what type of rocks are ok?
I am new to planting my tank, my angels seem to love it though, what type of rocks are ok, I tried one, I picke dout of a river in Wisc. a few years ago and it just made my tank cloudy( took it out) but am now unsure of what I might put in there.
Most rocks are fine apart from sandstone, chalk, limestone and any other calcium carbonate based rock. These are pretty easy to ID as they are fairly soft and make lots of dust or sand. The break down in water quick. The absolute test is to put a few drops of vinegar on the rock in question. If it fizzes or bubbles you don't want it as it will effect pH and hardness.
If you are taking rocks out of a river, or your yard, or anywhere else where they start out dirty, make sure you are cleaning them well. Start out scrubbing them with a brush that has never been used with any kind of cleaning agent - soap, detergent, etc. When everything that will come off has come off, disinfect them - 2 possibilities here: boil them (risk is that they may blow up, but I've never had it happen), or soak them in a hot water/bleach solution - not much bleach, a tablespoon or 2 per gallon is plenty. Of course you will have to rinse over and over to get rid of the bleach before putting them in your tank.
don't boil rocks. The chance is small, but why risk when they can actually hurt you quite badly.
A trick I've used is to dissolve tons of salt in some water, and soak the rock in it. Then rinse.
You can also soak in bleach water, rinse the rock, let it dry, and rinse again with water and a little tap water dechlorinator.
Vinegar is not really strong enough to get a reaction out of some rocks... If you message Byron, he's used one of the liquid test reagants to test rocks... I THINK it's one of the nitrate reagants...
if vinegar doesn't get a reaction rock may be basic in nature, but not strongly. Pretty much all the rock in my tank I picked up off the ground. I don't bother with the tests myself. I just avoid limestone and sandstone. I rinse them in a bucket of tap water and drop them in the tank. Never had a problem before. Though I don't use rocks or wood that I find in the water. The worst a clean rock is going to do is increase you pH and hardness. How big its effect is depends on size of rock and size of tank.
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