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I'm starting a new tank. I'm using some Malaysian drift wood, some mangrove driftwood and some cool looking rocks I collected from Lake Huron( Michigan).

My question is- how do I know if the rocks I picked up are safe for a soft water planted tank?
I think the rocks may be Dolomite or Limestone but I'm not positive.

Any advice? Is there a way I can test the stones before starting up my tank?

I guess what I'm afraid of is an unstable GH or KH due to the type of rocks I'm using.
 

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Limestone and Dolomite are not inert.

Test tap water pH.
Get a separate container and fill them up with tap water (or better yet your acidic tank water -only if gassed off of co2).
Then add the rocks.
Just let them sit in the water and test the water in the containers to see if the rocks altered the pH. Some say it can take a week of soaking or so to be sure. But with more soft acidic water and depending how much minerals/metals the rocks have to leech out, results can be found much sooner.

Another way to test is put some white vinegar (acid) on the rocks to see if the rocks reacts with it, causing it to fizz/bubble.
But store bought vinegar is of a weak concentration of acid, so people prefer to use a stronger acid (hydrochloric acid I think).

A pic might though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I will give both those ideas a try. I will also post pics when I get home. I already have the hard scape setup- got ahead of myself. Hope I don't have to tear it all down! :p
 

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Eh, good practice to redo scapes. You may design something you like better next time.

Solution #1 from a nitrate test is an acid that works great.

If your water is already pretty hard then using carbonate releasing rock isn't going to be a big deal anyway so the tub test is the one that matters most. You don't have to test every rock, just one of each sort you found.
 
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