found some rocks, can i use em? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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Arrow found some rocks, can i use em?

today we took a trip to La Grange, CA, and i picked up some rock while
passing through. i just wonder if theyre safe. i did the vinger test, but then
i read that doesnt tell me much just that i would probably need to buffer my
pH. so now im left wondering if theyre safe. i cleaned them, scrubed them, put them in a bucket poured boiling water over them.

1st set:
http://s10.postimg.org/j2f2cxt6h/1st_set.png
2nd set:
http://s7.postimg.org/8geakzbop/2nd_set.png

any advice would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 05:44 AM
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put em in a bucket for a week and test for parameter changes
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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i only have the API Freshwater Master Test Kit, would i be testing for everything?
nitrate, nitrite, amonia, ph, high range ph
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 06:09 AM
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Yep but the more weeks the more stable. The API Kit is fine, too.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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ok thanks for clarifying, i have time to let them sit before starting my tank.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 01:20 PM
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It is difficult to ID the rock just by looking. The most concern is that it may increase your ph and hardness, i.e., avoid limestone or calcareous rocks. The easiest way to tell is to use a pocket knife, if you can scratch the rock, it may be limestone. if you can’t, it is definitely not and safe to use. If you can scratch it, then do an acid test, vinegar will be OK, Drop some vinegar on the rock, if it bubbles up, even slow, small bubbles, , it is limestone or dolomite. If not, it’s safe to use.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkman View Post
i only have the API Freshwater Master Test Kit, would i be testing for everything?
nitrate, nitrite, amonia, ph, high range ph
I wouldn't. Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate are part of the Nitrogen cycle. GH, KH and ph should be your primary concerned as mentioned above for they are part of the composition of the water. Vinegar is a weak base and works most of the time. Find some muriatic acid, its stronger for those stubborn rocks that won't give you readings with vinegar. The longer you can let it sit, the more accurate your results will be for your tank.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 12:58 AM
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Sorry to highjack this thread but I have a similar situation. I found some rocks and let them sit for 24 hours. After that time I tested them and the pH dropped by 0.2. I've heard of rocks causing a pH to rise, but what would cause it to lower?

Lower is actually good for me since my tap water has a high pH, but I want to make sure it isn't something terrible causing the pH to go down.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 01:47 AM
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To test rocks for calcium you can use the Nitrate bottle #1 from your API test kit. It is more acidic than vinegar (I believe it contains Hydrochloric acid.)

And a 0.2 PH drop might have nothing to do with the rocks.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 11:06 PM
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Just want to repeat that the vinegar test really isn't reliable. Vinegar is typically ~5% Acetic acid (a weak acid). It can sometimes help to try and scratch up an area- this helps to reveal some of the unweathered rock, and provides more surface area (and as wheeling mentioned - if it won't scratch, it's probably safe). Sometimes warming the rocks/acid can help a little, but that's more of an issue if it's cold out. It's also better to try a stronger acid. Dolomite is known for being deceptive when acid testing - it rarely fizzes, or only minimally much of the time.

As to soaking and testing, you are mostly concerned about pH and hardness. When you do it, set aside a glass of tap water (without rocks) to compare it to - test the glass after a day or two, and use that as your baseline. Water straight out of the tap may off gas or be affected by the atmosphere, so the initial readings might differ somewhat from 24/48 hour readings.

And pinkman> the rock on the far right in the first photo - are those crystals on the bottom edge? If you could post a pic of the crystal, someone (probably not me...) may be able to give you an ID on the mineral makeup of the crystal (which may or may not be similar to the rest of the rock).
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2013, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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just want to say thanks again to everyone for the help and all the
detailed information.
heres a close up of the rock with crystals on the end:



Quote:
Originally Posted by lochaber
And pinkman> the rock on the far right in the first photo - are those crystals on the bottom edge? If you could post a pic of the crystal, someone (probably not me...) may be able to give you an ID on the mineral makeup of the crystal (which may or may not be similar to the rest of the rock).
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-08-2013, 06:39 PM
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Quartz, which of course is no problem - the rest of the rock is fine too.
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