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Slate usage..

This is a discussion on Slate usage.. within the Axolotl tank set-ups, filters, substrate forums, part of the Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) category; Hi! I really wanted to use slate in my tank but all the slate I can find seem to have ...

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Old 13th May 2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default Slate usage..

Hi!

I really wanted to use slate in my tank but all the slate I can find seem to have really jagged and sharp edges!

Anyone else find this?

Cheers, Mike.



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Old 13th May 2009   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slate usage..

yeah - I used slate in my first axy tanks.

Not knowing any better (my ignorance was/is truely scary) I just rinsed it and put it in there.

I never had any major injuries. HOWEVER - I still use the same pieces of slate, they are just as sharp now as they were then but now I also use sand and the edges are mostly buried.

IF I were to go back to a barebottomed tank I think I would use my dremel tool on the worst edges to buff them down.



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Old 13th May 2009   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slate usage..

Hi Sharon!

Thats a good idea. I'm using a bare bottomed tank and just can't seem to pinpoint the best type of rock to use as features!!!

Cheers, Mike.



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Old 13th May 2009   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slate usage..

Hey again Mike! I used black slate and pink & blue quartz crystal rock - the crystal had been rough tumbled, so no sharp edges. VERY cool looking.



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Old 13th May 2009   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slate usage..

Hi Sharon!

I bet that cost the earth, though?



Cheers, Mike.



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Old 13th May 2009   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slate usage..

No man, no way!! I'm the queen of doing things the cheapest way possible!! I think I paid like $2 a lb for the quartz.

I didn't get it from this place - but I was thinking of ordering some more... http://store.seacorals.net/aqgrroquicer.html

In a fast search I found this in the UK...
http://store.seacorals.net/aqgrroquicer.html

I was going to a price conversion, weight conversion but nah! LOL you look it over and tell me if its reasonable?



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Old 23rd May 2009   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slate usage..

Hey Mike

Sharon's absolutely right, with slate, you will want to buff the sharp edges.

Alternately, if you want a big tank centre piece, you could do what I did and buy a big piece of driftwood - it looks really gnarly and natural in the tank and provides Petrie with somewhere to hide behind - and it was really cheap, cost me around 4 for a piece that is around 1 ft x 1 ft.

All I had to do was just leave it soaking in a bucket of water for a couple of weeks to get the lechins out and then used a bit of coarse sandpaper to smooth any sharp edges - because it's soft wood, it took about two minutes to do

Zoe x



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Old 23rd May 2009   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slate usage..

Hi Mike!!!

I made some slate caves, they look nice, and yes they had sharp edges... what I did to smooth them... I sat for a long long time and took away those edges rubbing the slate against the concrete.. it was a hard and boring job, but my little ones seems so happy with their caves, it totally woth it!!



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Old 23rd May 2009   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slate usage..

The secret to dealing with sharp edges on slate is very simple.

Go for the 8 inch bastard cut, mill style file, American pattern.

http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNSRIT...MT4NO=64250162

You can buy these at any DIY store, I just give the MSC link for reference. You will need to clean the file with a stiff brush and water every so often. This size works best for stone. Anything coarser, or finer, either chips edges, or requires too much work.

Soak the file in vegetable oil outside in direct sunlight for a few days. This will help keep it from rusting up.
Soak the slate in water for a few days, it will soften up a bit, then grind away to your hearts content.

A Dremel tool works great for this too. Use the Blue or Black grinding stones.

Just make sure you wear safety glasses, or even better, a face shield. Trust me when I tell you, they are never able to get all the sharp fragments out of your face at the hospital...



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Old 26th May 2009   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slate usage..

Hi!

Thanks for all the advice. I've had my filter running about 3 weeks in my tank now with live plants and the occasional fish flake....

...but I've done no tests yet...

Stupid, I know, but if I get some reads and post them here, could you help?

Ron is still in quarantine with daily water changes!

Mike.



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Old 26th May 2009   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slate usage..

Not to take over this thread but where is everyone finding good pieces of slate?



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Old 8th June 2009   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slate usage..

Hey Mike

If you still need your reads checking, post them - I did the same whilst I was cycling my tank and I found loads of people happy to analyse my water parameters - ideally, you want a zero reading on ammonia and nitrite, a PH of around 7.5 and nitrates of around 60 or lower.

Kenya - I've found that most large garden centres have aquarium sections where they sell slate, big stones, drfitwood, etc.

Zoe x



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