limestone/sandstone ok for aquariums?
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:05 AM   #1
scotty82
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limestone/sandstone ok for aquariums?


I have some really cool pieces of limestone (I think) or sandstone rocks in my backyard. I cleaned them very well and I was getting ready to lay them out in my tank when I noticed a seashell fossil in the rock. That got me thinking that the rocks will leach minerals or just plain deteriorate inside the aquarium. Does anyone know if they will or will they be fine to aquascape with? I really love the pieces and was looking forward to using them, but if they are going to mess up my water perams or start crumbling I don't want to use them. Thanks
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:18 AM   #2
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pH (KH) will rise until equilibrium is reached which for me was a pH of about 8
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:46 AM   #3
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Sounds like they would be somewhat alkaline. How much they will change your water depends on where you are when you start. If you have limestone in the ground and your water is from underground, there may be no change. The water has been in limestone anyway. If on the other hand, your water is soft and leans toward acidic, there could be noticable change. If they have been out in the weather all their life, they are unlikely to crumble in the hsort time (relative) you will have them in your tank. Rock is usually hard stuff and doesn't wash away real quick.

Whether the rocks are a problem even if they do change the water will depend on what you want in your water qualities. I have very hard alkaline water but it doesn't bother me at all. I find fish and plants adapt very well. If a plant doesn't thrive, I move on to another one that will. I choose not to argue very long with Mother Nature!
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wkndracer View Post
pH (KH) will rise until equilibrium is reached which for me was a pH of about 8
That wouldn't be very much then for me. My tap is already 7.8.

If I put one of these in a bucket with water, how long should I wait before I test that water?

From what you guys are saying, it might not effect my tank as much as I was originally thinking. I have my hopes up now, again, that I might still be able to use these.
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:49 PM   #5
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my sample took a week to become stable but my water sample was only 2dKH starting out
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:42 PM   #6
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Keep in mind that the test is an indication only. It is not the final answer of what your tank will wind up at on PH. In the test you don't have livestock and all the other things that change PH. I start with 7.8 and each tank settles at a different PH depending on the odd situations for that tank. I find some 7.6 but others are as low as 6.4. Really seems to mean very little to the fish. I have chocolate, rainbow,and flag cichlids at 7-8 but my Africans are at 6.4 because that is where the plants and CO2 are running.
Wood tends to bring it down, limestone tends to bring it up but it is not that important anyway if it is stable or changes very slowly.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
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I did some checking on your location and see you being West of Springfield. That area has lots of limestone underground so assuming your water is near the same would say you might see no change at all from using limestone in the tank.
Do lots of your neighbors use water softeners? If so it is a further indication that they are working to get minerals like limestone (calcium) out of their water.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
I did some checking on your location and see you being West of Springfield. That area has lots of limestone underground so assuming your water is near the same would say you might see no change at all from using limestone in the tank.
Do lots of your neighbors use water softeners? If so it is a further indication that they are working to get minerals like limestone (calcium) out of their water.
I sure appreciate you looking these things up for me. I don't know about exact neighbors, but I do know a lot of people around that use water softeners. I'm liking where this is going because I just went out today looking for more rocks. Didn't find anything I really liked plus the closest to what I did was 1.90 a pound. wow. I'm going to have quite a bit of driftwood in the tank as well, so that might help even things out a bit I guess.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:49 PM   #9
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If it's got a fossil in it, odds are that it's probably limestone.

Other then that, pretty much everything has been covered up above.

If you actually want to know what the rock is, a pic will help (plus, I wanna see the fossil )
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber View Post
If it's got a fossil in it, odds are that it's probably limestone.

Other then that, pretty much everything has been covered up above.

If you actually want to know what the rock is, a pic will help (plus, I wanna see the fossil )
I'm going outside to play with the kids. I'll take pics and later this evening I'll post some pics of the rocks. I'll try to take a close up of the fossils but all I have is an iphone so we'll see how they turn out.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:55 PM   #11
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Ok, here are the pics of the rock. Most of them anyways, I have a couple smaller ones in a bucket with some tap water to test tomorrow.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:31 PM   #12
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Sure looks like limestone, and probably the same kind of rock that is underground, that your well water is in contact with.

As far as pH and minerals go, that rock is highly likely not going to cause much of a problem in the tank.

The next question is if it will turn to powder, disintegrate or crumble in the tank. That would make a mess!
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Sure looks like limestone, and probably the same kind of rock that is underground, that your well water is in contact with.

As far as pH and minerals go, that rock is highly likely not going to cause much of a problem in the tank.

The next question is if it will turn to powder, disintegrate or crumble in the tank. That would make a mess!
That is my concern now. How long will it take for this stuff to just crumble away to nothing in the tank? If it has a couple years I'm good, if it's a couple months until little sand pieces start floating off I'm not good.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:46 PM   #14
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Yeah, that looks like limestone. no clue on what's going on in the 1st and 3rd rock, but the 2nd looks like a brachiopod. -thanks for posting pics.


As what people said above, odds are is that your aquifer is limestone, so the water out of the tap is going to be nearly saturated with carbonates.

What the rocks will do is buffer the water, and keep it at that higher pH.

Unless you have highly acidic tanks, I don't think there will be any noticeable degrading of the rocks.

And even if they did degrade, I don't think they would crumble as much as they would just look more weathered, cracks/fissures would widen, edges get smoothed out, etc. (just a guess)
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:57 PM   #15
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lochaber, your welcome on the pics, thanks for helping me out with your input.

So I'm thinking I'm going to try them out. I'm going to let them soak in water for a couple more days just because I soaked them in bleach water for 24 hours. The only reason I did that I because these things have been out in my back yard for years and I didn't want anything hitching a ride into my tank. I think after a couple days soaking in just water, then letting them sit outside for a day or so to dry out they would be fine to go in my tank.
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