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Old 09-22-2008, 09:49 PM   #1 
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Location: USA, Lafayette, OR 97127
found a neat rock...can I use it?

When we went on our camping trip last weekend, I found a neat rock I thought would be good for my frog...but she has since passed, so was thinking now of using it to build a "natural" cave / hiding area for Blue. I found it on the edge of the river, still half in the water.

I took it home (obviously) scrubbed the stuff growing on it off with warm water and a rag, then boiled it for 10 min (same as the agits I found also at river last year already in tank...75% gravel with decorative agits on top).

Just want to make sure it'd be safe to do this...dont see a problem, but also dont want to accidentally harm him either, or possibly bring in a parasite or disease...would boiling the rock have prevented this?

Heard someone once say in this forum not to boil rocks...why not? And if it is bad...I already have some rocks I sterilized threw boiling in the tank...what should I do about that 9just water change)?
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:25 PM   #2 
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you do not want to boil rocks because of chance water is trapped inside the rock.. this water will turn to gas and boom explode and not be pretty. its just a safty precaution.
clean the rock real well, you can even use a bleach solution to do it, just use the ratio 20:1 .....20parts water/1part bleach just make sure to rinse the rock really well afterwards.. you can scrub it with a clean brush too.. just NO SOAPS.
1st. submerge the rock in a cup/container of vinegar and if theres a bubble theres trouble ( if you start seeing bubbles it means the rock is no good )

2nd since you please to use this rock with a betta, examine it to make sure no sharp edges are present. sharp edges will rip betta fins and cause harm.

3rd consider some moss ( java moss or java fern or something of the sort ) and attach it to the rock and put it in your tank!! a live plant isnt required but just adds to the natural look it brings
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Old 09-23-2008, 12:09 AM   #3 
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ahh, ya never thought about the rock possibly exploding! But its already done, and still intact, so all is well :D

For the vinegar test...if it should start to fizz...what dose that mean?
I can see holes, if that's the case...looks pretty porous...

thanks for the moss tip...will look into it, Im sure he'll like it :D
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:11 PM   #4 
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If vinegar makes the rock fizz, it's definitely a no-no. This means that the rock contains a lot of calcium. Over time, the rock will slowly dissolve, which will raise the pH and hardness of your water substantially. Since acetic acid (vinegar) is such a weak acid, some people have even suggested using a stronger acid (like hydrochloric acid, sold as muriatic acid, I believe people use it for swimming pools so Home Depot should carry it). The stronger acid could reveal calcium content in the rock that vinegar wouldn't show. You could also try scratching the rock with your thumbnail. If it's soft enough that you can put a significant scratch in it, it's probably no good.

Aquarium safe rocks include granite, slate, shale and quartz (although quartz looks pretty goofy in a fish tank, if you ask me).

You lucked out this time, but definitely don't boil rocks in the future. I've heard of people getting killed from exploding rocks. It really doesn't surprise me, since as a kid in Boy Scouts we'd throw big river rocks in the campfire all the time and a while later...BOOM! I'm really surprised none of us lost an eye. Instead you can put the rocks in your sink and just pour a pot of boiling water over them. This should kill off any nasty stuff without getting the inside temperature of the rocks high enough to make them explode.
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:22 AM   #5 
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I find it extremely funny you suggest to use muriatic acid, the to scratch with finger after ;D But thanks for the explanation...makes since.

Guess I did...but didnt really watch the rock boil...just let it boil for 10 min while I did other stuff around the house.

what about agits from rivers? Should I remove them or are they ok too?
If quarts ok, should agits be ok too?
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