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They look almost volcanic in nature, and since Amano likes to gather his rocks from the mountains in Japan they very well may be be.

When I go to visit my family in Hawaii next summer I'll need to a take a hike in the mountains and see if I can find anything like those...that and try to bring home some Hawaiian freshwater shrimp to try out in my tanks.
 

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Greg,

That's a hard question to answer specifically. There are many rocks in this world....

A general answer would be that they seem to be meta-pelites - meaning metamorphic rocks originating from fine grained sedimentary rocks. I say that because I have seen similar weathering patterns in meta-pelites. But confirmation could only be had from close examination of the grain structure. I spent three years in London University peering down polarized microscopes studying mineralogy, crystal formations, and lithology. Some of those lessons are burned into my brain....

Have you tested them with (a) some acid to see if they have any carbonate content (suggesting possibly a sedimentary origin), (b) a very strong rare earth magnet to see if there is any magnetite in them (indicative of a metamorphic derivation). Maybe you don't even have these rocks in hand.

If not metamorphic or sedimentary that leaves the possibility of an igneous origin. Maybe they are finely crystalized basalts? Again, one needs to have a close look-see.

Where do the photos originate from? Is there any context there?

If you had an ID and were able to date them in some way, you could get a geological map and find out where rocks of a similar age are located and then start the (long) search.

The best areas to collect veined rocks that look nice in aquascapes might be in outcrops of old (meaning eroded) mountain chains. The tectonic events (such as sea closing and subduction of tectonic plates) are well-recorded in the rocks of New England. Here we have anything from very pure marbles to volcanics from events 400-500 million years ago. The mica schists etc of New York State are beautiful to behold, often filled with garnets. The finer grained rocks are often veined with quartz. This type of area is better for finding suitable rocks for aquascaping than, say, a shield area.

Get a book of 'roadside' geology for your area and you might come up with some hints.

You're on the West Coast, right? As I remember, there are some interesting rocks up Highway 101 on the coast, and some nice ones inland in the higher ground. Some of the serpentines along the coast - and jade-bearing rocks - appeared good and if weathered rocks were selected from nearby streams, there might be some good candidates for aquariums.

Hope this helps.

Andrew Cribb
 

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I get rocks that looks just like that (A little more porous). I get them from Pebble Junction. I dont know if it is a chain or not, but any kind of rock store will have rocks of all sorts. You just gotta go look for what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't have the rocks, I got the images from a Japanese site. This was interesting, while hunting on the INTERNET,
Aesthetics

For thousands of years, Chinese and Japanese collectors have sought out natural stones possessing two highly prized qualities: beauty and suggestive shape. What began as a simple pastime pursued around the world -- collecting beautiful stones -- evolved over the centuries into a complex art form regulated by strict aesthetic conventions. In Japan, this art form is known as "suiseki".

Suiseki (pronounced suu-ee-seck-ee) are stones admired for their beauty and for their power to suggest a scene from nature or an object closely associated with nature. Among the most popular types of suiseki are those that suggest a distant mountain, a waterfall, an island, a thatched hut or an animal.

The art of suiseki is believed to have originated some two thousand years ago in China, where small stones of great natural beauty were set on stands to represent famous mountains and legendary islands of immortality associated with Buddhist and Taoist beliefs. In the sixth century A.D., emissaries from the Asian mainland brought several such stones to Japan. The Japanese adapted the art to their own tastes and have practiced it to this day.

Suiseki are traditionally exhibited on a carved wooden base or in a shallow tray. When formally displayed, suiseki are often accompanied by bonsai. The term suiseki means literally "water stone." It is derived from the ancient custom of displaying miniature landscape stones in trays filled with water, and from the association between suiseki and classical Oriental landscape paintings of mountains and lakes.

Author: Author: Vincent T. Covello, August 1995
http://www.bonsai-nbf.org/stone/history.htm
 

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IUnknown said:
Ok, found some rock experts. Maybe I can get some help from them.
California Suiseki Society
http://www.felixrivera-suiseki.com/CaSusekiSoc.html
Good idea... I was thining Roger Miller could help also, maybe bouncehim an email. When I went down to Houston for the DFW meeting, Luis had some zen rocks he had flown in from mainland China methinks, quite pricy but looked similar and I imagine he would know who to call...

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, when Luis talked at the SFAS he told us about his bonsai rock connection. If you watch the AGA video from this year, Amano has a very small tank with a rock that reminds me of the Suiseki stuff. I mean ADA tanks seem like the incorporate a lot of the Suiseki ideas.
 

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Mr Amano's rather sarcastic comments about things going up in price in China when a 'foreigner' shows interest in them was humorous. Generally speaking, these display stones are expensive even in China.

