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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have "Threshold Vase Filler Rocks" from Target. Of course on the container it says "for decorative use only" I think they are tumbled basalt, but I can't be sure. I dropped a broken one into vinegar, and it did not fizz or bubble. What do you think, should I thoroughly wash them and use them in the tank? any precautions, or other test I should do?
 

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I would worry about there possibly being something on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would worry about there possibly being something on them.
I'm planning on scrubbing them in vinegar, rinsing, scrubbing them in a strong bleach solution, then soaking them in water with a dechlorinator. I would think this would be enough to remove anything that would leech into the water. Is there anything else that anyone thinks I should do, or be concerned about?
 

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You might want to sacrifice one of them and see if paint thinner/acetone/whatever kind of solvent has any effect. I know I've bought those sort of rocks before for craft purposes and they had a coating of something to give them that glossy shiny surface and after a while outside the coating started to flake off. Don't know that it would be detrimental in a tank but, seems like it might be bad if those do have it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You might want to sacrifice one of them and see if paint thinner/acetone/whatever kind of solvent has any effect. I know I've bought those sort of rocks before for craft purposes and they had a coating of something to give them that glossy shiny surface and after a while outside the coating started to flake off. Don't know that it would be detrimental in a tank but, seems like it might be bad if those do have it.
That's a good idea, thank you.
 

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Lol, I pick up rocks at the river across the road, give em a good scrub, then stick em in the dishwasher for the enzymes to do their thing. Remove while hot and rinse under the tap.
Voila, clean, sterile rocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lol, I pick up rocks at the river across the road, give em a good scrub, then stick em in the dishwasher for the enzymes to do their thing. Remove while hot and rinse under the tap.
Voila, clean, sterile rocks.
I pretty much do the same thing. I'm more hesitant of these because I don't know what chemicals they could be treated with. As I'm scrubbing them I am noticing an oily residue coming off of them. They probably were coated in it to make them shinier. Hopefully it's just mineral oil, but I'm not going to put them in the tank, unless I'm convinced I've thoroughly gotten it off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
When you're done cleaning them, you can always boil them as well. If there's anything oily on them you should get a film on the water.
I've been pouring boiling water onto them and then scrubbing them in it. I don't put rocks over the stove anymore, since I heard a story of one with a gas pocket exploding and sending shrapnel all over the kitchen.
 

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Must have been 10 years since I last boiled gravel... I can still smell it.
I have only one tank with gravel atm, and it is filled with male fish, so they get fed poverty rations anyway, not even worth syphoning. I just did, and I might as well not have bothered, there was almost no poop.

For my next nano tank, I want to go and dig soil up from the river side... plants grow lush in that stuff. Also it matches the colour of the rocks better than my current attempt.
 

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When wanting to clean things for the tank, I go with the professional health people who deal with this question everyday. They use chlorine to clean our water so I see no reason to fear using it. The only difference in our tap water and a bleach water soak is the dilution. They may use a teaspoon in fifty gallons while we may use a half cup. But that does remove and react with almost everything that we want removed. Reading about chlorine say that it reacts very easily with any organic. Wikipedia definition, "An organic compound is any member of a large class of gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon", not the organic like used in organic foods. Since oil is certainly an organic compound, we can assume the chlorine will react with it. While there it will also clear any questions of bugs, virus, fungus and a long list of other things we might not want in the tank.
When we boil things that have oil on them, where does the oil go? It floats around on the top until cool and lands back on the item we boiled and it is still oil. So instead of oily rocks, you get rocks that have been boiled in oily water.
For removing the chlorine we can do it just like we do for our tap water. We can wait for it to gas off as it dries. We know it does that as we can smell it as we drink or go around a pool. Or if we are in a hurry we can dilute it by rinsing and then deal with it using a dechlor product like Prime, etc.
 
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