DO NOT BOIL ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 115 Old 08-08-2007, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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DO NOT BOIL ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As many of you are aware a lot of people use rocs in their aquariums. This is fine but there aresome things to know before using them. The first is to make sure they are inert. This is done by putting them in vinegar and seeing if they bubble. If they do they will change your tank parameters, most likely your GH but can change yur KH and pH drastically. Now this is wanted sometimes but as a general rule if it fizzes you don;t want to use it. The second is the best way to disenfect a rock is to use alcohol or to pour boiling over it.


Regardless of what it is made of or the type, if there is any water in the rock it can explode and destroy your kitchen or even worse, YOU!

If you want to change your pH with rocks, make sure they are clean and the rights ones before using them.

If anyone has any more ideas for disinfecting rocks for the aquarium please post them. Also, any information on rocks that are specifically used for changing the chemistry of your aquarium for specific fish would be very useful for many members.
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post #2 of 115 Old 08-08-2007, 03:29 PM
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This is interesting: countless times I've heard people being advised to boil rocks prior to putting them into the tank.

In fact, I have boiled rocks myself on a couple of occassions
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post #3 of 115 Old 08-08-2007, 03:52 PM
F4A - good idea to ost this sticky. Obviously some rocks will be fine and won't explode but it's too risky to try and just hope.
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post #4 of 115 Old 08-08-2007, 08:50 PM
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I've never heard of this happening. I've boiled lots of rocks and never had any of these problems.

Good to know...I suppose.

Maybe simply pouring the hot water over them is a more safe method? Or even baking them in an oven maybe?
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post #5 of 115 Old 08-08-2007, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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I wsih I could find the police reports I have seen and the pictures. One of them showed a kitchen with actual holes in the wall and the official report was boiled rock that summarily exploded. The whole thing had 3 reports of deaths associated with it.

Pour boiling water on them in a bucket even. The boiling water is not hot ewnough for long enough to cauyse any trapped water to boil and cause an explosion.

For those that do want to boil them, make sure that the rock is dry. Bake it in an oven at 200F for 4 hours or something.

Oh and obviously, don't take a rock in the middle of winter that is frozen solid and pour boiling water over it. I would bet the chances of the rock exploding goes up by a factor of 10 when the rock is freezing cold. Bring the rock in the house and let it warm up for at least 48 hours before pouring boiling water over it. Either that or slowly heat in the oven.
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post #6 of 115 Old 08-08-2007, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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post #7 of 115 Old 08-08-2007, 09:58 PM
I've boiled rocks as well, and have had no problems. But I do also think it could be a time factor as well. I wait til the water is boiling, and then with a pair of tongs, I gently place the rock in the boiling water for 20-30 seconds. Then use the tongs to turn the rock over for another 20-30 seconds, and then remove. Never had a rock explode on me, and with the short time-frame, the rock doesn't get hot all the way through it. It's just long enough to kill what's on the surface, kind of like pouring boiling water over it for 30 seconds.
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post #8 of 115 Old 08-08-2007, 10:59 PM
This is good to know as i just got done boiling a pile of rocks (i didnt know any better) for 15 minutes . Geuss im one of the lucky ones
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post #9 of 115 Old 08-22-2007, 12:25 AM
a little something i learned cruising another site...vinegar doesn't detct always do the trick. apparently certain elements don't react w/ it but will still screw w/ ur water parameters. the best thing to test w/ is muriatic acid [the stuff u put in ur pool]. a few drops on whatever ur testing...if it fizzes fizz...good. only problem w/ this is u don't want to go chuckin whatever it is u tested right into the tank w/ acid on it. i'd suggest mixing up a batch of baking soda and water to neutralize the acid... dip ur test subject in it for a bit, then rinse it off.

as far as disinfecting rocks, i don't really see the need unless u found it in a pile of dog pooh. or perhaps if it's moldy. if so, give her a scrub in a light bleach solution then dechlorinate heavily and let it dry out.

anybody see that episode of mythbusters where they tested the exploding jawbreaker myth....guess what...not a myth. the girl on the show got hurt in the testing. and apparently a lot of kids have had this happen. i guess some ppl put them in the nuker to soften them up and the liquid inside boils...u pull it out take a bite and BOOM...u need many many facial reconstruction surgeries. so i can definately by the exploding rock thingy. same principle.
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post #10 of 115 Old 08-22-2007, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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The main reason to disinfect a rock or pour boiling water over it is that most of the time we ar enot looking for smooth rocks for the aquariu. I look for holy, pitted and rough rocks when i look and the more holes the better. The boiling water will kill and oarasites that might be in the rocks in the deep holes we cannot see and will kill the micro organisms that we can't see period.

I also just saw an episode of Survivor Man where one of the rocks he was using for a heat shiled epxloded and threw rock pieces inot the bedding he was using. This rock wasn't even in the fire but was simply beside it.
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