Garden Slate/aquarium Slate - What's The Difference?

Athena

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As the title says - can anyone explain what the difference is between the two types of slate? I mean, can garden slate be used in an aquarium? :unsure:

Thanks - Athena
 

Dodders

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No difference at all, although one may possibly be cleaner than the other! Given a good scrub/soak any slate should be suitable, although I know some people will advise against slate with obvious 'rusty' streaks caused by iron compounds in the rock.

Edited to remove unnecessary chemistry!
 

KittyKat

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+1 above, although I have heard of rock for garden use being coated in something which would prevent algae growth and could be nasty to fish.
 

micko

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Depending on where you live you could go pick some up from a local quarry, a stonemason or if your wishing to build a cave you could go and buy natural slate tiles from a tile shop. Even ask for a sample of one. Make sure its natural slate though and hasn't been sealed with any form of sealer (I haven't heard of any being treated before you buy them but just in case)
 
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Athena

Athena

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Ok, great - thanks for the replies. Some of my neighbours have slate aggregates in their gardens and I was just wondering whether to ask someone for a few handfuls (no, I wasn't going to sneak some at night tut tut!) so that I can construct my own slate caves, using aquarium silicone gel, rather than paying hefty £20 or whatever it is they charge in shops for a ready-made one.

Ages ago I bought a single piece of "aquarium slate" (triangular sort of shape, about 4 or 5 inches length and it cost about £7!) I thought there must be something special about the slate they sell in aquarium shops to be that expensive. But you live and learn eh? I don't like being ripped-off LOL.

Thanks, Athena
 

Gilli

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The difference is the price!! Fish shops charge a fortune for it and you can pick it up for peanuts and in many different colours in garden centres! I always buy my slate from a garden centre and have never had a problem. Just make sure you give it a good scrub in the bath before putting it in your tank as they are very dirty.
 
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The difference is the price!! Fish shops charge a fortune for it and you can pick it up for peanuts and in many different colours in garden centres! I always buy my slate from a garden centre and have never had a problem. Just make sure you give it a good srub in the bath before putting it in your tank as they are very dirty.

LoL I was going to say price too.

My boyfriend got some "rock" for his tank - if we'd bought it from the aquatics department we were looking at a few pound per rock, now getting the same rock from the same shop from the outdoor section meant we paid pennies for it; it needed a good scrub and soaking, otherwise there was no difference.

As for slate, I picked a load up that had fallen off a roof after the snow and we use that in the tank too hehe :blush:
 
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Athena

Athena

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LOL, thanks girls - glad to hear it's safe to use (hope the tiles didn't fall off your roof, Dipsy) and I'm looking forward to actually creating my own slate caves and pebble formations etc...so when visitors say "oh I like that" it will give me great satisfaction in saying "Thanks - I made it!!"

I can't believe that some companies have the cheek to stick a few pebbles or bits of slate together and sell them for £15-£20!

Regards, Athena
 

This Old Spouse

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It reminds me of the difference between "aquarium sand" and "play sand" which is cost as far as I can tell. Then again, all of us fishkeepers ARE independently wealthy, right??
 

adamgreen240

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Dont forget to use aquarium grade silicone though when making your caves! :)
 

Proxo

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I did smash a big 'rock' of slate up a few months ago for my tank and it has been fine :good:
 

Gilli

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I did smash a big 'rock' of slate up a few months ago for my tank and it has been fine :good:

The only thing you have to watch for when you are smashing your own slate is to be careful of the edges which can be razor sharp and dangerous for you and your fish!
 

daleboy

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I am in the process of making caves from old roofing slate at the minute (Got a massive sack full).
They were soaked in a bucket of water for 24 hours then scrubbed really well.

As Gilli said above the sharp edges are best smoothed off.
I am using a dremel with grinding disc to smooth mine out a bit.
Will post pics when they are done.

Good luck with the new caves.
 
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