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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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Another rock identification....

So I have been on the lookout for rock and found a few interesting pieces but not sure what exactly they are. They have the color similar to limestone, have a couple of embedded fossils like limestone but are a lot harder than limestone and are quite heavy for the size. Also the breaks are very clean as opposed to most limestone which has rough chalky breaks. I also noticed some veins of tan/amber crystals running through it. Here are a few pictures. Any input would be much appreciated. There is also what looks to be some sort of iron content as there is some rust like oxidation on a couple of the faces.









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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:36 AM
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Not saying one way or another but u can't go by color on 90% of rocks because there are a lot out there that are the same just different color

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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Not saying one way or another but u can't go by color on 90% of rocks because there are a lot out there that are the same just different color

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Yes, completely agree. Upon further research I did find a reference to Dolostone or what is more commonly named dolomite. After asking the great Google to show me some images I am 90% sure this is what I have. Now dolomite is used as a ph buffer however, my water is already fairly hard with a ph of 8.

So the question is, will the hardness and pH be affected even though I have liquid rock for water anyways? I am also pretty religious about hefty 50% water changes weekly as my tank is heavily stocked.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 01:26 PM
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I'm pretty sure that dolomite will raise pH. The general rule is if you put vinegar on the rock and it fizzes, don't use it.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 01:59 PM
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Try this test, see if you can figure out what group of rock it is:

Mineral Hardness Testing from Rockman

Then, wherever the rock was scratched, pour the vinegar or a stronger acid in that scratch. The freshly exposed rock may bubble, where the surface that has been exposed to the air might not.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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I'm pretty sure that dolomite will raise pH. The general rule is if you put vinegar on the rock and it fizzes, don't use it.
I understand it will raise pH but I guess I am asking how much. I imagine it has to do with my current water chemistry but didn't know if it hits a level and then plateaus? My water is pretty hard with a higher pH, that is why I am asking. If I do large enough water changes will it not be affected as much?

As per the vinegar test, after doing much research, it turns out that although many go by the vinegar test/muriatic acid test, one can't 100% rely on this. Seiryu stone is a type of limestone that will fail the test but it is very commonly seen in aquariums. Also lace rock, texas holey rock is commonly found (which primarily you only see in hardwater setups) will also fail the test.

I am heading to a garden and landscaping place today and will probably pick up some cobblestone style rocks (really dig the smooth lines and curves) unless something really pops out at me. I really do like the look of the dolostone though.

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Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Try this test, see if you can figure out what group of rock it is:

Mineral Hardness Testing from Rockman

Then, wherever the rock was scratched, pour the vinegar or a stronger acid in that scratch. The freshly exposed rock may bubble, where the surface that has been exposed to the air might not.
I tested it with a stronger acid (read somewhere about Nitrate Test Bottle #1) and did get some bubbling, fizzy action with that. I couldn't see much with the vinegar. So can dissolved solids be regulated through water changes where as pH not so much?

This might be a drastic example, say if you have a water sample with a pH of 7, you stick in rocks that raises it to 8. Now if you have a water sample with a pH of 8 and you stick those same rocks in, will pH stay at 8 or continue to rise?
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 02:22 PM
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Why don't you put some of the rocks in a container or small tank and monitor the pH?
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 02:23 PM
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Whether or not this will raise your ph depends. If the rock has a ph of 7.5 it will not raise the ph of water at 8. It's impossible. Now if your water is 6 and the rock is 7.5 yes, it will raise the ph. An acid can never lower the ph of a substance lower than the ph of the acid. Same holds true inversely.

From what I gather however the dolostone is only mildly reactive in a weak acid. And the ph of dolomite itself can vary from 7 up to about 10 depending on whether is is just crushed or if it is hydrated.

If that stone is dolomite it seems as though it has a ph of 7. That will in no way raise your own ph since it is higher.

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Originally Posted by FewestKitten896 View Post
I understand it will raise pH but I guess I am asking how much. I imagine it has to do with my current water chemistry but didn't know if it hits a level and then plateaus? My water is pretty hard with a higher pH, that is why I am asking. If I do large enough water changes will it not be affected as much?

As per the vinegar test, after doing much research, it turns out that although many go by the vinegar test/muriatic acid test, one can't 100% rely on this. Seiryu stone is a type of limestone that will fail the test but it is very commonly seen in aquariums. Also lace rock, texas holey rock is commonly found (which primarily you only see in hardwater setups) will also fail the test.

