There was a question about finding and cleaning Texas Holey Rock here is what I found:
Apparently you can just go pick up some holey rock off the ground in the hill country area of Texas.. of course the rocks aren't bone white like you see the high dollar pieces going for.I would say the down side would be getting bite by that nature flipping over rocks looking for that perfect piece. Rattlesnakes, scorpions, and other things besides fish really like holey rock for homes also. But, it is cool to find that perfect piece, unique in every way.Try going to a rock yard instead of a fish store for the rock. I've bought holey rock (honeycomb limestone) at garden nursuries before for 20 cents a pound, but it was uncleaned, just regular dirty rocks with holes in them.Central Texas (Killeen) San Antonio there is an abundance of holy rock.Getting the rock itself is pretty simple. In most cases you just need to ask the land owner if they would mind if you scouted their land for interesting rocks for your personal landscaping needs. In most they will have no problem with you doing so; provided you're not out there digging up and leaving giant holes.
Here Is some info on location of Holey rock:
Houston Geological Society http://www.hgs.org/
10575 Katy Freeway, Suite 290 - Houston, TX 77024 - Phone 713-463-9476
It's only limestone which is just mineral calcite (calcium carbonate) then the other cousin dolomite. I would be laying down some cash money that they use strong white vinegar to bleach it clean. Since acids will desolve calcium carbonate (but vinegar is aquarium safe) but I'd bleach the whole job after. Then soak the whole work in Nov-Aqua or some other de-clor or sun dry it.
I found this on getting them clean and safe for fish tank:
Lots of methods can be used for cleaning. Pressure washing is a great start. That will get them about 90% clean. Then you need to detail them with an assortment of scrub brushes from large to small, wide and narrow. The rocks all have different textures, so you have to use the right bristle texture to get the best cleaning. Some can take a stiff bristle brush, while others take soft brush. Toothbrushes are good tools, but again, you need a variety of sizes to handle each situation. Because the holes are different, you have to find the one that will fit. Child toothbrushes work well in smaller tighter holes. Toothpicks work for tiny holes. A chicken baster will flush a hole full of dirt. A broken stick is good to clear a hole full of dirt/mud. Nothing very hard is used to clear a hole because it can scratch the rock.
These rocks are fragile, especially the ones with lots of holes. So, they must be handled with care because they will crack or brake easily. You canâ€™t just toss it around.
A 5 gallon bucket is handy for soaking most rocks in a bleach solution. For larger rocks a Rubbermaid type plastic box is needed. What happens is the outer lay of the rock becomes soft and flakes off exposing the fresh rock. We have found 4 types of holey rocks of varying coloration from a nearly golden color to almost pearly white. So, even with bleaching, some rocks will never be totally white.
After they bleach soak they need to be cleaned again, to remove the bleach and any new debris. First they are soaked in fresh water for few hours to remove the bleach (fish donâ€™t like bleach too much). The soak is repeated several times, each time with fresh, clean water. Then they get sun dried where they are then tagged, weighed, measured and photographed. With each rock taking a couple of days and requiring 3 â€" 8 hours of labor, if you ever gasped at the prices, now you probably have a clear understanding of why.
I think there is limestone in the ocean. but i dont think it is ocean rock. isnt ocean rock coral or sandstone?I dont know The rock i was talking about is on land(texas Holey Rock).but maybe its the same??? :-?
"It's just Calcium Carbonate" I love that quote. Tx Holey Rock is sold mainly for those that can't get it due to not living in the state. Surely some people can get it unprocessed here and select landscape yards out of state for less then .50 a lb unprocessed. Yes, in Missouri a trucker makes runs a few times a yr delivering 20 Tons of it. Pros and Cons of the poll sure, but I will not elaborate. Simple put, your paying for the time invested in the rock as well as the quality of the rocks, just as a jem stone would have a price tag. The joy isn't in the price tag, it's the emails I get from people being very pleased that the fish are HAPPY.
