Added Rocks to 40 Gallon Planted Tank. Finished adding the granite to my 40 Gallon Breeder planted tank, and here's the results! I created a cave in the back-left for my future shrimp to hide in. The filter intake is right behind that, so I'm hoping it will help keep things clean in that corner.
Here's my process for finding cleaning, and placing the rocks:
1. Found rocks along the Haw River in Burlington, NC.
2. Used the "Vinegar" method to test the rocks. This involves using an eye-dropper to place some white vinegar on the rock, and observing the results. If it "fizzes" and bubbles, it means that the rock isn't safe for your tank, because the acid in the vinegar is reacting to something in the rock. Muriatic Acid is better to test this with, but I didn't have any.
3. Took the rocks home, photographed them, and then posted those photos online to help identify what types of rocks they were. Unanimous consensus is that they are granite of some kind.
4. Places rocks in 5-gallon buckets and poured boiling water over them until they were covered. Did this two nights in a row.
5. Placed rocks in a single bucket and filled it with water. Placed water-only in another bucket, and let both buckets sit out over night. Did water tests on both to see if the rocks were effecting the water. Nope! No change, besides slightly harder water, which most rocks will cause. This is actually good for my tank, because my water is pretty soft.
6. Poured two gallons of bleach into rock bucket and left to sit overnight.
7. Poured out bleach, scrubbed rocks, and then filled bucket with water and dechlorinator. Left bucket to sit out overnight.
8. Emptied bucket and then spent hours positioning rocks until I figured out how I wanted them in the tank. I used a hot glue gun to connect the rocks, only to discover that it wasn't strong enough when I went to move the rocks into the tank. Since most of the rocks are fairly sturdy, I opted not to use glue and let the substrate help support them.
9. Placed rocks in tank and then moved around the plants.
Tags: Added Rocks to 40 Gallon Planted Tank, 40 gallon, aquarium, planted tank, fish tank, aquatics, granite, rocks, stones, blacopa, corkscrew val, vallisneria, hardscape, mystery snail, apple snail, driftwood