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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I was wondering if using clam shells from local water sources is safe as long as i boil them before introducing them to a tank?

also is there any diseases i should worry about when doing this?

now for rocks

what are the types to avoid other than shale or sediments that are brittle and sharp?
specifically other than fools gold (heard it was because it has sulfur in it)
which rocks are poisonous?
 

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Very few rocks are poisonous in themselves. Rather than boiling, many people find soaking in a bleach/water mix overnight is more thorough. If there happens to be oil on things, the boiling has to reach the point where the oil boils off to remove it. Not very easy or safe to do for most of us. Using 1/2 cup or so of bleach in ten gallons of water, soak overnight , rinse and let dry totally and things are sterilized and safe to use. The chlorine in bleach is what many water supplies use to kill bacteria. The air drying lets the chlorine dissipate into the air.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
wouldnt vinager be a safer choice than bleach?; since its acid it kills bacteria also
and i dont believe residual would be harmful in a tank as long as you do a water change no more than a day later
 

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I don't ever go as far as using chemicals of any sort to clean rock I collect, but if you choose to go that route, I would use the bleach, let them air dry, and if you're still worried, soak them in a bucket of water with extra de-chlor in it.
 

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Actually vinegar has bacteria in it as part of the process. It will kill some bacteria and some fungus but if you store an open jar of pickles very long, they spoil due to the bacteria. Not strong enough to make me feel it does the job. In water treatment they teach that some things form hard shells when they dry. These require something to react with the hard shell to penetrate and kill what is inside. I think of these as something like snails or clams in miniature. You have to work at it to get to them.
The worries about bleach are largely overblown. Chlorine is normally a gas. It has to be coaxed into staying in solution in the bottle till we use it. Think of when you take a drink and get that strong smell? You are not sniffing the water up your nose. It is the chlorine coming out of the water and blowing away. If you work with chlorine in tablet form like pools or water treatment, one of the first things you learn is to keep the pellet container closed or it will let the chlorine out and it rusts anything metal it gets to. To get rid of chlorine, all we have to do is let it get out into the air. The rinsing helps dilute the amount of chlorine and speed the process but the air drying is all that is really needed. The chemicals in bleach are what is in many water supplies already and we deal with it without much problem. When they started using chloramine for water, we had to start using Prime, etc, to get it out. Before that, we could just let it blow away.
 
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