Seiryu stone.... I think I've made a big mistake - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-27-2017, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Seiryu stone.... I think I've made a big mistake

Howdy,

I've had my 20g tall set up for about two weeks now and I've been fighting to lower the pH below 7.0. All my other parameters are good, I test them on a 3 day basis right now. I've been adding Seachem Acid Buffer daily (differing doses, but 2<x<6 grams). My gH hasn't budget at around 10* while my kH has dropped from 11* to 7*, as of yesterday.

I want to keep cardinal tetras, M. remirazi (German rams), and neocardinia spp., all of which require a slightly acidic environment.

Recently, I came across an article stating that seiryu stone has the property of raising pH to much more basic levels. I do in fact have 3 large pieces of, what was sold to me at an LFS as, seiryu stone.

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My questions, I suppose, is this a true property of the stone? More importantly, will I need to abandon my current vision for my tank?

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-27-2017, 06:29 PM
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Did you treat the stone in a bath of acid before you put it in? Seiryu stone usually contains carbonate minerals which in an acidic tank will dissolve and raise your kH and pH. People will "bath" their stones in muriatic acid (mild hydrocloric acid) to dissolve out a lot of the surficial carbonates. I am unsure if this would help as I have never tried it.

Interestingly I cannot for the life of me find the actual rock type that Seiryu stone is though I believe it's limestone. I personally would never put limestone in any aquarium which is what surprises me that this stuff is so popular. (Admittedly I am a geologist and know more about rocks and dirt than I do plants and fish... so take that for what it's worth)
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-27-2017, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryantuomi View Post
Did you treat the stone in a bath of acid before you put it in? Seiryu stone usually contains carbonate minerals which in an acidic tank will dissolve and raise your kH and pH. People will "bath" their stones in muriatic acid (mild hydrocloric acid) to dissolve out a lot of the surficial carbonates. I am unsure if this would help as I have never tried it.



Interestingly I cannot for the life of me find the actual rock type that Seiryu stone is though I believe it's limestone. I personally would never put limestone in any aquarium which is what surprises me that this stuff is so popular. (Admittedly I am a geologist and know more about rocks and dirt than I do plants and fish... so take that for what it's worth)


I did not do any sort of treatment of the stone before placing it in my tank besides washing them in tap water and scrubbing with a toothbrush. Also, are you sure that it is a limestone? It seems much more like a type of granite. However, I am not a geologist, just noticing the differences in what my rocks look like compared to that of limestone (which I have used in tanks years ago).


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-27-2017, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Samurai_Mac View Post
I did not do any sort of treatment of the stone before placing it in my tank besides washing them in tap water and scrubbing with a toothbrush. Also, are you sure that it is a limestone? It seems much more like a type of granite. However, I am not a geologist, just noticing the differences in what my rocks look like compared to that of limestone (which I have used in tanks years ago).


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I've never seen it in person, I hate to say. I have only read about it. I have read everything from saying it's a quartzite to a limestone, even once reading someone claiming both at the same time (which is possible).

What I do know is that unanimously it is said to raise kH and pH. This tells me its some sort of carbonate. Likely the veining or matrix is a form of carbonate (not likely calcite, as calcite is only very weakly reactive at aquarium pH levels.)
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-27-2017, 07:54 PM
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Hi Samurai_Mac,

Nice looking start to a 'scape!

First of all Seiryu stone has not been available for many years, Japan prohibited the export of the stone from Seiryu province I believe in the 1990's. The stone we see sold as "Seiryu stone" today is actually Ying Stone (aka Ying Rock) which like Seiryu stones are of fine-grained limestone but they come from central Guangdong province in China. Although yours appear to have been treated with muriatic acid to darken them the limestone properties will continue to persist. Limestone increases the PH/dKH and to some extent the dGH as well. The only way to avoid the limestone effect is to remove the stones. Frequent water changes will help keep your PH/dKH from going too high but the more acidifier / acid buffer / CO2 you add to the tank the more of the stone will dissolve to counteract the buffer.

"Seiryu Stone" (actually Ying Stone) Untreated



"Seiryu Stone" (actually Ying Stone) After Muratic Acid treatment

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2017, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to both of you for your help! So, it appears that unless I remove and replace the Ying stone, I will be dealing with alkaline conditions. I have heard accounts of people keeping the same spp. that I wish to (cardinal tetras, german rams, kuhli loaches, and neocardinia) in waters of around 7.5 successfully.

Will the pH increasing nature of the Ying stone remain constant, or is there a way I could "exhaust" this property?

If not, what are your thoughts on keeping the species I listed in my tank? I will have to wait a few days for the pH to stabilize w/o any addition of CO2 or acid buffer, but I believe it should not rise above 7.8 max.

