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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi DB,

On a recent trip to Uruguay, I picked up a nice rock at a rock stall. The rock is four different types of crystals fused together (quartz, mica, black tourmaline, and granite). Are any of these rocks/crystals unsuitable for a dart frog viv? If they aren't, what types of rocks are OK to use in a dart frog viv?
 

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From what I understand a lot of substrate and water used in a vivarium can get pretty acidic. This may dissolve some of the minerals. Though you do need a stronger acid to check you can always do a fizz test by scratching the individual minerals to get a small amount of powder. Sometimes it can be done with just vinegar, but I'm sure you can find better alternatives from mineral websites and forums.

As for the individual minerals quartz is pretty stable and shouldn't be an issue. Granite (quartz, feldspar, and mica composition) is also a great mineral as it is quite hard and is not susceptible to being dissolved by weaker acids. Mica usually passes the fizz test and can be relatively stable as long as it is not flaking off or producing dust. The dust can cause respiration problems and the shards can cut a frogs delicate skin so be careful. For black tourmaline, another glass mineral, it should consist of mostly iron and sodium for its structure and shouldn't leach any heavy metals. Some tourmaline has stable chromium in it, but these tend to be on the green side.

Either way I suggest checking with a mineral forum. In the meantime you can always experiment by setting up a small aquarium and using the rocks with fish, snails, and shrimp in an environment with a pH of 5.5-7. I suggest endler's guppies, ramhorn snails, and cherry shrimp. It will give you a wide range of tolerance levels for organisms while creating an environment that would increase any leaching and water chemistry changing due to the minerals dissolving. As an example, if for some reason your rock leaches copper (which is highly unlikely with this piece) it should harm the snails and shrimp first. Should the aquatic organisms do well you can always add them to your water features in your vivariums once you are done checking on the rocks.
 

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Those are all quartz/silicate based minerals and rocks, you'll be fine. If they were CaC03 based you'd have an issue with acidity eating at them, but not a large one. Don't sweat it, but as epiphytes said, shame to cover a rock/mineral specimen that nice with algae, lol. Nice specimen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the replies! I'll probably end up doing the fizz test anyways, and may end up using the rock as a centerpiece in a nano aquarium or viv rather than in a larger viv, or I might just end up not using it.
 

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That's a nice rock :eek: I wouldn't put it in a viv at all lol
Black tourmaline is one of my favorite stones.
I'd be putting it on a shelf to admire lol
 
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