Sandstone and Limestone Safe for Aquarium?

AcornTheBetta

Hi all!
I was wondering if either sandstone or limestone is safe for aquariums? Are there some types of limestone or sandstone that are and some that aren't (If so, what do u look for?)? Thanks!
 

thefishn00b

Yup they are both safe for aquariums, has long as they dont have any chemicals or pollutants that will affect the water or even worse KILLING YOUR PRETTY BETTA. hope this helps
 
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AcornTheBetta

Yup they are both safe for aquariums, has long as they dont have any chemicals or pollutants that will affect the water or even worse KILLING YOUR PRETTY BETTA. hope this helps
So they don't change pH? How would I clean them?
 
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thefishn00b

So they don't change pH? How would I clean them?
well, they alter PH and harden the water i dont know if that would work for you, you could also try slate stones. I dont know how'd you clean them but if you were to get the slate you would just want to clean it in a bucket of fish tank water.
 
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AcornTheBetta

well, they alter PH and harden the water i dont know if that would work for you, you could also try slate stones. I dont know how'd you clean them but if you were to get the slate you would just want to clean it in a bucket of fish tank water.
I have used slate before (got it from my yard). I cleaned it by using a bucket with bleach and then scrubbing it a ton with a wire brush. I was asking about sandstone and limestone because I'm on a trip and their is some near me. Always on the look out for free stuff.
 
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thefishn00b

I have used slate before (got it from my yard). I cleaned it by using a bucket with bleach and then scrubbing it a ton with a wire brush. I was asking about sandstone and limestone because I'm on a trip and their is some near me. Always on the look out for free stuff.
i dont know how to clean sandstone/limestone, if there is anything else you'd like to know lmk.
 
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AcornTheBetta

i dont know how to clean sandstone/limestone, if there is anything else you'd like to know lmk.
How much would they raise ph, kh, gh?
 
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thefishn00b

How much would they raise ph, kh, gh?
i dont know how much they would change but if you were to put them in the tank i would test the water everyday to see how much ph, gh, and kh are changing. ive also heard that sandstone will eventually turn into jelly like and crumble once its in water for long enough. i would just go with slate stones it looks better and it will last basically forever inside your fish tank.
 
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AcornTheBetta

i dont know how much they would change but if you were to put them in the tank i would test the water everyday to see how much ph, gh, and kh are changing. ive also heard that sandstone will eventually turn into jelly like and crumble once its in water for long enough. i would just go with slate stones it looks better and it will last basically forever inside your fish tank.
I found some random lava rock on my hike. How would I wash that?
EDIT: MacZ can you help with some of my questions?
 
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thefishn00b

I found some random lava rock on my hike. How would I wash that?
EDIT: MacZ can you help with some of my questions?
hmm.. i dont know about lava rock, but ill try to help you since lava rock have many pores tou could put them in your filter and they would be good bio media i would just wash them with a brush and make sure they are clean.
 
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AcornTheBetta

hmm.. i dont know about lava rock, but ill try to help you since lava rock have many pores tou could put them in your filter and they would be good bio media i would just wash them with a brush and make sure they are clean.
Ok. I was planning on using them as media in my Fluval 207 that is coming soon.
 
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thefishn00b

Ok. I was planning on using them as media in my Fluval 207 that is coming soon.
BTW your betta is sooo pretty
 
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AcornTheBetta

BTW your betta is sooo pretty
Thanks so much! He's a delta tail which I find to be a bit unique (I haven't seen many delta tails out there).
 
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fish 321

I found some random lava rock on my hike. How would I wash that?
EDIT: MacZ can you help with some of my questions?
I asked about using a large lava rock on here and was adivsed against it as it could contain some heavy metals.
 
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BigBeardDaHuZi

Usually, limestone is used in African cichlid tanks for people who are looking for high pH and hardness. I have never been able to find an actual number on it though, which is irritating. Just “higher”

Iv
I asked about using a large lava rock on here and was adivsed against it as it could contain some heavy metals.
I've seen a lot of people use lava rock in their tanks and in their sumps as a place to grow BB. We had some in a tank when I was young. It should be fine

The only advice I've seen on heavy metals and aquarium rocks is that you should definitely avoid collecting rocks anywhere near a mine entrance or downstream from them

I'd like to hear from MacZ too
 
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MacZ

Ah, even two people summoning me. Good I'm still sitting here with my morning coffee.

