandbikin

    hikinandbikin Member

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    I wanted to do the same thing a while back and found that there were not many articles about using rocks from the wild in your fish tank. Most people just say "go spend the 5-10 per pound for slate from the LFS or homedepot". I don't have 30-75 dollars for rocks just yet so this was the process I settled on.

    I collected generally dark colored rocks with little or no shiny flecks or oxidation (rust). The shiny spots are often calcium which will break down over time and change you PH and water hardness. Chances are pretty good that a light/white rock is going to have calcium in it also so I just avoid. The rust is obviously an indication of a ferrous metal which apparently can react with the amonia in the water and release an atrocious acid. I also try to avoid soft rocks that you can easily scratch deeply with another rock or even your fingernail Apparently these are bad too. (This is what I have gathered from different articles on the web).
    After I collected my rocks I scrubbed them well in warm water with a brush. A wirebruch would work great I just used a toothbrush.
    After they were clean I drop each rock or if I had rocks that appeared to be the same kind of stone into a plastic container with tap water. I let the rocks soak between 24 and 48 hours and then checked the PH (my tapwater is 7). If I saw any change at all I pitched the rocks or retested; I think one of the tupperware dishes I used may have housed pasta sauce prior to usage so there was some acid leach from the container, second pass it was fine.
    After the test is done I take passing rocks and boil them in a stockpot for about 15-30 minutes. I try to make sure the entire rock to the core is hot.
    I then cool and add to the tank.
    I have added about 10-15 large rocks to my aquarium over the last month with no problems. I monitor PH weekly for now, just in case.
    I am not sure if this is useful as you are after small rocks. Perhaps you could look through your rocks to figure out which ones look similar and then process in batches. If a container has a PH change then you cut the batch in half and retest until you find the culprit.
    Hope this helps someone. It seems to work for me.
    Wyatt
     
  4. Rafael Dilone

    Rafael Dilone Member

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    Well I have of whole bunch of Rocks from the ocean in my 10 gallon aquarium. They have been in my aquarium for over 8 months. They have no harm on my aquarium. What I did to make sure it wont harm my aquarium is I put the rocks in boiling water in a bucket. Then every other day I dumped the water from the bucket and put more boiling water. Beware though that some rocks are very sensitive and will break down when come in contact with boiling water. Also I have shells and did the same thing I did with the rocks. Shells have been know to release Limestone and that could harm your aquarium. With all that bit of work I save a lot of money. I go get rocks from the beach evertime I go to the beach. I go and hunt for cool rocks 8) . So I think rocks from the beach make your freshwater tank look more like a salwater tank but It still has that bit of Freshwater/salwater look and it will look beautiful :hyper:
     
  5. pkillur

    pkillur Member

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    I did just about the same thing, except I used a darker color sandstone. It's awesome. I'd say that you're probably OK using a sandstone if you let it stand in a small amount of water and do a PH test a week later. The reason to avoid some sandstones is because they are either made up of: A - Quartz, B- Quartz and Ingeous rock or Granite, or C - Quartz and Calcium which could cause PH variation.

    I used a wirebrush from my outdoor grill. I used a "crap" rock to both clean my wirebrush off. It was a win-win situation because after cleaning all those jokin' rocks off my BBQ brush was completely clean :)
     

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