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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I'm writing this to hopefully find people that can give better guidance on rocks that you can use in a tank. I Know that LFS's have some nice rocks, but i can't afford to pay that kind of price so i look at local landscaping places such as Betz cut stone and others. When i go there, i have no clue what ones i can use in the freshwater tank and which ones i can't. So my questions,
1.Does anyone have a good list or know of a list of good rocks for tanks? Maybe the common and scientific names sort of thing so we can go to a landscaping place and look for these rocks... i'm going to need a lot soon.
2. what rocks are bad for tanks?
3. I've heard about using vinegar on rock to test. if it foams up it's no good for you tank. is this true and why?

Maybe if we get a good response and positive feedback here we can make a sticky for others because i have seen this topic come up so many times and in so many forums..... love to have something solid..
Thanks everyone
Sheldon
 

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I collect my rocks from the shore of Lake Ontario. Nice smooth rocks, big variety of types and colour. Price is right, also.
 

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The vinegar test is for limestone and related rocks that may increase the pH in your tank. This is actually good for rift lake and Central American fish, but not so good if you have soft water species. The acidity in the vinegar reacts with the calcium carbonate in the rock to produce CO2 gas, hence the bubbles. Some sandstones may also react this way since the sand grains cemented by lime.

In general, hard igneous rocks like granite and basalt are chemically inert in an aquarium.

Many people like lava rock. The only problem is that it can be sharp and abrasive, so if you have very clumsy fish like goldfish they could injure themselves. Ditto if there's a lot of chasing going on through small openings in a pile of these rocks.

If you are buying rock, avoid anything that has metallic bits or green or brown staining, since this may indicate the presence of metals or sulfides. You are more likely to find these sold as specimens than as landscaping rock or lying around on a beach or in a field.

Sometimes along Lake Ontario you can find pieces of brick that have been worn down into smooth chunks that no longer look much like brick. These are nice, but should be vinegar-tested, since they may still have lime in them absorbed from mortar.
 

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If you walk in and say you need granite or quartz they will know what your talking about. Both these rocks are inert so they won't effect your water chemistry. Like bae said some rocks will raise your PH but if you have certain cichlids, this would be a good thing as the prefer the higher PH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Khuli, I do like lava rock, i bought a whole bin off these off of someone on PN.... goes great on black substrate

I really like the porous red lava rock.



W
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I collect my rocks from the shore of Lake Ontario. Nice smooth rocks, big variety of types and colour. Price is right, also.
I grabbed quite a few off of the shores of lake ontario and spent many man-hours doing it.. Now i have so many tanks to fill that i don't mind spending a few dollars at one of the local landscape places. I went to betZ cut stone in pickering, and they let me look around and pick rock everywhere. I grabbed some slate and river rock which had a nice look but like i said earlier. I wish i had some names of safe rock. This thread was for that... :)

Plus i actually grabbed about 119 lbs a few months back less then $20.00...

cheers and thank-you
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The vinegar test is for limestone and related rocks that may increase the pH in your tank. This is actually good for rift lake and Central American fish, but not so good if you have soft water species. The acidity in the vinegar reacts with the calcium carbonate in the rock to produce CO2 gas, hence the bubbles. Some sandstones may also react this way since the sand grains cemented by lime.

In general, hard igneous rocks like granite and basalt are chemically inert in an aquarium.

Many people like lava rock. The only problem is that it can be sharp and abrasive, so if you have very clumsy fish like goldfish they could injure themselves. Ditto if there's a lot of chasing going on through small openings in a pile of these rocks.

If you are buying rock, avoid anything that has metallic bits or green or brown staining, since this may indicate the presence of metals or sulfides. You are more likely to find these sold as specimens than as landscaping rock or lying around on a beach or in a field.

Sometimes along Lake Ontario you can find pieces of brick that have been worn down into smooth chunks that no longer look much like brick. These are nice, but should be vinegar-tested, since they may still have lime in them absorbed from mortar.
Bae, thank-you,,,, always look forward to your educational and detailed responses.. very much appreciated.
sheldon
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you walk in and say you need granite or quartz they will know what your talking about. Both these rocks are inert so they won't effect your water chemistry. Like bae said some rocks will raise your PH but if you have certain cichlids, this would be a good thing as the prefer the higher PH.
Thanks trail, what bae said was great to know. I wasn't even thinking about the limestone and the PH and that it would be good for africans (malawi) great point......
cheers!!!
 
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