So, limestone definitely is able to raise pH and harden the water. Depending on the pH and hardness of the tapwater and the actual type of limestone this can mean a rise between 0.2 and 3.0 (or more) points of pH and hardness can also rise substancially.
Sandstone often has the same properties as limestone, but some types can be pH neutral. Instead of pH/hardness raising some have the ability to raise silica in the water.
For both, if you want to make sure they don't alter your water parameters do the vinegar essence / citric acid test. Few drops of it on the stone, if it bubbles it will change your parameters. For silica there is no DIY test to find out that I know of.

Lava rock is a different thing depending on where it's from. Some can contain heavy metals, others don't. If I wanted lava rock in any of my tanks I'd actually get it either from a LFS because here they have to make sure the stuff is safe to use, OR (because it's cheaper) from a garden supply store, as they also have to make sure it's safe, as it's very popular in vegetable gardens.
If you don't know where it's from, better leave it.
 
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Redshark1

Lava rock may be very rough. I would not use it with my fish.
 
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MacZ

Lava rock may be very rough. I would not use it with my fish.

Depends on the fish and the rock. But yes, the chance of injury is high with many lava rocks like tuff and basalt. But granite is also a type of lava rock and can be quite smooth.
 
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AcornTheBetta

I asked about using a large lava rock on here and was adivsed against it as it could contain some heavy metals.
Ah, even two people summoning me. Good I'm still sitting here with my morning coffee.

So, limestone definitely is able to raise pH and harden the water. Depending on the pH and hardness of the tapwater and the actual type of limestone this can mean a rise between 0.2 and 3.0 (or more) points of pH and hardness can also rise substancially.
Sandstone often has the same properties as limestone, but some types can be pH neutral. Instead of pH/hardness raising some have the ability to raise silica in the water.
For both, if you want to make sure they don't alter your water parameters do the vinegar essence / citric acid test. Few drops of it on the stone, if it bubbles it will change your parameters. For silica there is no DIY test to find out that I know of.

Lava rock is a different thing depending on where it's from. Some can contain heavy metals, others don't. If I wanted lava rock in any of my tanks I'd actually get it either from a LFS because here they have to make sure the stuff is safe to use, OR (because it's cheaper) from a garden supply store, as they also have to make sure it's safe, as it's very popular in vegetable gardens.
If you don't know where it's from, better leave it.
Oh. I think it might be from somewhere where people filled it with lava rock. I'll think about getting it from a hardware store...

What rocks are safe? River rocks? Granite?
 
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MacZ

River rocks are mostly. Sure, depending on the river.
 
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AcornTheBetta

River rocks are mostly. Sure, depending on the river.
What kind of river rock is unsafe?
 
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MacZ

It's more about how much traffic there is on the river and how much stuff is chugged in by industrial wastewater.
 
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AcornTheBetta

It's more about how much traffic there is on the river and how much stuff is chugged in by industrial wastewater.
I'm getting all of these rocks from a ski resort so there isn't much of that...

Is there any way to tell if the lava rock is ok to use? Would cleaning it with bleach get out any of the bad stuff?
 
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MacZ

Oh, if you get the rocks from the mountains, river/creek rocks are perfectly fine.

No, bleach and aquarium stuff should stay seperated.

Not really an idea. Honestly I have never been in the situation as I don't use that lava rock myself. And you don't find it outdoors here in my area. I would actually have to buy it if I needed it and would have to trust that if it's sold for aquaria that it's safe.
 
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AcornTheBetta

Oh, if you get the rocks from the mountains, river/creek rocks are perfectly fine.

No, bleach and aquarium stuff should stay seperated.

Not really an idea. Honestly I have never been in the situation as I don't use that lava rock myself. And you don't find it outdoors here in my area. I would actually have to buy it if I needed it and would have to trust that if it's sold for aquaria that it's safe.
How would I clean them? I've bleached rocks before and they were fine. I cleaned them with a wire brush.
 
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veggieshark

At the risk of receiving heat, I will say I think the fear of cleaning aquarium stuff with bleach is a bit exaggerated. All scientific labs use diluted bleach for cleaning and disinfecting stuff. I think you just need to rinse well. Exception might be material that excessively absorbs bleach and can release it afterwards. If you have philosophical reasons like environmental concerns for not wanting to use bleach, that is a different story.
 
