Can I Place A Rock I Found In The Aquarium? What Is Your Experience?

RunsOnCoffee
  • #1
Hello Everyone!
I wasn't sure where to post this, here might be the right place?

Yesterday I took my two little people emoji_baby:&:emoji_dog for a stroll around one of the fields around our house and stumbled upon a bigger nice rock. I wondered if anyone has experience with placing "random" rocks in their aquariums. I rinsed the thing and was thinking of boiling it and maybe placing it in the aquarium if it is safe. I am lucky that I have a geologist in my family, so I sent her a few pictures and hope she can identify the rock for me. I will post a picture on here, too.

Can certain rocks/stones effect the water chemistry in my tank?s I wonder if that rock I found on the field might leach anything in the water? What is your experience with this? Any advice?
 
PheonixKingZ
  • #2
They can effect the chemistry in the water. I have personally never done it, because of the risks. If you google it you will see how to clean it properly. Does anyone else have any experience on this subject? Feohw?
 
RunsOnCoffee
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
Here is a picture of said rock.

20190320_074819.jpg
20190320_074920.jpg
 
PheonixKingZ
  • #4
Nice rock!!
 
RunsOnCoffee
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
They can effect the chemistry in the water. I have personally never done it, because of the risks. If you google it you will see how to clean it properly. Does anyone else have any experience on this subject? Feohw?

That's what I was suspecting. I would probably go the better safe than sorry route, too.

Nice rock!!

Right!?

Thanks for the quick reply! =)
 
Skavatar
  • #6
pour some vinegar on it, if it fizzles that means it'll probably raise your KH and pH.
.
if it doesn't, you can place it in to a pot of hot water, but don't boil it. 160'F will kill most germs.

i'm guessing either sedimentary or metamorphic of sedimentary origins.
 
RunsOnCoffee
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Will do! Thank you!
 
Basil
  • #8
I do use native rock in my tanks. But it’s a hard, quartz type rock that does not effect the ph. Plus, mine all came off my farm where we do not use herbicides or pesticides.
I would worry about contamination of that sort in a rock from a random field.
Plus, it kind of looks like what we call fieldstone which can be soft.
Although I have to admit that I’ve never tested our fieldstone for ph change or performed the vinegar test on it so it might be ok. Sure does come in some nice flatish pieces compared to the quartz.
 
RunsOnCoffee
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
I do use native rock in my tanks. But it’s a hard, quartz type rock that does not effect the ph. Plus, mine all came off my farm where we do not use herbicides or pesticides.
I would worry about contamination of that sort in a rock from a random field.
Plus, it kind of looks like what we call fieldstone which can be soft.
Although I have to admit that I’ve never tested our fieldstone for ph change or performed the vinegar test on it so it might be ok. Sure does come in some nice flatish pieces compared to the quartz.

Yeah, that is what I am worried about. Wouldn't want any of that stuff in my tank(s). Eek.

pour some vinegar on it, if it fizzles that means it'll probably raise your KH and pH.

The rock just passed the fizzle test... now, the only questions remains the possible contamination with herbicides and pesticides. Might get in touch with the owner of the field and figure that out... Depending on how badly I want that rock in the aquarium.

Thanks everyone for all your input!
 
Smalltownfishfriend
  • #10
I do it all the time!! Personally I think if you would soak it in a little bit of bleach water, rinse it very well and then rinse it again you will be fine! I have used rocks out of our fields many a time!!
 
RunsOnCoffee
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
I do it all the time!! Personally I think if you would soak it in a little bit of bleach water, rinse it very well and then rinse it again you will be fine! I have used rocks out of our fields many a time!!
Cool! Thanks for sharing your experience. I might give this a try...
 
goldface
  • #12
I use found rocks all the time. Rinse and add. Hakuna matata.
 
86 ssinit
  • #13
Very informative thread on this very subject. Where does everybody get there rocks from? Most rocks work. Try the vinegar if it doesn’t bubble it should be good. Hot water, bleach dip or just a good scrubbing and it’s ready to go.
 
Annie59
  • #14
Don't boil it lol. Some can explode and that would hurt! I use rocks I find all the time. I even use just plain red bricks with no ill effects
 
Tony M
  • #15
All the rocks in my tank are from places I've vacationed, hiked or paddled. They all have a story behind them. I just clean them with bleached water and rinse like crazy.
 
Basil
  • #16
Is it a crop field? Do you know how it is planted? For example, most farmers in my area do no-till drill. So they don’t plow to minimize erosion but instead spray with roundup to kill weeds before planting.
Roundup *should* break down fairly quickly but I wouldn’t use a rock that had been in contact with any sort of herbicide. But I’m probably a bit paranoid about stuff like that lol!
 
mattgirl
  • #17
I too use rocks found on my travels and in my yard. As long as it passes the fizz test and has been cleaned well it should be fine.

