Natural Rocks - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-06-2011, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Natural Rocks

My 72 gal setup is going to be delivered this Thursday. I have two large driftwood logs soaking in the spare bathtub now and the water is starting to clear up.

I went looking for rocks today and found some I liked. They called them "Moss Rocks". Looks like a plain rock with some moss on the top.

Can I assume these will be ok for the aquarium. I plan to wash them in hot water and let them soak for a couple days.. They are kinda redish which had me concerned that there was a lot of iron in the rocks.

What do you think..

Capt Roy

"If it doesn't work, read the directions. If it still doesn't work, follow them!!"
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-06-2011, 10:03 PM
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I got some slate from a local creek and didn't wash it. But everything worked out ok. (Brackish water)

My dad actually started his tank with pond water after having trouble getting it cycled. Haven't read anything like that. Some say you don't want to introduce different bacteria to your tank. His worked out fine though. I don't see what it would harm in a new aquarium NOT washing it. Might even help get it cycled.
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post #3 of 4 Old 09-07-2011, 10:22 AM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

There is always a risk to using rock from outside, especially if you don't know what it is (geologically) or if it has at some pont been exposed to various chemicals; rocks can absorb liquids and they may leech out over time. Rock from underwater is usually safer, once it is washed to remove parasites and such. Calcareous rock will raise hardness and corresponding pH, which is somewhat irrelevant if the tank is to contain hard water fish but in a soft water fish tank would be unwanted.

The red you mention could be iron, copper, rust... If it is extensive I myself would not use the rock.


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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post #4 of 4 Old 09-07-2011, 10:28 AM
reddish orange tends to be iron related, reddish pink can be granite/feldspar, and i'm sure there are other possibilities too. the acid test to find organics in rocks i believe will also react with iron (if i remember my chem classes correctly). if any color comes off on your finger if you rub it, i wouldn't put it in a tank. unfortunately, a name like "moss rock" tells you nothing about the rock itself.

(sorry if my comments seem disjointed, i'm trying to sort through the geography knowledge i have, which is rather random since my parents both have educations relating to it but all of my knowledge comes from them)
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