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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i was just wondering if i could get rocks from a stream to put in my aquarium and if so how do i clean them to make them safe.
 

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Yup, I boil mine in my turkey deep fryer to get all the junk off, then soak them in 1part bleach to 20 parts water over night, let them air dry, then soak in water with alot of dechlorinator, then air dry again, and finally serve and enjoy.

Have just scrubbed them in the tub also when I was impatient and seemed to work fine, but I dont want to have you introduce anything into your tank by means of my lazy advice.
 

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yes, just be sure you know what kind of rock it is and make sure there are no impurities. I went rock hunting last year and found some nice rocks, when I got home to clean them I found that a couple of them were actually slag from an old foundry. this could've been bad news considering that the presence of metals in aquarium equal major water problems.

as far as cleaning I have found that a warm water solution with equal parts of bleach work well, get a nice stiff brush and go to town. rinse well and enjoy
 

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Baustin12017 said:
i was just wondering if i could get rocks from a stream to put in my aquarium and if so how do i clean them to make them safe.
Put them in a large tub of water and add maybe a cup of bleach. Let it sit for 24 hours. Drain, refill and add a double dose of dechlor. Let it sit for another 24 hours. Drain rinse and let them dry off. Between the dehclor and the drying off, there is no risk of residual chlorine. This will kill off any snail eggs, etc. I introduced snails by only scrubbing creek rocks years ago and still have them in my tanks. See Suitabillity of Rocks in the forum library. Lots of myths out there about what's safe and what's not.
 

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The bleach soak and rinse and dry is the only sure way to get the rocks clean. There are many things that you don't want on your rocks and some of them you can't see. Anywhere you get rocks, they may have something on them. Rocks from the creek may have snails, disease, fungus or any kind of polution from the stream. Oil, gas, sewage? Rocks from the store may have been sprayed by the local bug man as he did the store. Bleach will react with any of these hazards to make them safe. If rocks have oil on them that you don't see and you boil them, what do you have when you are done? Unless you really cook them long enough to reach the boiling point of oil, you wind up with rocks that have been bioled in oil. Not really a big improvement.
 

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I've never had a problem with taking rocks and scrubbing them real good with a brush then boiling them for a while on the stove. After they cool off I put them in the tank.
 

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Kind of like eating without washing our hands, though. We all do it and get away with it most of the time, but is it a good idea? I tell kids to wash their hands but when I'm working, I often don't. But then a week later I may have problems and never know where I got the bug. I hate to start a tank and not feel I have done all I should to prevent future problems. If I'm going to all the trouble to collect, wash, scrub, and rinse rock, adding a half cup of bleach seems pretty easy.
 

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One to ten would be very strong to me. I go more for a cup of bleach in ten GALLON of water. My only reason for not going that strong would be just extra bleach used and that would be strong enough to make problems for any clothes you might splash it on. My wife and I share the jug and I rarely easure as it is not a fixed formula. If the rocks were really full of organics there would be need for more bleach so there is no real way to tell. If it still smells like bleach the next morning before rinsing, you had enough.
 

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Maybe a word of warning is needed here. I have been around bleach so much that I sometimes think of it as just another liquid but it does require some caution. If you've done laundry with liquid bleach you've learned not to pour it directly on the clothes. If you haven't done the laundry, take my word for it. Straight bleach will eat your clothes! Even diluted like we use it deserves some respect. Don't splash it around and get it in your eyes or on your clothes. It won't hurt your skin unless you are really sensitive but it will make a torn cuticle set up and whine, so just go careful with it. Like fire, it can be real handy but take some care that it doesn't get out of control.
 

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I don't use a lot of bleach either, but never measure it out. It shouldn't take much. Look how little chlorine is used to disinfect tap water. I just pour some in, a few 'glugs' or so. How much is that? :)

I second the cautions when using it. Keep kids and pets away.
 

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You folks who are lucky enough to have your mother around might want to ask her how she decided how much bleach to use. I'm betting she never measured it either as it is much the same situation. If we knew precisely how much cleaning the bleach needed to do, we might measure it. But like your mother, we don't know just how much dirt, etc. there is to clean so a "guestimate" is good enough. Better to err on the side of too much than too little but no need to really measure it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
i did scrub soak in bleach soaqk in declorinater and scrub agian and then aquarium but now on one of the rockss there is a line of bubles coming of it is this bad should i take it out
 

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No problem. There is often air trapped in rocks. There may also be a small pocket of some type of mineral that is reacting with the water but most likely not a problem. If it was not fizzing in the water you soaked in it is almost certain to be small air bubbles and has probably quit by now.
 

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if the Rocks came from the Shop. do i need to bleach and boil them? all i can see is dust only so ill soak and brush it all the way. is it enough?
 

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There are folks who take the risk but I like to go with making it as safe as I can so that if I later have problems, I can know that the rocks are not the cause. Most rocks are safe. Some may have things on them we can't see. Oil or pesticide are two things that might be on a rock from anywhere. Boiling a rock with oil on it will not remove the oil unless you get it hot enough to boil off the oil. Really hard and dangerous to do. Bleach will react with almost any organic substance like oil or pesticide. It also kills snail eggs and most any bacteria, fungus or disease. Bleach is what the government recommends and puts in most water to make it safe to drink. Chlorine is in most water in the USA and we deal with it all the time for our tanks. I put the new items in a pan or tank of water and add 1/2 cup or so of bleach to soak over night or until I'm ready. I take the rocks out and rinse them, then set them out to dry. When they are totally dry, they are safe. I find it much easier and much safer than boiling.
 
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