Rock Hunting

Discussion in 'Aquarium Aquascaping' started by Namtab, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. N

    Namtab Well Known Member Member

    Sooooo since I couldn't find any rocks big enough at my LFS (and the ones they had weren't the right shape) I decided to go hunting in a creek near my house. I think I got a pretty good amount.
    Size comparison next to a 250ml bottle of prime. Still haven't acid tested them yet.
    What is good way to sterilize them besides scrubbing?
  2. KinsKicks

    KinsKicks Fishlore VIP Member

    Boil them for sure. Basically treating them like anything else you find in nature and you want to use in your tank :p
  3. OP

    Namtab Well Known Member Member

    Don't they explode if they have air bubbles in them when you boil?
    Although I kind of doubt these ones will have any air bubbles.

  4. Piaelliott

    Piaelliott Well Known Member Member

    Don't boil them, they may explode. Just scrub them with boiling water and do the vinegar test. But they look fine.
  5. 2211Nighthawk

    2211Nighthawk Fishlore VIP Member

    Good grief. I know thats why you can put rocks by/in fire cause they'll explode but I didn't think boiling would do that. Cement will do that too. I think (in theory) straight up fire is how enough to weaken the rock a bit so the air bubbles CAN explode. Boiling I don't think will get hot enough. But I never boiled any of my rocks, just super hot tap water.
    And if all else, use a lid and duck. :)
  6. OP

    Namtab Well Known Member Member

    Would a 10-20% bleach solution and then boiling water work?
  7. Piaelliott

    Piaelliott Well Known Member Member

    I guess. I have never bleached a rock, I don't even have bleach at home. I don't see the need to bleach rocks but if you do, I would soak them in conditioned water afterwards to get rid of residual bleach.
  8. James17

    James17 Well Known Member Member

    Don't bleach them, you may not get it all back out.
    I'd clean them with a brush then pour boiling water over them and let them sit a while.
  9. OP

    Namtab Well Known Member Member

    Ok, thanks
  10. DoubleDutch

    DoubleDutch Fishlore Legend Member

    Great catch. Hunting????
    More poaching hahaha.
  11. Jnx

    Jnx Valued Member Member

    Seriously, take it from a first responder- boiling temps can definitely cause a rock to explode, and if they do, a lid will not help you. The force can be enough to send shards through the pot itself. Rocks are not homogenous, and the different densisties do not take well to quick, uneven heating, whether it be campfires, boiling, housefires, etc. Do not boil rocks!!! Ever!

    I use river, stream, and field stone. White vinegar's always done the trick for me. I haven't had any issues. The only thing I'd recommend is to dry the rocks completely before cleaning or soaking with the vinegar. This just ensures that whatever hitchhikers there are dry out.
  12. OP

    Namtab Well Known Member Member

    So pretty much I should
    1. Dry the rocks
    3. Scrub them with a brush or sponge
    2. Soak them in vinegar to see if they bubble
    4. pour boiling water over them to sterilize

    I need to find a good place to hunt for non-rounded rocks.
  13. aquatickeeper

    aquatickeeper Fishlore VIP Member

    Sounds good!
  14. scarface

    scarface Fishlore VIP Member

    I have always been fine with a hot water scrub under the faucet. Boiling is overkill and dangerous. If you still want to do it, then wear a ballistic face shield, the kind swat teams use, lol.
  15. OP

    Namtab Well Known Member Member

    When I said boiling I just meant boil water and then pour that water on the rocks, behind an extendable riot shield.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
  16. aquatickeeper

    aquatickeeper Fishlore VIP Member

    Yeah, that's what I do, and I have no rocks exploded in the process.
  17. Jnx

    Jnx Valued Member Member

    Just be careful.
    Just because it hasn't happened to you doesn't mean it won't or can't, and be disasterous when it does.
    Ie: I see people jump start cars the wrong way all the time, and when I try to tell them to ground on the frame, they always say, "Oh, it won't explode if I do it this way". Except for the one time I saw a battery explode, and the man who hooked up the cables incorrectly (positive to positive, negative to negative) sustained third degree burns to 80% of his face and one hand, and lost an eye in the process.
    It only takes one time.

    Edit: I also don't see the actual benefit of pouring boiling water over the rocks. The water will not only cool past having a sterilization effect immediately, it will also not get in all the pores it needs to. I recommend the vinegar, as it is not at all dangerous, and you can soak the rocks in it for maximum benefit.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
  18. OP

    Namtab Well Known Member Member

    Alright, I need to go out and get more vinegar then LOL (will still be using the riot shield ;) )

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