I was hunting for Tx Holey Rocks this weekend and took the time to elaborate on the topic. Please click the "WWW" button and see the excellent narration on 10 video hunts I have compiled. It's in the Recent News "Video!, Come Along on a Hunt". The hunt is as close as those that live out of state you will get to know how they are in nature. From that extraction I have currently 100+ LBS now in stage 6 of the process.
I don't think I have ever done this before. So, let me just write what I do to process these. Step 1. Locate a SITE for hunting. Time:? Just a short 2 months and you wonder why they are priced the way they are. They are not just any old place. Got lost hunting twice as well as trying to locate where the car was. Step 2. Actually finding them and placing them in a pile to be extracted. Step 3. Extracting them from the greenbelt. Step 4. loading them in the vehicle and unloading them. Step 5. Pressure wash them. Step 6. Bleaching process. Step 7. drain bleach, fill with fresh water __ amount of times. Step 8. pressure wash Step 9. soak in bucket of water and detail the rocks. Using an assortment of brushes, toothepicks, turkey basters, tweezers, needles, etc.... Clean them a final time. Each rock must go through this step and the longest one has taken up to 22 days ( working on and off ). Some have roots that literally have to be drilled out. Step 10 air dry for however long it takes. This depends on how many consecutive days mother nature will cooperate. Probably 3-10 days. Step 11. Mylar tag assign the rock a number. Step 12. Photograph in studio 15- 30 minutes each rock. Several photo's must be taken of viewing for people to see. Step 13. Video 5- 10 minutes each rock for set up time. Up to 10 minutes of filming, reviewing and editing. Step 14. tag, measure, weigh and assign to shelf. Step 15. Enter in info on spreadsheet for compiled data. Step 16. Remove chip in digital camera and load in computer. Edit photo's in a batch. 20 minutes perhaps depending on what happened. Make hard copy, Backup, Zip compress and send file w/ pictures and spreadsheet to my web administrator. Step 17. Extract Video and review choosing one or 2 to use. Load on YouTube web site, Choice is my web administrator what to use. Step 18 is purchase is made, I have to confirm w/ web admin. Get waybil ( Packing slip) filled out, pull a photo from hard copy. Get the rock from the shelf, inspect it, confirm it's the right rock, box it. Step 19 load in vehicle and take to DHL where it probably is 10 minutes to ship it. Step 20 is if I remember by this time I try and let my customer have the tracking # and where to go on the web to track.
I can tell you it's probably one of the most rewarding moments when an email comes to me and says " I absolutely love these rocks, but what is even more special is that my Mbuna's love them more ". That my friends is why I do it. It's not about making the most money or trying to get rich over night. It's a business and it's not as glamorous as one thinks. These rocks take several hours to process.
If I may pick some peoples brains: what did you imagine hunting Tx Holey Rocks would be like?
Backbreaking dirty and hot work. Got to be careful of snakes, chiggers, ticks, and all kinds of critters chasing you and bitting you. Then climbing through riverbeds to look for rocks, then dig them up, bust them up if needed, and then drag them somewhere where they can be picked up more easily. Otherwise you got to carry them for several yards just to get somehwere a wheel barrow can get. Then if your lucky, your in area a 3-wheeler gcould get to and then use that. But...if not your humping it! Oh, and I forgot about the most pain in the arse one, thron bushes, mesquite bushes, and lots and lots of cactus, poking you and pissing you off!
I organize a dig on my Family's land in Burnet,TX. I try to organize a trip once or twice a year.
You can view pics and read about my most recent dig in the Houstonfishbox.com Look for Holey Rock Dig in the Houston Petrochromis and Tropheus Club section.
Then after all the rocks are collected, you gotta go and clean em' up! And that aint easy...
It is a total blast, and lot's of fun, but it is really hard work.
I got some texas holey rock. It's been powerwashed, scrubbed, soaked in a mild bleach solution for a week (2 cups bleach to 3-4 gal. water), then soaked for a week in water treated with Seachem Prime and a few cups of fishwater. The rocks look like the slightly dirty rocks shown in the picture above (they're discolored, but nothings coming off of them anymore, they're just not bleach white).
What I want to know is, how clean do they have to be to put them in the tank?
It's too cold to clean or keep them outside and they won't be able to sit in the sun anytime soon.