Thoughts?

I was really set on keeping these species and am becoming a little discouraged at how few options there are in terms of "inert" hardscape.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2017, 12:49 AM
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Hi Samurai_Mac,

The PH increasing property will remain constant. I am not aware of a way to exhaust this property except in alkaline conditions. The higher the PH the slower the limestone will dissolve. I believe that the PH at equilibrium is about 8.0 or higher. I have kept all three fish species (I don't keep shrimp) at a PH of 7.2 - 7.4 with no ill effects for the fish. One thing that German Blue Rams (GBR) require is clean water with minimum dissolved organics. You will be doing weekly water changes and cleaning your filter regularly to accomplish the low organic conditions which should help you deal with the PH issue.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2017, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Samurai_Mac,

The PH increasing property will remain constant. I am not aware of a way to exhaust this property except in alkaline conditions. The higher the PH the slower the limestone will dissolve. I believe that the PH at equilibrium is about 8.0 or higher. I have kept all three fish species (I don't keep shrimp) at a PH of 7.2 - 7.4 with no ill effects for the fish. One thing that German Blue Rams (GBR) require is clean water with minimum dissolved organics. You will be doing weekly water changes and cleaning your filter regularly to accomplish the low organic conditions which should help you deal with the PH issue.
Thank you, Roy. It is good to hear that I could maintain my scape and house the species I had intended. My only concern is the fact that I will have to frequently purchase purified water (my tap's pH exceeds that of my API master kit) in order to maintain these conditions. Being a college student, I'm not sure this is the way to go, considering how much I've already sunk into this tank.

I guess I will have to do some hard-thinking over the weekend about wether or not to try as-is, or attempt to find a more inert hardscape material and effectively re-scape my tank... :'(

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2017, 02:02 AM
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Hi Samurai_Mac,

If you are going to Texas A&M you might check with the college aquarium (yes there is one on campus) and see if they have RO water available for students.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2017, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, I'm actually a member of the Aggie Aquarium Association, and I didn't even think of that! Hopefully they would be willing to let some go to a student.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-28-2017, 02:30 AM
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For Calcium carbonate (limestone) it will increase GH and KH if it is placed in acidic water. The Amount of GH and KH increase will depend on how acidic the water is to begin with It will also increase the PH to about 7.0. Should no go higher than that. Once the PH reaches 7 it stops dissolving and it stops affecting PH, GH, KH.

You have 2 basic choices to resolve this:
1, remove the rock
2. Coat the rock with a clear epoxy. On boats would is sometimes coated with marine grade epoxy. This wold prevent the water from touching the rock.

Last edited by Surf; 10-28-2017 at 02:33 AM. Reason: Removed wanted bump
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2017, 04:46 PM
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Water parameters should not make a difference, but you may reconsider keeping rams and loaches with shrimp...the shrimp will become an expensive meal. I've had cardinals attack and eat smaller neos as well.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-30-2017, 02:33 AM
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I find limestone is a given in the Austin area so I go with it rather than fight nature. My tap water is from limestone and I have limestone in all my tanks and that is the easy way for me to go as I can have a ready supply of fresh water without dealing with the time, expense and effort of treating to meet what I read. Limestone and hard water bring the PH to near 7.8 with tons of GH and KH.
And that brings the second thought that much of the "required "items are not truly "required" at all. Perhaps recommended is a better word?
I breed angelfish, rainbow cichlids, and lots of different African cichlids all in the same water and without any signs of the water giving them any trouble.
Perhaps the easy way would be to go with tap water and see if it works before stressing to maintain an artificial level which can wind up being very unstable as you do the routine maintenance things. I find clean stable water conditions are far more important than having the "preferred " levels.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-30-2017, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of y'all's help and input. I have decided that taking the stones out (and hopefully replacing it with something more 'inert') is the best course of action for me and eventually the species to be introduced to my tank. I am sad to see the stones go, though hopefully I can maintain a similar scape with different stones.

The tank is looking a little bare this morning...
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-30-2017, 05:49 PM
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Your thread intrigued me so I did a little googling around and found something called Dragon Stone on www.buceplant.com

Here is what they say of it. I am definitely no expert on rocks being inert or otherwise but this is what they said about it.

"Dragon Stone, also known as Ohko Stone, is a popular aquascaping rock named after it's scale like texture. The natural details and crevices gives your aquascape an aged look that can't be duplicated with artificial decorations. The clay-like composition of this type of stone makes it brittle compared to other rocks, allowing larger rocks to easily be broken down with chisel and hammer.

Dragon Stone is inert and will not influence your water chemistry, making it the ideal layout material for any aquarium. "

Might be worth looking at.

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