Aquarium safe rocks - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Aquarium safe rocks

So besides the vinegar test is there anything else I need to check to be safe? If the rocks pass the vinegar test is there still a risk of ph swing?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 09:12 PM
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what is this vinegar test? i just boil rocks and scrub them and but them in. im curious now
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Put vinegar on the rocks and if it fizzs its no good for aquariums. Something About carbonates in the rock. Or so I've read.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-06-2013, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Will make the ph swing drastically. Allegedly. That's why I'm asking
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 11:54 AM
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I don't know of another test other than submerging them for extended periods of time and testing the water.

find a 5gL bucket and wait 2 months maybe.

Vinegar might not always work because concentrations of calcium carbonate may not be high enough to detect fizzing with out being submerged in vinegar.

Calcite and aragonite fizz in vinegar but dolomite will only fizz very much if powdered first (scratch it up) due to the mixture of magnesium in the calcium carbonate.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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I have a nice pile of rocksteady daughter and I collected.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 01:02 PM
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Vinegar isn't strong enough to make all carbonate rocks fizz, but a stronger acid will. Hydrochloric acid (used in swimming pools) will make any carbonate rock fizz. The various "lime-away" products will also provide a good test.

Other than using corrosive acids, another method is to leave the rocks in a bucket of water and test the pH, GH and KH over time to see if they change.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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I'm just gonna have to let them soak and see. Was hoping for something a little faster then waiting a month in the water.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-07-2013, 10:38 PM
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Yes HCL (muriatic acid) is a much stronger acid. You can find it at hd, lowes or maybe even ace. I have used both on the same rocks and the reaction is definitely different. But remember just because you get fizzing, it does not mean you can't use the rocks. It just means that here is a higher chance of your water chemistry changing. Depending on your water chemistry and/or your water changing routine, it may or may not effect you much. This is when soak testing in isolated containers come into play. Test over several days to several weeks to get a more accurate reading on how the rock(s) will effect your water.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2013, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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I was planning to use it in a dirted tank without any fish in it for two months probally. But also hit the mother load on some nice rocks and have a few other tanks I'd love to use them in. Ill try the muriatic acid and then soak them for a couple weeks and see. Thanks for the tips guys and gals
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 02:20 AM
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0live has it pretty much covered.

The other advantage to scratching the rock is that not only are you creating more surface area for a reaction, but you also may be able to penetrate a weathered 'rind' on the rock, which could be resistant to the reaction.


And adding an acid (acetic from vinegar, but stronger like HCl/muriatic is better) reacts and releases CO2, which is what causes the fizzing.

Also, not an issue for most people, but if you happen to be collecting your rocks in the winter, sometimes they can be cold enough to not get a noticeable reaction in the field, warming the rocks and the acid can also help get a better reading.

And for soaking in a bucket, make sure you get a baseline reading after letting the water set for a day or two before you put the rock in (it will probably change from what it is straight out of the tap).
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Ok awesome. Thanks
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 01:51 PM
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Anybody happen to know the rate of change this calcium carbonate exchange might happen at? I guess what I am asking is how big a problem is this if say I change half the water once a week?
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0live View Post
find a 5gL bucket and wait 2 months maybe.
Ouch, talk about a lead time....


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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2013, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitFUUL View Post
Ouch, talk about a lead time....
Yeah your telling me, love the posts on the other forum of all your set ups
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