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Stones for the aquarium: where to find, how to process and use

Few people like to watch the fish in an empty aquarium, so many aquarists are beginning to think about creating an unusual interior for their pets. Usually for decoration using plants or stones for the aquarium.

However, it should be understood that not every pebble is suitable for an ecosystem, and some of them can even ruin all living things.

Plants or stones are commonly used to decorate an aquarium.

The easiest way is to simply buy the right amount of stones at the pet store. In this case, there is practically no risk of obtaining an inappropriate or toxic breed. But since the store pebbles are pre-processed and prepared, their cost can hit hard.

Therefore, many aquarists are trying to find pebbles on their own.

Options, where to get stones for an aquarium, a lot (for example, a stone courtyard, just outside or in the forest), but you need to follow some rules. First of all, you need to know exactly which pebble for the aquarium will definitely fit and where you can find it.

If there is a “wrong” stone in the water, the result can be catastrophic, so before diving you will have to perform several tests.

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The obvious advantage in the independent search for stones is a significant saving of money. But there are risks.

The biggest danger of choosing the wrong breed is that it can greatly change the parameters of the aquarium water. Most often, it changes its pH and hardness..

These parameters are of great importance for aquarists who are trying to maintain a constant pH level in the water, as it is important when growing underwater plants and for the well-being of specific fish species.

It is important to ensure that the rocks that will be in the tank do not contain metals.

You also need to pay attention to the fact that on some stones there may be a lot of microbes and bacteria. In order to avoid their reproduction, it is not recommended to take stones from polluted areas, streams and ponds.

It is also important to ensure that the rocks that will be in the aquarium do not contain metals. Otherwise, the latter will begin to rust under water, which will greatly affect the health of the fish.

In this way, when searching for aquarium stones should be avoided:

  • incomprehensible breeds;
  • rivers and reservoirs;
  • polluted areas;
  • the presence of metal components.

Ensure the safety of the breed will help a special test, which can be bought at any pet store and held immediately in place to dispel the last doubts.

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It may seem that the choice is very limited, but in nature there are many rocks that are completely safe for aquarium fish and plants. These breeds can be easily found almost anywhere on the planet. What stones can be used for an aquarium:

  • granite;
  • frozen magma;
  • petrified wood;
  • quartz;
  • slate;
  • slate.

Among these rocks, there is a tendency to increase the pH and water hardness. But it is normal and often insignificant.

Experienced aquarists do not recommend the use of carbonates. They can increase water hardness and pH, thereby affecting the overall condition of the fish tank.

Although they are not harmful in all cases, it may be difficult for a newcomer to identify possible risks. Most often among carbonate rocks can be found:

  • alabaster;
  • coral;
  • crushed shells;
  • dolomite;
  • limestone;
  • many types of sandstone;
  • marble.

The easiest way to check the safety of a rock is to apply a few drops of white vinegar to the surface. If the liquid starts to sizzle and bubble, the rock is likely to contain carbonate.

Vinegar can be replaced with hydrochloric acid to improve the accuracy of the test.

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After pebbles are selected and tested, the next task is to prepare them. Of course, the first thing they need to clean.

This is done with a hard brush under running water. When cleaning, only water and a brush are used, since even a small residue of household chemicals can affect the balance of water in an aquarium.

Simple mechanical cleaning is not enough to put stones in water. In order to precisely get rid of bacteria and chemical residues, heat treatment is required. Boiling will kill any bacteria that may still be inside or on the surface of the stone.

You can also use special store tools.

At this stage, you will need a regular deep pan and running water. It is important that all stones are completely submerged. You should not make additional additives, since they still can not cope better than the high temperature.

To achieve the greatest effect, it is better to boil water over medium heat for 20-30 minutes.

After that, the stones for the aquarium should be carefully removed and left to dry on a paper towel. After prolonged heating, they will keep warm for a long time, so they need at least an hour to cool down.

After cooling, the stones can be immersed in an aquarium.

And although boiling is a universal remedy, it is unsuitable for porous rocks. As the temperature increases, they will begin to crumble and break as soon as the water begins to boil.

Therefore, only shop supplies are usually used to disinfect porous rocks.

Apply heat treatment to disinfect stones

In cases where heat treatment is not possible for any reason, you can ask for help to special solutions. And although their effectiveness is slightly lower than boiling, they are able to cope with most harmful bacteria.

In order to effectively clean the pebbles, you need a roomy and durable container. Volume is important because the solution must completely cover the stones.

Each product has its own prescriptions for use, so for successful cleaning you just need to follow the instructions on the package. After the stones have been left in the solution for a day, they will need to be carefully removed and rinsed thoroughly under running water.

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