Substrate insanity!! - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 17 Old 07-11-2009, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Just curious but what actually constitutes "river Rock"?
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post #12 of 17 Old 07-11-2009, 12:52 PM
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River rock is collected form rivers, that has been naturally broken down by the waters current.
What the rock is made of.... I don't have a clue.
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post #13 of 17 Old 07-12-2009, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twistersmom View Post
River rock is collected form rivers, that has been naturally broken down by the waters current.
What the rock is made of.... I don't have a clue.
The rock could be any type, same as other rock, depending upon its origin, so be sure to test for calcium (e.g., limestone) that would raise hardness and pH as it slowly leeches. Granitic rock would be OK from that aspect, but one always has to be aware of other toxic substances with which the rock might have come into contact.

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 #14 of 17 Old 07-12-2009, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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Seems safer and more reliable just to buy from a lfs. Thanks for all the help.
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post #15 of 17 Old 07-12-2009, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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I just want to ask, is there any way to tell if there is other toxic substances that have come in contact with the rocks? If anyone knows of any other type of testing technique i would love to hear about it. if it has come in contact with anything will it be removed thru cleaning processes such as pouring boiling water on them/bleach/ what was the other...hydrogen peroxide?
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post #16 of 17 Old 07-12-2009, 04:37 PM
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In several threads on different forums I've come across opposite schools of thought on using rocks (and wood) from "outside." I have known rocks to leech iron, and as this is a mineral within the rock it is impossible to somehow remove it without melting (or more correctly smelting) the rock. Other minerals such as copper may be present and we all know how deadly copper is to fish and plants in excess.

Rocks can absorb liquids and if they come into contact with pesticides, herbicides, oil, and other toxic chemicals it might be months or years before these things leech out completely.

Boiling rocks is not a good idea, they can explode. "Washing" them however thorough is still hit and miss; how do you wash the inside of the rock? I also had interaction with the mining community for many years, and I learned how rocks can contain all sorts of toxic substances.

The opposite school of thought is that most rocks are probably OK, why bother. Years ago I had some rocks from a lake in one of my tanks and I wasn't aware of any problems. More recently I lost a number of fish to something toxic (unknown) that was slowly leeching out of a piece of wood (bought in a reputable aquarium store no less) so now I am a bit more cautious. Thinking that because the rock occurs in a river it must be OK for fish is misleading; in nature the water is constantly moving and carrying away any toxic substances, and fish would avoid the area. In a closed aquarium the fish cannot escape.

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 #17 of 17 Old 07-12-2009, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Yea...dont think i want to chance that ill just resort to going to the lfs and picking up some natural(hopefully uncoasted) rocks that way if anything happens i dont feel bad. so far ive seen caribsea has some nice freshwater substrates. thanks
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