Jump to content

Are these aquarium safe slate?


Recommended Posts

I was in the search for slate to create my own pleco caves, “recently became the proud owner of a group of L046 zebra plecos and trying my best to make them feel most comfortable. I was reading online that slate was the best material used to make caves and having prior experience in carpentry and flooring I could easily cut a few pieces of slate tile and make some caves. I checked out my local Home Depot and searched every piece of tile available and I found one that’s said to be 100% natural stone and it was slate rock so I purchased two pieces. I also noticed the back end was gouged and indented to make the hold while flooring better, but it was also coated or cooked it looks like a terocotta pot type of back. Would anyone have any idea if this is still safe for the aquarium or I’ll have to keep trying to source the correct piece. 

274122AA-3A15-47E7-B78D-807612FBFE63.jpeg

AB0B98AB-C180-4724-B3C3-ED3C908FF264.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/20/2021 at 7:18 AM, ARMYVET said:

Id be concerned with the glue on the back and the glazing.  I am not positive but pretty sure that is not true slate and that is a glazed tile.

I agree. That's more a "slate look" tile than a real slate tile. A real slate tile is slate from top to bottom, front to back and side to side. What you've got looks to be more of a glazed porcelain or ceramic tile. If you go to Home Depot and search for slate tiles you can find some natural slate tiles that are around $3.49 per sq ft. Just make sure they're natural slate tiles and not "slate" looking tiles. Real slate tiles will be all slate from every side, angle and position.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you can, find a local quarry that sells to the public. You can generally find offcuts or broken pieces from them at screaming cheap prices. If you get measurements of what you want to build, for an extra fee they will cut everything on site for you too. I went this route when I bred the Rubberlips. Think I spent $40-50 for a 5 gallon bucket full of 1/2" slate that included 60+ pieces cut for me and the scraps. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would anyone know if marble slabs are safe? Or any other type of tile? The I think I found the right one at my local Lowe’s, this one says natural slate tile. I can see the layers of rock in the cut. And one piece I grabbed literally broke apart and I see some red rust and possibly mixed minerals. Is this the right slate? Also found some nice granite would those be aquarium safe as well? 

image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/21/2021 at 4:26 PM, Flyin Jawaiian said:

Would anyone know if marble slabs are safe? Or any other type of tile? The I think I found the right one at my local Lowe’s, this one says natural slate tile. I can see the layers of rock in the cut. And one piece I grabbed literally broke apart and I see some red rust and possibly mixed minerals. Is this the right slate? Also found some nice granite would those be aquarium safe as well? 

image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

Marble is probably safe, although it could theoretically slowly dissolve in very acidic water. Real world, it’s fine.  That slate looks like real slate.  That’s exactly how slate breaks.  Most granite is going to be safe also, but there’s “manufactured” and “stabilized” granite out there, so be careful of those.

Usually you’ll find a much better price by working with a stone yard to get pieces than by buying already shaped tile, unless you want those cut edges vs natural edges.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The slate breaking like that is perfect for aquarists. You can even occasionally find a fossil in between the layers. I've bought slate pavers before and then split them down for thickness and broke them up to get irregular edges. Slate's a pretty soft and layered stone that lets you manipulate it in all kinds of fun ways. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/22/2021 at 9:57 AM, Manny said:

I’ve purchased slate from a local landscaping yard for fairly cheap. You get a large quantity, though cleanup is a bit more work. And like @gardenman stated, you can customize the shapes with some sandpaper or a Dremel. 

Or just a hammer and metal putty knife will let you manipulate it quite easily. Put the edge of the putty knife into a seam you want to split and give it a few taps and the slate will split. Just tapping the hammer along a sharp edge you want to soften will typically chip it off and give you a more natural appearance. It's a very easy to manipulate stone unlike marble or granite. And you never know what you'll find when you split slate. It's a sedimentary stone so if a leaf, or critter was trapped in the layers, you might just find a fossil of it. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awesome!! Thanks for the info I might grab a few pieces of that slate to play around with. Yesterday I was fortunate enough to have one of my buddies go to his friend who’s a tiler and countertop guy, he gave him a bunch of large slabs of natural stone. It looks like quarts and other mixes crystals they both said it was aquarium safe but the backing has fiberglass my buddy said that’s aquarium safe too I can either leave it or remove it but do these look good to cut and piece together to make some caves?

image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/22/2021 at 9:00 PM, Flyin Jawaiian said:

Awesome!! Thanks for the info I might grab a few pieces of that slate to play around with. Yesterday I was fortunate enough to have one of my buddies go to his friend who’s a tiler and countertop guy, he gave him a bunch of large slabs of natural stone. It looks like quarts and other mixes crystals they both said it was aquarium safe but the backing has fiberglass my buddy said that’s aquarium safe too I can either leave it or remove it but do these look good to cut and piece together to make some caves?

image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

image.jpg

I like the look of all the stone but I wouldn’t put that fiberglass in my tank.  I’d find a way to scrape or grind it off.  Fibers like that could cause foreign bodies and maybe irritate gills.

Edited by Odd Duck
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I recently found these at my local Lowe’s. Are these real natural slate? Even with the multicolor? And rust stains? If anyone could let me know ASAP as there’s only a few boxes of these left. They don’t look like the perfect stone I see in some peoples videos but it does say all natural slate. And natural stone. 
 

10-Pack Multicolor 12-in x 12-in Natural Natural Stone Slate Floor Tile https://www.lowes.com/pd/Anatolia-Tile-10-Pack-Multicolor-12-in-x-12-in-Natural-Floor-Tile/1001042626

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/27/2021 at 6:44 PM, Flyin Jawaiian said:

I recently found these at my local Lowe’s. Are these real natural slate? Even with the multicolor? And rust stains? If anyone could let me know ASAP as there’s only a few boxes of these left. They don’t look like the perfect stone I see in some peoples videos but it does say all natural slate. And natural stone. 
 

10-Pack Multicolor 12-in x 12-in Natural Natural Stone Slate Floor Tile https://www.lowes.com/pd/Anatolia-Tile-10-Pack-Multicolor-12-in-x-12-in-Natural-Floor-Tile/1001042626

Yep, agree with @gardenman.  The rotating view also shows a wide, shallow chip on the back that is exactly what I expect from slate and not at all what I would expect with any engineered product.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...