Adding Rocks to Tanks
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Adding Rocks to Tanks

This is a discussion on Adding Rocks to Tanks within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> I was curious what everyones opinion on adding rocks to a tank can do. The tanks are both cycled, a 10g and 29g. I ...

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Adding Rocks to Tanks
Old 08-20-2011, 08:57 AM   #1
 
Adding Rocks to Tanks

I was curious what everyones opinion on adding rocks to a tank can do. The tanks are both cycled, a 10g and 29g. I collected the rocks from Lake Michigan and wanted to try my hand at making a scenic hiding spot for both looks and hiding spots for these fish.
Ebonynivory06 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2011, 09:22 AM   #2
 
In general most rocks are fine. There are some however that may alter water chemistry. A good double check is to pour on a little white vinegar - if there is no fiz, they're okay. If the acid in the vinegar reacts with the rock, it's best not to use the rock in the aquarium.
I'm betting that rocks from a lake, much like rocks from most creeks, streams and rivers are just fine. I have used many rocks from my property lines that are rock walls and piles resulting from cleared lands.

I believe that the rocks need to be processed slightly before adding to an aquarium to better ensure against adding unwanted organisms. There is much [silly] debate about boiling rocks which I don't wish to re-open. You might bring water to a boil in a big pot, then pour over rocks in a 5g pail. Letting sit in the hot water awhile.
Personally, I put mine in the otherwise empty dishwasher with 2+ cups of white vinegar. The DW is set for high temperature and a normal wash. You could adjust parameters and use bleach if you're so inclined.
This will ensure the rocks have been treated such that unwanted 'wild life' will not be introduced to the tank.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:25 AM   #3
 
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Some rocks can make the ph more akaline, from what I remember you have mostly livebearers in your tanks right now, which actually need hard akaline water. To test to see if the rock is inert put some vinegar on it to see if it bubbles. If it bubbles than it can change the water parameters in your tank. For anything that you have collected from nature I would make sure that you sanitize it to make sure there is nothing on them that you don't want to introduce into your aquariums. You can do this by pouring boiling water over the rocks. Someone else may have another method that they use to disinfect rocks that they can share. When placing the rocks in the tank especially if you are stacking them it is suggested in placing the rocks on the bottom of the tank and not directly on the substrate to help keep the rocks from accidently becoming unstable and falling over.
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Old 08-20-2011, 09:33 AM   #4
 
Thanks for input! I will definately test them with white vinegar and then soak them in boiling water!! I heard that boiling decor in white vinegar removes all the gunk as well. Can they be soaked in a bucket with boiling vinegar and then rinsed with hot tap water? My decor is starting to get rather gross and want to make the tanks looks very clean again without messing up the water parameters. Also will fake plastic plants melt if I do this??
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:24 AM   #5
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebonynivory06 View Post
Thanks for input! I will definately test them with white vinegar and then soak them in boiling water!! I heard that boiling decor in white vinegar removes all the gunk as well. Can they be soaked in a bucket with boiling vinegar and then rinsed with hot tap water? My decor is starting to get rather gross and want to make the tanks looks very clean again without messing up the water parameters. Also will fake plastic plants melt if I do this??
Although some take issue with concerns of residual soap, I clean plastic decor in the top rack of my otherwise empty dishwasher with about 2 cups of white vinegar. Like my dishes, my dishwater rinses clean and does an excellent job of cleaning decor plastic plants and rocks!

(I spent over 30 years in plastic extrusion)....The transitional melt point of most plastics used for decor is over 400 degrees F. Water boils at 212 degrees F so putting plastic decor in boiling water will not melt them.
Having 'said' that, there is no need for boiling water. Hot water with vinegar does the trick. Some have also suggested soaking in chlorinated water over night, then rinsing clean the next day. I'm not a fan of chlorine bleach and prefer the more natural and safer white vinegar.
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