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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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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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I have black slate in mine and never had a problem.
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #11
Cool. I'll continue keeping slate in my tanks since alot of you do it with no problems. :thumbsup:
 

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Rex Grigg said:
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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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.....:wink:
 

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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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wickerman said:
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.....:wink:
The point is the water in a planted tank is usually slightly acid (because of CO2 injection) in other words the PH is usually under 7.0. Vinegar is (as mentioned one post above) a weak acid. So it sort of simulates the weak acid conditions in a tank.
 

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But you don't want to simulate the conditions in the tank. You want to test the rock.

Vinegar just doesn't work. You need a stronger acid to test the rock.
 

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HCL or Muriatic acid is the way to test. But who wants a gallon of that laying around?
 

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Rex Grigg said:
But you don't want to simulate the conditions in the tank. You want to test the rock.

Vinegar just doesn't work. You need a stronger acid to test the rock.

Yep that's true. :D you always correct me it seems. LOL

How would this work?

Take a sample of the rock (a small piece) drop it in vinegar for a week and see if it gets smaller. Would that give you an accurate test without the fuss of strong acid??
 

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Nope. Carbonate based rocks can have a harder oxidized coating. You could smash a piece and get all fresh faces and it might work.
 
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