To those that trust rocks from pet stores....you never know where they came from. I would come nearer to trusting something I have found, tested and cleaned before trusting those that sell for a profit. You should still test and clean the rocks they sell.

As always just my humble opinion.
 
Smalltownfishfriend
  • #18
Is it a crop field? Do you know how it is planted? For example, most farmers in my area do no-till drill. So they don’t plow to minimize erosion but instead spray with roundup to kill weeds before planting.
Roundup *should* break down fairly quickly but I wouldn’t use a rock that had been in contact with any sort of herbicide. But I’m probably a bit paranoid about stuff like that lol!
I am kinda wondering the same thing. I get my rocks from our fields, we definitely spray and fertilize and all that good stuff. I never had a problem with them... I guess it would depend on how porous the rock is??
 
RunsOnCoffee
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Is it a crop field? Do you know how it is planted? For example, most farmers in my area do no-till drill. So they don’t plow to minimize erosion but instead spray with roundup to kill weeds before planting.
Roundup *should* break down fairly quickly but I wouldn’t use a rock that had been in contact with any sort of herbicide. But I’m probably a bit paranoid about stuff like that lol!

It's not a crop field, but a huge field of grass. It's mainly used for sports and big events in the summer months... I might be able to find someone who knows if and with what it gets sprayed. I'll take my time to make a final decision on this rock...
 
JaksAquatics
  • #20
I have done that how many times? lol yeah I have done it a lot with only washing it but I mostly put them in after aatleast 5 mounths of having it and completly forgetting about it
 
Basil
  • #21
It's not a crop field, but a huge field of grass. It's mainly used for sports and big events in the summer months... I might be able to find someone who knows if and with what it gets sprayed. I'll take my time to make a final decision on this rock...
Oh that’s good. Hopefully they just mow it and don’t spray anything on it!


DC673D21-31F3-46BE-90FF-E8DC030C351A.jpeg And speaking of rocks here’s a random pile that accumulated behind my barn.
In some alternate universe, where I have a ton of money and time, I want to use that big rock in a 55 gallon tank set up for a red tailed black shark lol!
 
Maxxx
  • #22
Don't boil it lol. Some can explode and that would hurt! I use rocks I find all the time. I even use just plain red bricks with no ill effects

Exploding rocks? I’ve never heard of that unless it is a rounded river rock around a campfire.

I use rocks I find all the time. Just make sure it passes the fizz test and is not sandstone. I usually clean off the best I can and boil them before using them in a tank.
 
RunsOnCoffee
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
View attachment 539018 And speaking of rocks here’s a random pile that accumulated behind my barn.
In some alternate universe, where I have a ton of money and time, I want to use that big rock in a 55 gallon tank set up for a red tailed black shark lol!
That's so cool. I have a small house and a small yard, so no barn to hide big rocks from the husband...
 
skar
  • #24
I do the same kinda thing. Almost all the rocks in my aquarium are venture funded.
Pick em up rinse ( I microwave about a minute) them off Put it in the scape.
 
DuaneV
  • #25
I currently have 15 tanks set up that are filled with substrate, rocks and wood I collect from nature. Ive never bought substrate, rocks of driftwood in my entire life. I grew up with a grandfather who was a fish keeper and we used to go on "adventures" to find rocks and wood for our tanks. I also collect plants (that are legal) from the wild to put into my tanks. No sense buying moss when I can go to the lake and pickup a handful for free.

The majority of sand, rocks, wood, etc, that you collect in the wild are 100% safe. I mean, the store that's selling you the rock didnt make it, they got it from someone who went out and collected it. There aren't rock farms down the street, you know. There are a few that you want to be careful about putting in your tank like Limestone & Sandstone as they will change your water chemistry.

You can boil it or just wash it off with boiling water. You can also use Dawn and a scrub brush on it. Just rinse it off well. Ive been collecting and using stuff for my tanks for over 40 years without a problem.
 
PheonixKingZ
  • #26
Really!?? Cause in the creek, I also have this nice looking subtrait, like I mean GOOD gravel(small stones with like soil mixed in with it) would that be ok to use? And do you mean you use plant form the water? Or just plants in general??
 
RunsOnCoffee
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
I currently have 15 tanks set up that are filled with substrate, rocks and wood I collect from nature. Ive never bought substrate, rocks of driftwood in my entire life. I grew up with a grandfather who was a fish keeper and we used to go on "adventures" to find rocks and wood for our tanks. I also collect plants (that are legal) from the wild to put into my tanks. No sense buying moss when I can go to the lake and pickup a handful for free.

