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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have heard of a couple of ways to test rocks that one might collect from local rivers and streams to ensure they will not mess with the water chemistry.

I have heard of using vinegar, but some have saids its not really strong enough. I also heard some one suggest Hydrochloric Acid, this seems a little dangerous. Now I am not opposed to using HCL if I need to, but does anyone have any other suggestions.

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some people boil the rocks for an hour or more to insure it kills anything on the rock that would hurt your tank.
 

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buddha_red said:
some people boil the rocks for an hour or more to insure it kills anything on the rock that would hurt your tank.
I don't think this is the issue kmurphy is worried about - it is more a matter of some rocks altering the chemistry in your tank (increasing hardness).

I have not had a need to try it, but by all accounts HCL is the way to go. If its safe enough for me to buy to put in my swimming pool, I can't see any cause for concern if you're using it to test rocks - so long as you use common sense and handle the HCL safely.
 

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I mixed up some Seachem acid buffer I had laying around and made it into a very concentrated solution. That went into an old ear drops bottle (with eye dropper). I was able to get a reaction with unsuitable rocks that I was unable to get with vinegar. It made for a handy and effective field testing unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I should be able to get HCL from a local swimming pool store, what about the hot tub store down the street.

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I just used some muriatic acid, the stuff you use to etch concrete prior to painting. I know it fizzed the heck out of a concrete brick I dripped it on. The downside was I had to buy a gallon of the stuff. At least I'm prepared if I decide to paint my shop floor !
 

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I use some sort of household cleaner that contains Phosphoric Acid. I don't remember the name but that is not the only cleaner that would make rocks fizz. Just look at the labels of the cleaners that you have access too and if they appear aggressive anough (contain acids) try them on rocks you know will fizz.

--Nikolay
 
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