I am heading to a garden and landscaping place today and will probably pick up some cobblestone style rocks (really dig the smooth lines and curves) unless something really pops out at me. I really do like the look of the dolostone though.

Bump:

I tested it with a stronger acid (read somewhere about Nitrate Test Bottle #1) and did get some bubbling, fizzy action with that. I couldn't see much with the vinegar. So can dissolved solids be regulated through water changes where as pH not so much?

This might be a drastic example, say if you have a water sample with a pH of 7, you stick in rocks that raises it to 8. Now if you have a water sample with a pH of 8 and you stick those same rocks in, will pH stay at 8 or continue to rise?

If the water is a higher ph than the rocks no, it will not raise the ph.

It is not a cumulative effect. It will only rise the the level of the substance of with the highest ph. If the water is at 8 already adding rocks (or anything else) that is lower that 8 will have no effect.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
Whether or not this will raise your ph depends. If the rock has a ph of 7.5 it will not raise the ph of water at 8. It's impossible. Now if your water is 6 and the rock is 7.5 yes, it will raise the ph. An acid can never lower the ph of a substance lower than the ph of the acid. Same holds true inversely.

From what I gather however the dolostone is only mildly reactive in a weak acid. And the ph of dolomite itself can vary from 7 up to about 10 depending on whether is is just crushed or if it is hydrated.

If that stone is dolomite it seems as though it has a ph of 7. That will in no way raise your own ph since it is higher.

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If the water is a higher ph than the rocks no, it will not raise the ph.

It is not a cumulative effect. It will only rise the the level of the substance of with the highest ph. If the water is at 8 already adding rocks (or anything else) that is lower that 8 will have no effect.
Thanks for your help GraphicGr8s. I think I will still snag some other stone and decide between the two.

GadgetGirl, thanks for your help also. I just figured before I spend a week of testing, someone might chime in with some experience with it or some knowledge of the pH of the stone (probably depends on location of the found stone).
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 03:44 PM
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Since most of us don't have the equipment to really do a good job of ID on rocks, I try to keep it simple and just ignore the ID. For a guess and a rough name I would start with conglomerate. A combo of several rocks which have wound up together? Not much help in knowing that, though.
But rocks are simple items when we want to use them in a tank. As mentioned, they will not raise PH higher than their PH. So if the local water is running in local rocks for nearly forever, there is no reason to think a local rock put into the local water will change anything. Kind of like adding black ink to black paint.
If you were in a soft/acidic water area like the East coast and brought in some limestone type like you have, it would be likely to change your water. That's how "rules" get written. Much of the info written is developed on the coasts and it doesn't take into account much of the rest of the country.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. But then we don't live in Rome, so we need to use what works in our area. Use the rocks that are local and you will see no change in the water. The rocks and water met a long time ago.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Since most of us don't have the equipment to really do a good job of ID on rocks, I try to keep it simple and just ignore the ID. For a guess and a rough name I would start with conglomerate. A combo of several rocks which have wound up together? Not much help in knowing that, though.
But rocks are simple items when we want to use them in a tank. As mentioned, they will not raise PH higher than their PH. So if the local water is running in local rocks for nearly forever, there is no reason to think a local rock put into the local water will change anything. Kind of like adding black ink to black paint.
If you were in a soft/acidic water area like the East coast and brought in some limestone type like you have, it would be likely to change your water. That's how "rules" get written. Much of the info written is developed on the coasts and it doesn't take into account much of the rest of the country.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. But then we don't live in Rome, so we need to use what works in our area. Use the rocks that are local and you will see no change in the water. The rocks and water met a long time ago.
I like this methodology. Thanks PlantedRich.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 04:19 PM
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 05:13 PM
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This is very interesting stuff. I always just assumed, wrongly so, that if you put limestone type rocks in water, it would just keep leaching substances that would keep raising the pH.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 05:14 PM
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Would this also hold true for substances such as crushed oyster shells or coral?
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 05:46 PM
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Would this also hold true for substances such as crushed oyster shells or coral?
It holds for any and every substance.

You can never increase or decrease ph below/above the level of the highest or lowest. You can't raise water that's at 8 to 10 if you're adding baking soda that is 8. You can't make water more acidic than 5 (approx) by adding more and more apple cider vinegar since apple cider vinegar has a ph of 5.

Dilution is the solution for the pollution.
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