The majority of sand, rocks, wood, etc, that you collect in the wild are 100% safe. I mean, the store that's selling you the rock didnt make it, they got it from someone who went out and collected it. There aren't rock farms down the street, you know. There are a few that you want to be careful about putting in your tank like Limestone & Sandstone as they will change your water chemistry.

You can boil it or just wash it off with boiling water. You can also use Dawn and a scrub brush on it. Just rinse it off well. Ive been collecting and using stuff for my tanks for over 40 years without a problem.

Sounds good to me and very much reminds me of the adventures I used to go on with my Opa. Although instead of hunting for rocks and such, we went to hunt for plants to use in herbal teas. … chamomile, nettle, and all sorts of other ones...
I might just go down to the rocky beach not far from our house sometime to see what treasures I can find. I bet the toddler would love to hunt for nice rocks, too.
 
DuaneV
  • #28
Here in Maine its legal to remove rocks, sand, gravel, etc., from streams that don't have vegetation. We are avid "gemers" and go rock hunting & gold mining a couple dozen times a summer. The gravel/sand that's collected from gold mining is kept and brought home. Depending on my mood and what I'm using it for, Ill cook or just rinse the gravel and dump it in a tank. No worries.

I also pick up plants if its legal. When I see a big clump of moss floating by in the water, Ill scoop it up and bring it home.
 
PheonixKingZ
  • #29
Cool!! Both my grandfathers were a big fisherman and explorers, but sadly they both passed away a couple of years ago.......
 
DuaneV
  • #30
Sounds good to me and very much reminds me of the adventures I used to go on with my Opa. Although instead of hunting for rocks and such, we went to hunt for plants to use in herbal teas. … chamomile, nettle, and all sorts of other ones...
I might just go down to the rocky beach not far from our house sometime to see what treasures I can find. I bet the toddler would love to hunt for nice rocks, too.

We do this all summer long up in the mountains and down on the coast. Great times and better memories. My grandfather has been gone a while now, but every time I take my son somewhere my grandfather took me, I have a story to tell and my son loves it. Hope that 50 years from now he's doing it with his grand kids.
 
RunsOnCoffee
  • Thread Starter
  • #31
We do this all summer long up in the mountains and down on the coast. Great times and better memories. My grandfather has been gone a while now, but every time I take my son somewhere my grandfather took me, I have a story to tell and my son loves it. Hope that 50 years from now he's doing it with his grand kids.

I love this and who knows, maybe one day your son will do the same with his own child(ren) - should he chose to have them. I would love to take my son to hunt for wild teas sometime, but unfortunately, my grandfather passed away when I was still very young so I have forgotten a lot of things he taught me.
 
Nierums
  • #32
This post was helpful for me as well, I went rock hunting, tested with muiritic acid, and ones that passed, washed really well (without soap) and boiled for 30 minutes, and let sit. Thanks for posting!
 
alvinkoh
  • #33
Boiling it in hot water an soak it for a few days
 
Doonze
  • #34
ALL my decorations are rocks I've found. I prefer river rocks, as I decorate my tank to look like a river bed. As I'm on well water, I doubt many rocks could make it worse. But you do have to keep an eye on things for awhile to make sure. I'm a little more wary of wood, if it's not dried out enough when you use it rot becomes an issue, and that can really mess with your chemistry. But that does depend some on where you live.

I'm about rocked out for now, I could stand to remove some in fact, but I always keep my eye out for special ones that I can add or swap out. Great part of trips to the river! Just make sure to wash them off good like others have said, never know what might hitch a ride home from the river!
 
Whaley
  • #35
I do it all the time!! Personally I think if you would soak it in a little bit of bleach water, rinse it very well and then rinse it again you will be fine! I have used rocks out of our fields many a time!!
Thank you for sharing your experience. I got some random rocks last weekend as well and wondering how to handle the cleaning work .Will try bleach. Thanks again.
 
lockedup
  • #36
I used some rock from my backyard in my tank.

US Center for Disease Control: “Boiling can be used as a pathogen reduction method that should kill all pathogens. Water should be brought to a rolling boil for 1 minute. At altitudes greater than 6,562 feet (greater than 2000 meters), you should boil water for 3 minutes.”

So I boiled my rocks for ~15 minutes.
After boiling I scrubbed them to remove loose debris.
Then boiled again for 3 minutes ... in case anything was hiding under the loose stuff.

You do need to be careful because some rocks can explode.
So if you have an outdoor setup for frying turkey, fish or boiling crawfish it's probably safer to use that.

More info on exploding rocks:
https://outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/801/how-to-avoid-exploding-rocks
 

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