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Old 08-17-2011, 10:47 PM   #1 
Amphibianite
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Natural River Rock

So I am curious in other people opinions.
The other day I went to the river near me and gather a sack full of nice river rock. I boiled them for about 20 minutes in water with some AQ salt and then scrubbed them very good.
I think they make wonderful substrate and decor, but what about the rest of you?
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Old 08-18-2011, 11:42 AM   #2 
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I think what you did is fine, but make sure you do the vinegar test. Use white vinegar or lemon juice and pour a couple drops over each rock. If it bubbles do not use it. Plus you might want to check for metals in the rocks, as they might leak out. I just did this with ocean rocks and they are doing fine in my tank.
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:33 PM   #3 
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Thanks I didn't know about the lemon/vin test
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:01 PM   #4 
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NEVER BOIL ROCKS!!!!!!!! They can explode. People have died boiling rocks!

Now that that is out of the way, using rocks found places is just fine. Bleaching them is a safest way of killing off any potential bad things.
The vinegar test is good to use at first, but it is much better to keep them in water and then do PH tests on the water with the rocks and then also a separate container that has a control sample of water so you can figure out if the rocks do anything.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:23 PM   #5 
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Actually that isn't wholey true on the don't boil rocks thing Kyt. It depends on the rock type. Some rocks like a lot of river rocks are perfectly fine being boiled. Trust me on this (both parents were geology majors)
There are types of rocks you can't boil because yes they can explode and cause serious injury or death.

I needed to clear that up sorry.

AND thank you for the information of the PH test idea. I will put it to good use.
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:26 PM   #6 
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Question: Wouldn't bleaching rocks cause them (again some types) to absorb the bleach and leach it out later? Some are porous right? :/
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:12 PM   #7 
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It just isn't worth the risk, IMO. And while you might be privy to more information than most, if someone else reads this (as this is public) they should not try to guess which rocks will be safe and which won't. It is just not worth risking bodily harm or even death for a fish tank.

If your rocks are leaching stuff out later you probably have bigger problems than bleach. You don't use straight bleach, you use like 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Plus bleach is only active for a certain amount of time. Then it becomes useless, as another member found out recently after finding old bleach. :)
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:19 PM   #8 
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Also may I add that rock don't just explode from boiling. The reason some rocks explode is the fact that they were cold dropped into already boiling water causing a rapid expantion and thus explosion, or visa versa dropping very hot rocks into cold water will cause cracking and maybe and explosion. The other types of rocks that explode are types that can trap air.gas pockets and supper heating the gas will cause it to expand and potentially explode the rock.

Many of the small river rocks, and such are perfectly fine to wash off put in a pot of cool water and bring to a boil. You only need to boil for about 10 minutes and doesn't even need to be a high boil. A low simmer will do the trick. ^_^

Everyone is welcome to their opinions and have a right to say what they think ^_^.
Also if you get bleach too hot it will become void :P and yes you only use like a cap for per gallon or less. usually less.
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:44 PM   #9 
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im going to the beach on vacation in a few, im gonna grab some rocks :D
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Old 08-18-2011, 07:52 PM   #10 
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Cool, but on the side of caution I personally say do your own research on the subject on how to clean rocks, and on boiling them. Find out what type they are and if they are safe to boil. I don't want to see anyone out there get hurt.
Safety is first of course.
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