Aquarium rock expert opinions

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autyfish

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Okay so, I need some help with aquarium decor. I bought these rocks by the pound from my local fish store (that is honestly a joke) and I was told all of these rocks are safe to be in an aquarium. However, the cave rocks are flaking and soft. I have apistogramas, and I know they prefer soft acidic water. Am I correct in thinking these probably screw up the ph and hardness of my tank flaking off? Would you just remove them? Yes I know the algae is covering them pretty bad, but my heater quit and my fish were stressed and I didn’t want to remove the rocks and scrub them and stress everyone worse!
 

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Byron

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I cannot see what you are calling flaking. But rock is not soft, ever, if it is true rock. Even "soft" sandstone rock is still rock, though it may fall apart in sheets. I'm wondering if this is some sort of "artificial" rock?

Wouldn't worry about cleaning the algae, that is beneficial.
 
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autyfish

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Thank you so much for answering. I am wondering if it’s artificial as well. It’s gorgeous and the apistos love the caves. It feels like sand stone, but I’m not certain it is!
 

Colin_T

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It could be limestone or sandstone. Take the rock out and dry it, then pour some white vinegar on it. If the vinegar hisses and bubbles, it is limestone or sandstone. These are calcium based and will raise the pH of the water.
 
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autyfish

autyfish

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Very good advice. I had forgotten this trick! These apistogramas may be the death of me.
 
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autyfish

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A male Agassizi and a female cacatuoides. 2 German blue rams and 2 angelfish. 2 Japanese trapdoor snails. All in a 40 gallon.
 

Colin_T

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Are you getting partners for the Apistogrammas?
They are easy to breed and you could sell the young or trade them in for another tank :)
 
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autyfish

autyfish

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Picturespicturespictures!
I will try to get some. They are all juveniles and not very impressive yet. Wild story, but one set of grandparents purchased my son the tank for Christmas, and my mom went and picked out the fish based on a wishlist my son had made up. Great right?

Except we live 150 miles from the awesome fish store these fish were purchased at, and the fish showed up the day after the tank. So here I am, doing a fish in cycle with $80 worth of fish 😱. So far it’s all going well and we are about 4 weeks in. I used bottled bacteria and a filter from my daughter’s little tank that hadn’t been changed out in a year, so it was good and bacteria-fied. Except battling cammelanus worms they came from the store with and my heater quitting so now they have ich. But my water parameters are 0-0-10ish and I’m just keeping a close eye on them. Wouldn’t have been my choice to do things this way, but…. I had some awesome tanks back in college and everyone had a little too much faith in my abilities and too little knowledge. Once we get the ich cleared up and everyone is looking healthy, I’ll grab some pictures.
 
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autyfish

autyfish

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Picturespicturespictures!
We could I think. I don’t want to overstock the tank, and I don’t know how many more fish we can have. I am experienced; but stocking has always made me nervous.
 

vanalisa

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We could I think. I don’t want to overstock the tank, and I don’t know how many more fish we can have. I am experienced; but stocking has always made me nervous.
If you're nervous about how many fish you have in your tank or about overstocking just ask some of the experts on here start a new thread about it.
Sounds like you're running damage control pretty well in regard to the cycling.
 
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autyfish

autyfish

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If you're nervous about how many fish you have in your tank or about overstocking just ask some of the experts on here start a new thread about it.
Sounds like you're running damage control pretty well in regard to the cycling.
Thank you! Yes I am working hard at that. Having mature filter media helped a lot I’m sure. Testing constantly and being probably under stocked has helped a ton too I’m sure!
 

vanalisa

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Thank you! Yes I am working hard at that. Having mature filter media helped a lot I’m sure. Testing constantly and being probably under stocked has helped a ton too I’m sure!
I agree about to mature filter media. And I think people for the most part tend to overstock.
I think one has to be honest about whether or not they can keep up with the tank and then gauge their fish stocking accordingly. If you do it that way then you might get more enjoyment out of your tank because you're not going to be constantly chasing around water changes. that being said I have to go do a water change on one of my tanks that is overstocked;!!! 😂
It's okay I'm getting my 55 set up this weekend!
 

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