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Are these rocks aquarium safe? Anyone know?

This is a discussion on Are these rocks aquarium safe? Anyone know? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> )= I hope they are not bad... I think that is just the color... but maybe they get their color from rusting iron. >_<...

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Are these rocks aquarium safe? Anyone know?
Old 05-10-2010, 10:56 AM   #11
 
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)= I hope they are not bad... I think that is just the color... but maybe they get their color from rusting iron. >_<
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:59 PM   #12
 
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Ok, so I just tried "distilled white vinegar" I had. Idk if "distilled" means anything, but no fizzing or anything.

Great. Now that I look at these, and their name is "rusty slate tiles" and that's how it looks... I guess that could be the name since they look rusty, not necessarily are.

Does anyone know if slate with orangish color (a lot of slate I've seen has an orangish color) means it is rusty? Does that mean I should go for a solid blue/gray slate?
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:54 PM   #13
 
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Okay. I know people use natural slate in their tanks. Slate derives its colors from the sediment is forms near. The colors of slate are usually specific to that area. The slate you are showing resembles the kind mined in areas of the east coast. I do know slate was used in electrical work a long time ago (doesn't conduct electricity ((suggests no metals))). I have a slate topped pool table, but that has no bearing. Wikipedia says slate is chemically inert.

The problem with using these stones is you do not know what it has been treated with up until now. A lot of companies will treat or even dye their materials (slate is very easy to dye) to resemble something that it is not. (East coast slate sells for more that mid west slate. buy cheap, add some color, sell for more) They also may pre-treat it to make the surface more porous (for paving) or water resistant prior to putting out for sale. Slate is very susceptible to the elements, especially in areas of climate change. Pre-treatment protects the "stock" from damage. If this is done it may not be readily advertised or even obvious. A way to test would be to weight the stone while it is bone dry (baked) then submerging it for a few days and re-weighing it. If it is heavier, it means it is absorbing water. It is not a foolproof idea, but it is a start.

You also cannot be sure what chemicals or overspay it was exposed to in transit or anyplace else. For this, I'd recommend a very heavy series or soakings, bakings, and maybe a few trips through the dish washer on high heat. THEN test is in a controlled atmosphere on one or two fish.

I def. would not settle for a few day soak and toss it in a tank willy nilly... unless you're okay losing a tank and having to start from scratch.
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:56 PM   #14
 
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And no, the orangish color, is called rust because that's what color it is.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:25 PM   #15
 
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So... Dishwasher with no soap I assume?

And are you saying the orange is just the color, not actual rust? After reading a lot I think it actually is rust. I have read iron oxide is not bad but if there is actual iron in the slate that is bad. Dunno, I've seen varying opinions. I.E. it can be good for plants to have a little iron, but others say not to use it. So idk.

Could the chemicals harm plants?? I could take out all fish and leave a couple in.... this seems so cruel but idk how else to test really... I don't got any iron or copper testing... is there any way I can test for iron?? Or other harmful chemicals? Any other methods such as vinegar (which didn't bubble) that is cheap or uses commonplace things?

Letting it soak and checking PH tomorrow.

Also if I did put a few pieces in with fish, how long would it take to be apparent it is toxic...?
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:53 PM   #16
 
that looks like just flag stone it should be safe its in my kio pond.

Last edited by scalar; 05-10-2010 at 09:58 PM..
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:57 PM   #17
 
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rust is a color, not a composite material. Just as the color violet is not made up flowers, just a shade of purple. As I said, the pigment in slate comes from the soil around it as it forms. Dirt can be red or rust colored. It defies logic to place rocks with a rust composite as stepping stones as the two key elements of their decay are right there... water and oxygen. It would be self defeating and need replacement within a few years. Some forms of slate do have iron pyrite (fools gold) but that is inert and would be somewhat more obvious. Additionally, those forms of slate are not as sturdy as what is traditionally used for walkways and yard purposes.

Assuming you have a dishwasher that doesn't use jet dry or one of those types of dish treatment (that's filled monthly) you should be okay, but don't rely too heavily on that, I've never tried it for something as porous as slate. No you would not use detergent.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:24 PM   #18
 
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You're right scalar it might be flagstone. :) Thanks for mentioning that...

Anyways, so if it's not rust, their should be no problems, other than the chance it was exposed to chemicals which their would be that risk for ever rock right?
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:37 PM   #19
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin View Post
Anyways, so if it's not rust, their should be no problems, other than the chance it was exposed to chemicals which their would be that risk for ever rock right?
Not every rock is quarried, bought and sold for the purpose of being a paved into a yard. Point is, of it is sought out for a purpose such as that it may be treated to withstand elements and the specific environmental exposures, so as to make a better product. You know the old saying, "Don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where its been." Same concept. This isn't something you found in nature.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:53 PM   #20
 
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i have used this in my tanks before, i didnt even poor boiling water over it, just scrubbed with a little bit of soap and water then stuck em in the tank, and i still have the fish to prove it :) you should be fine!
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