Roger Miller's response on another board was also non-committal. One cannot ID rocks unless they are available for examination in hand. His idea was that, perhaps, they were dolomitic, based on the weathering patterns displayed.

You should look closer to home for rocks. I know companies in China that actually import display stones from the USA.

Andrew Cribb
 

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pineapple said:
You should look closer to home for rocks. I know companies in China that actually import display stones from the USA.
I second that. Some of the most interesting stones I've ever seen came from the Mohave and around Death Valley. There are many, many other places where you can find interesting stones. For the most part you have to go a little out of your way to find them. That seems to be a sticking point for a lot of folks.

Roger Miller
 

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Roger Miller said:
pineapple said:
You should look closer to home for rocks. I know companies in China that actually import display stones from the USA.
I second that. Some of the most interesting stones I've ever seen came from the Mohave and around Death Valley. There are many, many other places where you can find interesting stones. For the most part you have to go a little out of your way to find them. That seems to be a sticking point for a lot of folks.

Roger Miller
Both Greg and I live in the SF Bay Area, so it can get to be a rather long haul to get to anyplace where a Park Ranger won't start paying close attention to someone tossing large piles of stones into the back of a pickup, :)
 

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Geez, how many rocks do you think you need? Even my 150 only has about 60 pounds of rocks in it. When I collect stones I tote them around on my back in a day pack.

I seem to remember the Erik Leung collects rocks from beaches near SF. He has collected some pretty interesting stones.


Roger Miller
 

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Greg I have the rocks available at the moment and if someone is willing to do a more advanced research of them I am willing to send a sample. One thing I can tell you they do just fine in planted aquariums, I have used them for at list 3 years and there is no fluctuations in my KH GH or Ph any other needs to be researched by a Pro!
Roger I don't know if you remember the small nano cube I set up for the AGA back in 2003 I am sure we talk about these rocks before.
Luis Navarro
 

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I'll look into it it you send me a sample, emough to nicely scape a 15 gallon shoul dbe enough to test them proberly;) :lol:

In all honestly, I have been interested in rock similar to that reciently and would love to get my hands on some. I need to check arond and see what I can find. Any tips on companies or local businesses who might have similar looking rocks. My favorite so far has been the Dragonstone. Thats awesome looking stuff

Andrew, I am in the Conn River Valley in Mass. ANy tips on types/areas I should look locally. I seem to see lots of granite, sandstone and shale but while many of the mts. here are byproducts of volcanic action and tectonic upheavle, I have yet to find anything nice like basalt:(
 

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Hey Roger, you know how it is. You find a spot with one nice rock, then you see another, then a few more...pretty soon the Park Ranger is asking you why you're dragging your backpack through the parking lot. :)
 

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Luis, I do remember the little nanocube. The rocks were very nice. I thought there was a picture of the tank on the AGA site about the 2003 convention. I don't know if my recollection is true or not because the AGA site no longer provides a link to the 2003 AGA convention photos. Ah well.

My recollection is that the rocks in the tank were darker than the rocks in the photos that Greg posted. That could just be the difference between wet and dry. But also, I recall that the rocks that you used had smoother surfaces then those in the photos. That could just be my mistake.

I didn't pull any of those rocks out of the tank and give them a thorough examination. On sight I think my best guess (and it is merely a guess) is that the rocks were volcanic- perhaps an andesite. I'm not sure how to account for the unsual surface features and fractures shown in the photos. The rocks may have been strained and brecciated --- coarsely crushed, then bonded back together.

There are of course other possibiities. They could be -- as Andrew suggested -- metapelites. That would make them a slate-like rock.


Roger Miller
 

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Roger I know the rocks are the same in the picture post by Greg because of the many different shapes and colors they have! It may sound crazy to you but there is different shades of these rocks and some even have white quartz in between. Chinese artist use them to create Peijing sculptures by shaving and carving the rocks to narrow slate like shapes and then attaching than with concrete. the structures are placed in stone trays and water is added the sky is the limit for the size of the artist work but I have seen pictures in old Aquajournals as well as in book that I have acquired over time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So Oliver forwarded me his source for the rocks he uses in his aquascapes. I tried emailing them to see if they ship to the US, but haven't received a reply. Anyone speak German? Man, we need to get more people into this hobby, I wish we had resources like this in the US.
http://www.aquadeco.com/

Dragon-Stone


Mini-Landscape


Love the Dragon-stone in Oliver's 500L,
http://www.pbase.com/plantella/image/35550804
 

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is it safe to use those holey saltwater stones in a freshwater tank...seems like they are so porous

that company sells some gorgeous aquascaping materials...the wood especially =P~
 
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