treating stream rocks for aquarium use?

  • #1
thought about adding some of the beautiful slate chunks and other rocks found in our local creek to a 20 gallon setup; kind of stacking them to make a series of ledges and the like. with all the stuff I am willing to spend money on for this hobby, I just cannot bring myself to pay $2 a pound for rocks at the aquarium store. in addition to the obvious process of removing any aquatic plant or animal growth by vigorously scrubbing, what else should I do to ensure I won't be introducing something awful to my tank? would a good long soak in a vinnegar and water solution do the trick? should I avoid certain types of rock/stone due to mineral content?
  • #2
welcome to the forum

I'm just guessing here, but I would probably bake the rocks in the oven to try to sterilize them.
  • #3
I boiled my rocks for an hour.....
  • #4
Boiling and baking are risky, but id bake them on a low set temp, maybe 1-200 for an hour or 2. Dont bake them on to high of a temp or they may crack, same for boiling
  • #5
Good morning,

Boiling rocks can lead to explosions. Personally I would pour hot water over the rocks, let them cool and place them in the tank.

Some information on rocks below:

  • #6
if it is slate that you are working with, you can boil or bake it. If it is a porous stone boiling is just fine. Baking at high temps runs a risk of cracking of exploding.
Just do not try to chemically treat stones.
  • #7
With any of my tanks, if I find a stone I would like to add it takes a 3-5 day soak in tap water (Dechlor the last day if needed double to triple the dose for your tiny bucket). After the soak it usually gets a hot water rinse either with boiling water poured over it or as hot as my tap will produce for about a 5 min run. After this it gets a few hours to dry and cool. After that, Tank it and enjoy!

I do not boil ANY rock or stone due to the possibility of explosions. Unless you are a geologist and can identify the exact type of rock and can safely say there is no chance that there is something in the unseen area of the rock that would react with heat then its always best to take the safe route.

Slate as mentioned above while yes it is a non porus stone, it can still have air pockets in between the layers of it and possibly have an explosive reaction to the heat and expansion of gasses.
  • #8
Slate is very bad about cracking when its boiled, I know this from experience.

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