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Old 08-21-2012, 07:26 PM   #11 
lvandert
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ok so after a while on the grill on its hottest setting I could only get it up to a soft boil but it was there for 10-15 mins. It's the best I could do, considering I don't want to boil them in the house. They are currently cooling and will spend another night soaking in water. I think in the morning, after I've gone over them with my toothbrush, they will be fish tank ready.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:34 PM   #12 
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I hope you can post pictures of them in the tank, the finished product. Will you make something from them like this:
http://www.petplanet.co.uk/product.a...84&pf_id=51331
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:49 PM   #13 
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something like that but with more volume to it and caves. and of course I'll post pictures!
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:40 AM   #14 
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Sorry for the late response, and I know it's not really practical seeing how many rocks you've got there, but a way of cleaning them in a less abrasive method than bleach and checking to see if they're tank-safe at the same time would be to put them in vinegar. If they bubble, they'll change the pH of the water, and you'll have sterilised them, too.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:35 AM   #15 
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Marble is best used in tanks with a high ph - I think acidic tanks cause it to break down (hence they fizz in vinegar..). So if your pH is high, it ought to stay relatively inert. Just make very very sure you don't get a sustained ammonia spike...

ETA: slate is inert -- not sure about the black stuff though? I'd give that another soak and see if any oil comes off it..

Quartzite was originally quartz sandstone but was changed into a much harder mineral by pressure. Being a hard quartz-based stone, this is completely inert (won't affect pH either way) and quite safe for aquarium use.

Don't boil rocks! No, really - even if you think you're being cautious. Especially hard rocks like quartz, which I KNOW can explode and splinter like glass...

Boiling helps kill bacteria. Not that many fish-killing bacteria live on rocks. If anything on a rock is going to hurt fish, it'll be in the matrix of the stone itself (leaching minerals) which won't be reduced by boiling. Boiling is less necessary than just soaking to check for oils/soak off debris/etc.

Last edited by Aus; 08-22-2012 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:11 AM   #16 
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We have a rock testing kit (I'm kinda a rock hound lol) and we have a very diluted solution of HCl, none bubbled when tested so I know I'm good there.

I'm doing an african cichlid tank and although my pH is only 7.6 they like 8.2 -8.4 pH so I could use a little raising, hence why I also looked for chunks of broken marble.

I know slate and quartize is inert in water thats why I went looking for it. I just got a few pieces that I question.

I know not to boil rocks but I didn't want to bleach or use vinegar on them and I had to sterilize. Every thing went fine, even if they did explode I was ready. The grill wasn't near the house, I had eye protection, I never left it unattended and I have a spare bucket of water just in case. I have a bunch of geologist friends and trust me, they wouldn't let me do anything that would cause me serious harm.

Infact I have one coming over to inspect the rocks/tiles that have survived until now (I've been throwing out the ones that flake of became softer in water) just to be sure.
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:04 PM   #17 
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Ooh, I'm a rock hound too! In that I collect minerals, I must have a couple of hundred different ones by now. Just a hobby (and a pain in the @ to pack them all for this move..) - it's always nice to meet another hound. =P

Sounds like this is going to be a very nice cichlid tank. Do post pics when it's done. I've been eyeing dwarf cichlids lately as a possibility for expanding my fish species repertoire one day..
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:36 PM   #18 
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http://www.helium.com/items/2353898-...ut-slate-rocks :Slate usually occurs in various shades of gray, but it also appears in green, red, black, purple and brown. Geology.com says the different colors found in slate depend on the amount of iron and organic materials in the rocks."

Slate, actually, is found in a variety of colors and is commonly used as a natural tile. Not sure how it works for fish tanks, but I wouldn't rule it out just because of the color difference.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:37 PM   #19 
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@Aus oh ditto on the rock collection. I'll get a pic later of my rock collection I have out here.

@Fin Fancier Thanks!! I had my geologist friend come over and examine the rocks and he confirmed they are all slate.

On the side note I got the rocks set up and the lights on (using pieces of glass that don't quite fit but I'll get new ones cut soon). My live bacteria came in (suggested from a few cichlid people) and I will be checking in on my LPS on my fish availability probably tomorrow. I have one filter running at the moment while the filter for the other one soaks for the night. here's a picture of the tank and the rock structure. And then I made a little quartz crystal nest for a few stone "eggs" I got with the tank. I'm thinking I need a dragon to watch over those and my tank will be complete :) aside form the fish of course lol
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:52 PM   #20 
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Cool! Lucky fish
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