Does the rock "slate" change water chemistry? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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Does the rock "slate" change water chemistry?

A couple of years ago I collected some red slate rock from my property and I have it in some of my tanks. Does anybody know if this type of rock changes water chemistry in any way, shape or form?
The cool thing about these rocks is that you can find some petrified leaves and bugs in them sometimes (not often though).

Not my picture but it looks like this:




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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 03:09 AM
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Only one way to tell. Test it.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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I don't have that special liquid that is used to do that....I have these rocks with my Dwarf Orange Crays which are still alive and growing rapidly.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 04:38 AM
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I would say that if your fish are doing well then you shouldn't worry about it. I have one piece of that same slate in my 110, but it's only one piece. I have black nevada and silvermist slate in there also, I don't think it's going to affect anything. The biggest concern with using rocks is if they are soft enough to dissolve or "powder" into the water. If you can scratch it off underwater with your fingernail then it's not meant to be in the tank, that's what I always go by. That's just my opinions though since I don't have the required chemicals to test rocks. I just use a lot of slate and my cichlids are all fine.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 05:58 AM Thread Starter
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Good to hear.

Guess I'm safe then
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 06:01 AM
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OK I'm no geologist and I say test it if you can...but normally slate is ok. That said, you didn't buy it in a fish shop...so you better be a bit careful.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 12:38 PM
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Even if you buy it in a fish store doesn't mean it's not going to affect water chemistry.


Take a piece of slate. But it in a bucket. Let it sit for a week and then test the water to see if the kH and gH have changed.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 01:45 PM
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I have black slate in mine and never had a problem.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Take a piece of slate. But it in a bucket. Let it sit for a week and then test the water to see if the kH and gH have changed.
That's the easy way, and you should have the stuff to do that with. The other way is to dribble bits of muriatic acid (available at any paint store or in the paint section of the DIY stores) on it and if it shows a reaction (fizzes) you don't want it. The downside to that is I couldn't find smaller than a gallon in my brief search.

If I ever need to clean some concrete I'm all set .

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 04:41 PM
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I have lots of beautiful slate in my yard from an old stone wall and foundation. I have used several pieces in my aquariums with no adverse affects........

Bill
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Cool. I'll continue keeping slate in my tanks since alot of you do it with no problems.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-16-2006, 02:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
Even if you buy it in a fish store doesn't mean it's not going to affect water chemistry.


Take a piece of slate. But it in a bucket. Let it sit for a week and then test the water to see if the kH and gH have changed.

I knew someone was going to say that because I was thinking it myself - you can't be sure the fish shop owner knows what they are doing - but if your LFS is smart it should be OK... So, take Rex's advice if you are unsure it is not that hard to do...just the time thing.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-16-2006, 03:22 AM
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I have never heard of any slate changing water chemistry.

In college....so no aquariums for a while.....
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-16-2006, 07:53 PM
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Vinegar
Ive heard if you splash some on and it bubbles it means erm something (he he) raise the ph and kh i think,then if you throw some salt on.....
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-16-2006, 07:59 PM
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True slate is derived metamorphosed mudstone, so there should be no active carbonates left in it. However, many rocks are sold as slate when they really are not. If you want to use vinegar to test for carbonates, then you'll have to heat the rock or the vinegar to speed up the reaction, as vinegar is a pretty weak acid. Muriatic acid (more dangerous though) would be a better one to use. BTW, I AM a geologist. :p
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