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River Rocks


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  • Regular Member

Hi everyone.. I just purchased a 55 gallon tank for my two shubunkins and I have river rocks to use for the bottom. One of my shubunkins has already gotten to the point of spitting out gravel so I wanted to stray away from that.. but what's the best way to clean these? I purchased them from Home Depot, they were rinsed and have been in the tank with the filter running for nearly two weeks now but I'm still a bit shady on if I want to place my fish in this tank, for some reason I feel these rocks still aren't clean enough!

Any help is greatly appreciated! :)

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  • Regular Member

I would boil them before putting them in your tank. Kills pretty much anything that might be living on them. You could also soak them in bleach if that's easier and then let them sit in dechlorinated water for several days.

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Personally, I would probably not worry about it too much. You have had them in a tank running for 2 weeks. IF there were actually something there, the filter, filter media, all the tubes, hoses, airhoses, pumps, deco and tank glass and sealant would all be compromised, also.... not just the rocks. If you really feel that there is something wrong - the entire tank should be nuked.

In all reality, though, there are very few things that are insidious enough to make it through to a tank. The river rocks from Home Despot are usually commecially tumbled black rock - rarely having ever seen a river. The chances of them carrying any pathogens or parasites to your fish are very very slim. Believe it or not, the vectors of air, time and even water are not that good for conducting disease.

Most fish in ponds have far more inclusions into their pond water and most fish do splendidly.

Change out your water, get the tank up and running (fishless cycle?) and all should be good. :)

Boiling is, however, the recommended method to sterlize rocks. Rocks are, by and large, quite porous. If soaked in bleach, it is very difficult to ensure that you have removed or deactivated all the bleach. Potassium permanganate is the next best choice, for any missed will not harm the fish in the amounts left behind.

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Mom needs to chill out ( ;) ) If the worst you are up to is boiling a few rocks in her favorite soup pot, you are really a WONDERFUL kid...... I can think up sooooooo many far worse concerns she does NOT have.

:yeah:

My kids would not have made it to adulthood if I had freaked out over every "learning experience" we encountered. "Don't sweat the small stuff - and it is all small stuff" is a good motto to have. :)

If the rocks were actually "dirty", the dirt and mud will have loosened and washed off in the tank in the past week or so. Swish 'em around in there, and change out your water and all should be good. :)

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Hehe I know, right? Even a friend of mine said.. "next time your parents complain about your goldfish and frogs, tell 'em at least you're not out at the bar every night!"

Thank you soo much! I'm so excited now. :D

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By the way, I used the H@me Depot Rocks myself! I rinsed them in a huge bucket outside with the hose until all the grit & whatever was all washed out. Then I poured hot boiling water over it & rinsed it out again. I have had no problems. I really like the look of the natural stones & pebbles! AND it was MUCH cheaper than "pet store gravel" & alot prettier!!

I also have some big river rocks that my son collected for me. When I got them I scrubbed them real good then boiled them & they have worked fine too! I have an all metal "soup pot" & it has been used a time or two like this with no ill effects!

Edited by Jeana727
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I actually heard on here that someone used river rocks from Home Depot and that's where I got the idea! I'm glad it worked well for you Jeana, I'm excited! My 55 gallon will be ready soon.. thank you all for your help! :)

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