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Can I Use Pond Stones In My Indoor Tank


firefly

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We have two fan tail gold fish in a 29 gallon tank. They are rather large (10" and 6") from nose to tip of fan tail. Our larger fish is as "stoner". He loves to look through the stones for food and has gotten a stone stuck in his mouth one too many times. We currently have the largest tank stones that were available at the local pet store. We plan to visit another pet shop today to see if they have anything larger. I want to remove the stones from the bottom and replace them with something larger that my fish cannot get stuck in his mouth and have been considering pond stones but do not know if that will be dangerous for the fish. I also know we can go bare bottom, but that just seems like it would be impossible to keep clean. I know that I can get some great suggestions here.

Thanks.

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Here's a good article written by Sean O'Brien. This should help you! ;)

The first thing you'll need to do is pour a small amount of vinegar onto the stone. If you see any type of fizzing then you know that this type of rock will affect the pH of the water. More accurately it will affect the hardness of the water, but that in turn will affect the pH of the water by adding more buffering capacity to the water. This will generally lead to a higher pH.

Next you will need to let the stones soak in a pot or bucket of water for several days to how they affect the water. You'll need a test kit or if your local shop does water testing you can ask them to test it for you. First fill up a tupperware dish of tap water and have it tested for the following things: pH, hardness, Phosphates, Nitrates. Make a note of the results as you will need them later to compare against. Now take each type of rock that you want to use and put it in a pot or bucket of water. Put in enough water to completely cover the rocks. Cover the container and let the rocks sit for several days. After the rocks have soaked you will want to take a look at the water. Is it discolored at all? Some stones will leech out compounds that will color your water. This is not necessarily a bad thing as activated carbon will remove most of the color in your tank. Take a 1 cup sample of water from each container and have it tested for everything that you had tested before. If the results are different then the type of stone you are testing could be bad for your tank. The most important ones are pH which will affect your fish, and Phosphates and Nitrates which will encourage algae growth.

If you determine that the rocks are OK for your tank then you will want to do the following to prepare them for your tank. First wash them off in warm water, using a scrub brush to scrub off all loose dirt and debris. Once all of the rocks are washed put them in a five gallon bucket and fill the bucket with water. Add two cups of bleach to it and allow the rocks to sit in this solution for two days. After the two days pass, empty out the water and rinse all the rocks thoroughly with warm water. If the rocks are porous, such as limestone or sandstone, then let them soak in a bucket of tap water for two more days. Once the stones are thoroughly rinsed let them sit and air dry. When they are completely dry they are ready for your tank.

You are now ready to put your stones in the tank. When adding them to your tank remember to be careful and not bang them on the sides or bottom of the tank. The sides of your tank can be easily scratched by rocks and you don't want to crack the bottom of the tank by dropping a large stone on it. Try to place the rocks directly on the glass bottom so that there is no gravel under them. Many types of fish will dig in the gravel and this can dislodge your larger stones and possibly trap a fish or damage your tank. If you are stacking stones on top of each other try to make sure that the bottom stone has a large surface area resting on the bottom of the tank to spread out the weight. If it is resting on one small point then the entire weight of the rock pile is focused on this point and it may be more than the tank can handle. Also be sure to support the stones so that they don't topple over.

You may want to attach the stones to the sides of tank or to each other. This can be done using several methods. If the stones are soft then you can use a masonry drill bit to drill small holes through them and attach them to each other using wooden doweling or other supports. There are also several underwater epoxy's that you can use to affix the stones to each other. But the most popular way to do this is using clear aquarium silicon. Make sure that you only purchase pure silicon made for aquariums. Many silicon caulks add an anti-mold agent which is toxic to your fish. You will need to silicon the stones together before putting them in the tank. Using the silicon place a medium sized bead of silicon where you want the two stones to connect. Place the two stones together and make sure that they are supported in the position you want while the silicon sets. You can continue doing this with the rest of your stones until you have the shape that you want. Allow the silicon to set and cure. This is generally between 24 and 48 hours. Remember that stones take up a lot of volume and that you'll need to siphon some water out of the tank before you put them in or you can overflow your tank.

You are now ready to put your new creation into the tank!

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:goodpost:

We go barebottom because it's so easy to keep clean. The bottom stays spotless and there is no poo collecting between the rocks. The filters suck up the poo that falls to the bottom so there's no need to worry :D The pond stones would be a great idea though. Blacktele's post is great for getting started.

I can't wait to see pictures :)

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I like the look of gravel, but when I upgraded my tank I thought it was the perfect time to try bare bottom, :fbottom: and I love it! SOOOOOOOO much easier to keep clean. I added some aquarium rocks and that has helped to give the tank some depth. My rocks are red white and black so it also added a bit of colour!

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