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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So anyone know if fossils are aquarium safe? Do you have any in an aquarium I tried to google it and got mixed reports.

I have some fossils of leaves and such I found a few years ago and would love to put some in my tanks. These are in sedimentary rock not limestone as many sea fossils are, and were found 20 feet from a river in a rock slide.

Is there any easy way to test them before putting them in to a tank? I know I could just try sticking the fossils in with some 19 cent rosy reds but I'd rather not kill any fish needlessly
 

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I have a fossil in 1 of my tanks.
It just a leaf in a rock, it was in my dad's tank many years ago, & I thought I'd use it too.
It's actually my healthiest tank to date.
 

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Just to clear up any misconceptions:

1. Limestone is a sedimentary rock. :D
2. A leaf fossil is not the leaf at all, but an imprint of the leaf. So if this is in a sandstone, then the fossil would just be no different than a footprint in sandstone.

You can test if it's aquarium safe as far as pH goes by putting a bit or warm vinegar on the fossil. If it fizzes than there are carbonates in it. At that point it depends on type of environment you are keeping (ie, is it for African cichlids or Discus). If it's Africans, it's obviously safe. If you are keeping Central American cichlids, it's also probably safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the help...the vinegar seemed to do nothing so I guess I'm going to have to just try a piece in with my rosy reds...

Here's hopping I don’t kill them as I've already told my nephew that he could have them when he get's out of school for the year. And I'd rather not have to replace them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have about 10 pices rangering in size from the size of a pack of gum to about the size of a dinner plate and and inch thick.

I'd love to totaly do out my 10gal with them but I might wait till I set one of my 30gal up and let them soke to leach anything out before I but fish in.
 

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There are six ways that organisms can turn into fossils, including:
unaltered preservation (like insects or plant parts trapped in amber, a hardened form of tree sap)
permineralization=petrification (in which rock-like minerals seep in slowly and replace the original organic tissues with silica, calcite or pyrite, forming a rock-like fossil - can preserve hard and soft parts - most bone and wood fossils are permineralized)
replacement (An organism's hard parts dissolve and are replaced by other minerals, like calcite, silica, pyrite, or iron)
carbonization=coalification (in which only the carbon remains in the specimen - other elements, like hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen are removed)
recrystalization (hard parts either revert to more stable minerals or small crystals turn into larger crystals)
authigenic preservation (molds and casts of organisms that have been destroyed or dissolved).

taken from http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/dinosaurs/dinofossils/Fossilhow.html

Safe...
 

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The vinegar test is just myth. You'd have to use a much stronger acid to actually see things fizz. The best way to test is to set the rock in water in a clean glass container for a couple of weeks. Test PH before and after. Most people in the lower mainland buffer their water a bit with crushed coral in the filter media or gravel, so a moderate increase in PH is not really a bad thing. There are rocks like Tufa, or lace rock that will increase the PH quickly and significantly. Most rocks, however have only a very minor effect. Avoid anything with mineral streaks (like red or green rust)

Your fossils are most likely slate or sandstone and will not cause problems.
 

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The vinegar test is just myth. You'd have to use a much stronger acid to actually see things fizz.
Pulverize limestone and pour vinegar on it. I guarantee you it will fizz. They taught us this in geology 101. Once again, don't believe everything you read on the internet (including what I say - unless you happen to know the person is a geologist).
 

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So anyone know if fossils are aquarium safe? Do you have any in an aquarium I tried to google it and got mixed reports.

I have some fossils of leaves and such I found a few years ago and would love to put some in my tanks. These are in sedimentary rock not limestone as many sea fossils are, and were found 20 feet from a river in a rock slide.

Is there any easy way to test them before putting them in to a tank? I know I could just try sticking the fossils in with some 19 cent rosy reds but I'd rather not kill any fish needlessly
The quickest, probably the safest would be to go get some epoxy and give them a coat or two.
 
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