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MacZ

Exception might be material that excessively absorbs bleach and can release it afterwards. If you have philosophical reasons like environmental concerns for not wanting to use bleach, that is a different story.

On the one hand I had in mind especially with porous types of rock bleach is possibly absorbed. But other material can also absorb it or react with it. I keep any cleaning and desinfection products separate from all my aquarium stuff because of the first reason mainly.
The environmental aspect is also important to me, I just didn't want to make this my main argument. That's the reason I simply don't have bleach or other hard stuff in my household.
 
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AcornTheBetta

On the one hand I had in mind especially with porous types of rock bleach is possibly absorbed. But other material can also absorb it or react with it. I keep any cleaning and desinfection products separate from all my aquarium stuff because of the first reason mainly.
The environmental aspect is also important to me, I just didn't want to make this my main argument. That's the reason I simply don't have bleach or other hard stuff in my household.
How would you suggest cleaning the rocks to make sure they don't have any nasty things on them?

MacZ do you think if I boiled the rocks for an hour that they would be clear of any possible smog or chemicals (Not saying there are any, just the possibility of them)? Also, do you think these rocks look good? Some of them are holly on one side, but sorta flat on the other. Can anyone ID the rocks on the right? IDK what they are. If you need better pics I can get some.
20201012_162907.jpg
 
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MacZ

Don't boil these! You can only boil rocks that have no gas/air pockets. Dense rocks are no problem to boil, but this stuff will break and may even explode as the gasses expand.

Hot water (70-90°C) can be used to scrubb them and remove possible pathogens from the surface, but that's all you can do.

Boiling also never is used to remove chemicals and the like. You only wash them with clear water to do so and if there is a good chance you still have hazardous chemicals on them, don't use them.

The rocks on the left look like tuff or maybe pumice, which is a kind of lava rock with a lot of gas bubbles inside, which makes it relatively light and a great base for plants. It's often used in hydroponics.

Those two on the right look very much like limestone or some kind of quarz.
 
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AcornTheBetta

Don't boil these! You can only boil rocks that have no gas/air pockets. Dense rocks are no problem to boil, but this stuff will break and may even explode as the gasses expand.

Hot water (70-90°C) can be used to scrubb them and remove possible pathogens from the surface, but that's all you can do.

Boiling also never is used to remove chemicals and the like. You only wash them with clear water to do so and if there is a good chance you still have hazardous chemicals on them, don't use them.

The rocks on the left look like tuff or maybe pumice, which is a kind of lava rock with a lot of gas bubbles inside, which makes it relatively light and a great base for plants. It's often used in hydroponics.

Those two on the right look very much like limestone or some kind of quarz.
So the ones with holes on the right aren't lava rock?

How would you clean the rocks?
 
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RonP

You can safely use Hydrogen Peroxide on rocks...I cleaned rocks in my 2 cichlid tanks that way...no problems.
 
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AcornTheBetta

You can safely use Hydrogen Peroxide on rocks...I cleaned rocks in my 2 cichlid tanks that way...no problems.
Would that clean off any potential smog or chemicals?
 
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RonP

I don't know of any treatment that will remove chemicals. My rocks were sourced on my property, so did not have that concern.
 
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AcornTheBetta

I don't know of any treatment that will remove chemicals. My rocks were sourced on my property, so did not have that concern.
This is from the mountains so I think I should be fine I just want to be sure. I'll do the thing you said and then scrub them.
 
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veggieshark

I don't think there is any magic to remove all chemicals of concern, you either trust the source or you don't. All other things discussed would be to get rid of bacteria and such. I think once a rock is really dry, most bads are gone. You soak it in water and give a good wash. If they don't go away with this treatment, then they won't go away easily. The chemical reactions you need to create to get rid of the chemicals are probably not worth it.
 
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AcornTheBetta

Ok. Thanks! I'm going home tomorrow and will test all these rocks and clean them.
 
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AcornTheBetta

You can safely use Hydrogen Peroxide on rocks...I cleaned rocks in my 2 cichlid tanks that way...no problems.
What should the concentration look like? How many parts Hydrogen Peroxide to water?
 
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RonP

It comes in 3% solution. I mixed it half each with water.
 
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AcornTheBetta

It comes in 3% solution. I mixed it half each with water.
So a 1:1 Hydrogen Peroxide to water ratio?
 
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RonP

Yes, I used that. It was totally an arbitrary decision. I did no research .
 
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