Rocks that come in netting, are they safe? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Rocks that come in netting, are they safe?

I found a sack of round rocks in a storage room where I work. I feel like I have seen them sold before in craft stores. They are the kind that come in plastic netting, just look like round river rocks. Just want to make sure these are aquarium safe, if they are should I do a bleach soak just to be safe?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 10:57 PM
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Most rounded, smooth river rocks are aquarium safe.
They usually come from a river, where, if they were water soluble, would have dissolved. You can test them, though. Put them in a jar or bucket and test the GH, KH, pH and TDS when you start, and every few days for a week or two. If the rocks are limestone or related material then in just a few days they should start to add calcium, magnesium and carbonates to the water. Also, most of the limestone and related rocks will not be smooth. They are often pitted, or rough where they have been partially dissolving through the years.

No need to bleach. The rocks are dry. There is no way that aquatic organisms like parasites or fish diseases can be on these rocks.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks! I thought they were fine, they seem just like river rocks. Just wasn't sure if craft stores do terrible things to them or something before they sell them. I will just rinse them really well.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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I was looking at them.....they aren't totally smooth. I took some pictures...[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 12:06 AM
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There is no need to worry about aquatic stuff but then there are other things that hang out in storage buildings. Things like oil and gas cans? Maybe a little insect spray from the bug man?
There two groups of folks keeping tanks. One is the gambler who wants to rush the process and the second is the careful guy who like to KNOW the rock is clean. A quick bleach soak overnight and a good dry will cost you about 25 cents worth of bleach and maybe 24 hours.
I go with spending the quarter! The 24 hours? I can use that to plan where the rocks go.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 12:08 AM
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Many of the limestone and related rocks are white or off white. Not all, by any means. The tests I suggested above will help.
I have found black and red rocks are pretty much all OK. The lighter colored ones are sometimes OK, sometimes not.
Rocks showing more than one mineral should be tested. Banded or spotted rocks are often OK, but not always.

When in doubt, test before putting them in the tank!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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It was just in a storage closet at a hair salon so not too worried about all those chemicals on them. Mostly just the rocks themselves.
I don't have test kits that aren't expired......I don't use them or I definitely would do the tests you suggested. I would probably be more likely to just not use them rather than to buy a bunch of test kits for just that purpose.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 01:09 AM
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I know it's not precise, but you could use moh's scale of hardness to rule out some things. http://www.amfed.org/t_mohs.htm

In general, if it can scratch glass, it's ok. In general if you can scratch it with a nail, it might be better to leave it out, although you can scratch slates and shales with a nail, and they're ok unless they happen to contain a lot of oil, in which case you can rule them out if you're able to set them on fire.

If you have a hard water tank, like for many african cichlids, then you don't have to worry about adding calciferous rocks.

Anything that looks metallic should not be used.

IMHO, in your pics, the rougher rocks look like sandstone to me. The white one looks a lot like a quartzite. The salt and pepper one could be a granite. I'm not sure what the reddish one and the black ones are, but they look ok.

In your top pic, there's a light grey one with whitish edges and little holes. That definitely looks calciferous. There's also a dark grey one that looks like it has some whitish corners, and it looks a lot like a limestone.

But as people have said, it's not worth losing your fish and or shrimp if you aren't sure what you're using.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I think I am going to pass on putting them in my tanks....
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 09:25 PM
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I agree with pretty much everything jrh said.

I also think the scratch test is much easier, and more reliable then the vinegar test.

Not sure if this matters, I've heard some of the really glossy-looking decorative rocks are sometimes coated with wax (yours don't look like it). I'm not sure if there would be anything harmful in that, but it's worth keeping in mind for really shiny rocks you come across.

Last edited by lochaber; 02-11-2014 at 10:10 PM. Reason: bad apostrophe
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 02:49 AM
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Thanks for the 2nd opinion.
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