Fieldstone Question....who better to ask?
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:48 PM   #1
MangyMoose77
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Fieldstone Question....who better to ask?


Hey locals,
Recently there was a question in a separate thread about fieldstone in aquariums. As you all know, there is tons and tons of the stuff everywhere around here. Does anyone have experience with putting it in any of their aquariums? Should there be any concerns about fish health or water parameters? I am building a new 30 gallon aquarium and want to use fieldstone for the rock work, so this is partially for personal knowledge as well.

Thanks a bunch!
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:14 PM   #2
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Well, fieldstone is a general term. If you can identify what types of rock they are, it would help.

If you know what it is and wash it really good, I don't see any problem with it.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:25 PM   #3
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Give it the vinegar test. Put a few drops of vinegar on the rock in question and look for bubbles. If you don not see any, it's usually safe.

Also, examine the rock. If you see rust looking streaks on it, or if you chip it and the inside of the rock looks a lot different there could be an issue. Another thing to look for is rocks the seem to be made up of "sandy stone" and abrade easily. Those are often a bad choice.

I would boil or bleach it to make sure you kill off any bad stuff.
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:34 AM   #4
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ValMM, thanks for your response. I posted in PA forum, because we have a certain type of rock here that we commonly call "fieldstone". It's used in building houses, fireplaces, rock walls, and other assorted hardscaping, and it all looks the same. As far as what those rocks are "actually" called, I really have no idea because I'm actually a Maine native and only recently moved to PA.

DaveK, thanks for the information. I've already heard about the vinegar test, but the other information was new to me; thanks!
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:45 AM   #5
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are you talking about the rocks that have like, shiny flakes in them? and when you break it, it comes apart in layers? if that is the stuff you are talking about, i have had in my tanks for quite some time and have never had any issues. even had it in my 55g shrimp tank with no problems.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:38 AM   #6
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I don't know why I didn't do this in the first place. These are the kind of rocks I'm talking about. Again, I have no idea what their actually geological names would be.

Rock Wall

Close Up of a Wall

Even these sites call the stuff "Pennsylvania Fieldstone". My entire fireplace and chimney is made of this stuff and mortar. Very heavy rock.
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:33 PM   #7
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Oh...that rock. Yeah, you're good. It's the same rock that is in the rivers, creeks and streams of the area.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:40 PM   #8
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Well actually, I talked to my boss today at work. Why the fact that he is an avid rock collector/amateur geologist slipped my mind, I don't know. The fact that he owned aquariums in the past as well makes me trust his judgement and opinion.

I had this discussion with him today and he told me that, while the rocks themselves are composed of mostly sandstone, and alone they are harmless, the fieldstone harvested from the mountain ridges in this area are found to have very high levels of iron in them, this gives them that nice rusty aged look after installation, but they could slowly leach toxic levels of iron into an aquarium environment, and should essentially never be used in an aquarium setting.

He seems to think that ones found in river beds would be a safer bet if one did want to use some in a tank.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MangyMoose77 View Post
I posted in PA forum
Oh, oops! I wasn't paying attention.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:37 AM   #10
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No problem, Val. And after rereading my post, sorry if that came off as jerky. Was not my intent.
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Old 04-02-2012, 02:47 AM   #11
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I am glad you talked to a local expert.
Around here (CA) we also call the rock lying around in the hills and fields 'Fieldstone', but it is totally different, and often grows a lot of lichens and moss, so is also called Moss Rock.
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