Can I use rocks and wood from my neighborhood in my tank?

mileshasabrowndogenm

Hello everyone, I’m wondering if I can use rocks and wood from around my neighborhood and house in my tank. If so, so I have to prepare them in any certain way? Like boil the wood and anything else to the rocks.
 

Patman0519

I've just thrown my rocks in a 5 gallon bucket with old tank water,waited a few days to see if I have spikes anywhere and if not I throw them in the tank.
Rocks sure with the right prep.
I wouldnt use any woods though.
 

StarGirl

Make sure the rocks dont bubble with vinegar and scrub with hot water.
The wood make sure it is not a sappy wood and totally dry all the way through. soak, boil whatever its good if its dry.
 

Nessaf

If you have a good idea about what rocks you have, sure!
 

mileshasabrowndogenm

If you have a good idea about what rocks you have, sure!
I know nothing about rocks, would it be enough if I washed them and put them in vinegar to see if they bubble?
 

AverageAquarist22

I used lava rocks from my yard scrubbed really well in my 30 gallon and haven’t had any issues
 

StarGirl

I know nothing about rocks, would it be enough if I washed them and put them in vinegar to see if they bubble?
You just need a few drops to see if it bubbles. You dont need to put it in it. ;)
 

Nessaf

I know nothing about rocks, would it be enough if I washed them and put them in vinegar to see if they bubble?
I tend to know too much about rocks, so I’m a bit picky. The vinegar test is good, but not fool-proof because it works well on things like limestone, but not on Dolomites. Both of which contain a lot of calcium carbonate and will increase your pH. Travertine and calcite “onyx” as well. Weak Hydrochloric acid is better and will act more broadly on calcareous rocks. Although, if you are keeping things like African cichlids, you might want a higher pH.

But you also have to be careful of copper-bearing rocks (malachite, azurite, brochanite, chrysocolla, cuprite etc.) or heavy metals (galena, cobaltite, niccolite, etc.) because you can toxify your tank pretty quickly. Most of the time slates and shales are fine, unless you live in an area with petroleum shales. When I lived in Missouri, I picked up some shale pieces as a kid. Later on, I read about oil shales. So I grabbed a piece and held it to a flame - it burned!

Most sandstones are fine, just as most granites, quartzites and quartzes.
 

MySquishy

I tend to know too much about rocks, so I’m a bit picky. The vinegar test is good, but not fool-proof because it works well on things like limestone, but not on Dolomites. Both of which contain a lot of calcium carbonate and will increase your pH. Travertine and calcite “onyx” as well. Weak Hydrochloric acid is better....
Most sandstones are fine, just as most granites, quartzites and quartzes.

since quartz is so common, there’s still plenty of variety even if you just stick with it.
 

Tetraman124

Go ahead just make sure that the rocks don’t bubble when you pour vinegar on it and rather boil the wood or run them over hot water
 

pagoda

One thing to make sure of, along with everything else stated, is if taking anything from the neighbourhood such as rocks or wood etc....sterilise it.

Cos you do not know how many cats, dogs or wildlife might have pee'd on it or scent marked it and you really do not want anything remotely toxic in your water.

Sounds silly, I know, but you would be amazed how many people see lovely stones, rocks and wood and just plonk them into their aquarium or pond without sterilising them and live to regret it
 

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