Aquarium safe rocks my foot! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Question Aquarium safe rocks my foot!

I purchased about 6 bags of black riverstone from Petco almost one month ago. Each bag contains about 7 medium round and flat river rocks for about 4.99 each. What a waste of money I know but that is not what I a mad about. Today I was doing maintence on the tank gravel bed when I saw something on one of the rocks. It looked like copper algae so I pulled the Rock out of the tank. To my dismay a hard metal type growth was forming on one of the riverstones. Now I am concerend as I have inverts in this tank. Should I pull all the rocks out or just this one? Have I contaminated my tank?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 11:41 PM
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It looks like iron to me. It's not particularly harmful in low quantities. If anything just take out any rocks that show the rust and try to get your money back. I wouldn't worry about the other rocks.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Cool. Is it because I dose Fe in addition to Trace? Thanks for the advice bro.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 02:56 AM
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I doubt that you add enough iron in addition to trace to see the formation of iron on your rocks.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 06:22 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
I doubt that you add enough iron in addition to trace to see the formation of iron on your rocks.

Thanks for your response. However this crap is still being sold as aquarium safe when it truley is not. This is something in the riverstone in the form of heavy metal. PETCO is the equivelent of Walmart of pet stores.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2010, 03:43 AM
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I use those same rocks all the time and have never had an issue. Looks like you just got a bad one - it happens.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-13-2010, 06:02 PM
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Moral of the story...try and buy stuff at an LFS. Its hard for me because the nearest one is over an hour away, but we still try.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 02:05 PM
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Buy rocks at a landscape, masonry or rock yard. MUCH cheaper. You can usually take home a free sample and run a few tests, like keeping them under water for a few weeks.

Iron in rocks that shows up as rust is not in a form that plants can use. Perhaps some microorganisms can use it, alter it, then plants can use it.
Iron fertilizer that you add to the tank does not do that to rocks. The rocks have a vein of iron in them. In small amounts it is not a problem, but aesthetically it can be pretty bad. If I was looking for black rocks like that and had so much rust show up I would return them.

I have a few rocks in one tank that have a little rust on them, but it is very little. A few spots under an inch (about 1-2 cm) diameter in a 125 gallon tank.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 02:28 PM
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I have seen these same rocks for about the same price at a local, reputable, LFS.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-16-2010, 10:45 PM
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Actually, I'd suspect it also may have something to do with your water - have you ever had that tested for iron? I have very iron-rich water at my place (and from what I understand, the rock/soil composition of most of Maine is remarkably similar to this part of CT) and I get that same kind of red-brown crusting on some surfaces. For some reason it's also attracted to the glass tubing on my heaters... perhaps the heat from the element causes a reaction. My point is that that kind of crust isn't always a result of impurities in the rock, or else it wouldn't form on glass (which is an inert silicate).

All that said, I've never had a problem with it harming fish or inverts. In fact, the iron is probably good for them. I'd say scrub the rock off as best as you can (or flip it over) and put it back in the tank - it won't hurt anything.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 01:22 AM
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If you contact your drinking water supplier and ask for a CCR (Consumer Confidence Report) they will send you a report with many many results on different constitutes in the water they are supplying you (they are legally obligated to make this available). Many of the tests are done at the point of entry, where the water leaves the plant to the distribution system, so some parameters might be slightly different by the time it reaches your tap, but should be a great representation. You can look at this to see if there is a lot of iron in your water.

It is also a good thing for everyone to read anyways. As an treatment plant operator, I have had many people refuse to drink their water because what some filter/softener company tells them is in it. They could pick up the CCR and know for themselves, and it has explanations to what everything is and what are the safe / unsafe limits. I have had people who refuse to drink the water due to fluoridation, but if they read their CCR they would know their water is not fluoridated.

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Originally Posted by asukawashere View Post
Actually, I'd suspect it also may have something to do with your water - have you ever had that tested for iron? I have very iron-rich water at my place (and from what I understand, the rock/soil composition of most of Maine is remarkably similar to this part of CT) and I get that same kind of red-brown crusting on some surfaces. For some reason it's also attracted to the glass tubing on my heaters... perhaps the heat from the element causes a reaction. My point is that that kind of crust isn't always a result of impurities in the rock, or else it wouldn't form on glass (which is an inert silicate).

All that said, I've never had a problem with it harming fish or inverts. In fact, the iron is probably good for them. I'd say scrub the rock off as best as you can (or flip it over) and put it back in the tank - it won't hurt anything.
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