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Mcblender
07-10-2007, 04:42 PM
Can i use just normal round smooth rocks from the ground , they are outside of my house ?

If i boil them will it work or should i go get some from the river thats 40 mins away ?

DogWalker
07-10-2007, 06:02 PM
Most found rocks are ok for an african rift lake cichlid tank as they are either neutral or will help buffer the PH to keep it up, providing you thoroughly clean them and sterilize them (eg: by boiling). For a tank requiring softer water you want to check for soluble minerals by doing a 'fizz test'. If vinegar or (say) diluted muriatic acid fizzes when poured on the rock it is not suitable for a tank requiring soft acidic water, but it may be great for a tank requiring hard alkaline water.

You want to be wary of excessive metallic content (rust patches, or even more important, shiny gold coloured crystals) as these could be trouble. You also want to avoid oil-shale or anything that smacks of fossil fuel content (whether naturally occuring or introduced by humans).