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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello.

I've collected some rocks randomly around my area and i want to ask what should i do to them before using them, i've rinsed them with water, should i boil them? or will that disintegrate the rocks?

i'm prob gonna leave them in a bucket of water for awhile then test to see if any ph changes for acidity.

do these rocks look ok?
 

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Be very careful about boiling rocks. The geologist from our board has seen/heard of cases of rocks exploding when they're boiled if there are air pockets in them.
If you're going to boil them, it's recommended to do it outside, whether it be on your BBQ grill or some other method.

A safer way is to soak/scrub them in a mild bleach solution, rinse them in dechlorinated water, then rinse well in plain water.

Here's a helpful article by the above named geologist about rocks in the aquarium.
http://aquaden.com/phpBB2/articles2.php?type=rocksinaquarium
 

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Pseuro,

I don't know if you know this but you must check the rocks you got for presence of Calcium.

If you don't know how please ask here and you will get an answer.

I personally don't think you have to boil the rocks. Scrubbing them with a brush under running water should be enough.

--Nikolay
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
wow.. Lucky i didnt boil them yet.

thanks for the tips, i think i'm going with the mild bleach solution.

Nikolay, i am new to this and i dont know how to test for Calcium, how can i do that? Also, are there other things i should test/make sure before i use them?

Thanks,
Ken
 

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Pseuro,

I said that I personally don't think you have to boil the rocks but other people may disagree. Please wait a few days if you can and see if anyone posts a good reason to boil the rocks.

Testing for Calcium is needed because you will be using the rocks in a tank that is injected with CO2. The CO2 will make the water acidic (pH will go below 7.0) and that will lead to Calcium disolving in the water. The result will be:
- an increase of the water hardness - KH (and maybe GH too).
- pH never decreasing despite pumping more and more CO2
- thick white surface foam

To test the rocks for Calcium you need to get a little strong acid - any kind really. Put a few drops on the rocks and see if the rock "fizzes", meaning tiny bubbles forming like foam or like soda water. You can use acid that you get from a pool store (muriatic acid, used to lower pH in swimming pools), or a household all-purpose cleaner that has phosphoric acid listed as one of the ingredients.

Something else before testing the rocks is to make sure is that your gravel doesn't have Calcium :D If it "fizzes" you must replace it.

--Nikolay
 

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I mixed up a really strong Seachem acid buffer solution and put it into a small old ear drops bottle. I took it with me when I went to collect rocks. It worked well. There's nothing worse than lugging a bunch of heavy rocks back with you only to discover later that they're no good. :oops:
 
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