Local rocks leech + affect water quality? Safe for shrimp? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 05-08-2013, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Local rocks leech + affect water quality? Safe for shrimp?

I found some awesome local SoCal rocks, but I wonder if there is any chance that the composition of the rock may leech minerals or metals that could be harmful to shrimp.

Anyone ever have this issue? Or have things to look for in the rock itself that is a bad sign?


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post #2 of 3 Old 05-08-2013, 04:51 AM
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pour vinegar on it - if they fizz they will mess with ph
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post #3 of 3 Old 05-08-2013, 10:44 AM
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Mitch is referring to calcareous rock, like limestone, dolomite, marble, lava, etc, that contains calcium/magnesium and will react to an acid by fizzing. Such rocks release calcareous mineral into the water, which is not going to hurt hard water fish or shrimp, but if you have soft water fish this could be a real problem.

As for other substances, you can't tell. I use "river rock" in a couple of my tanks. This is rounded bits of rock (smooth) that you can get in all sizes from gravel up to boulders. It is rounded because it has been tumbled around by a river and worn smooth over time. This is generally safe. Some people collect this from a river or stream, but I prefer buying it from a landscape supply place as it is very inexpensive and I can select the sizes and uniform colours.

Porous or soft rock like sandstone is not a good idea.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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