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Old 03-20-2008, 05:19 PM   #1
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Rocks and Driftwood

Hey guys,

Quick/dumb question... some of you may know that I have plans for a 30 gallon long. I want some rock caves/driftwood pieces in the new tank to make things a little more natural looking(compared to my hot pink-muli-colored-hippie-type gravel i have now).

Do you guys find your own rocks and driftwood? If not, where do you buy them? I found some decent pieces of driftwood at Pet Supplies plus but they wanted almost $30 for a foot long piece. Rocks were $10+ for a decent size one (small dinner plate).

I found some rocks on ebay, you think these would be any good?
Aquarium Cave Rock ~ live fish tank reptile turtle koi - eBay (item 190207974324 end time Mar-26-08 16:05:23 PDT)


Also, I am not going planted with this new tank. Should I stick to a gravel substrate or go with sand? I've heard the downside of sand is you have to be careful when you gravel/sand vac (suck up sand, clog sink, etc.).

Any thoughts or comments?
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:48 PM   #2
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IMO, i would not go out and find pieces of driftwood from out in the wild. If you do, make sure you soak it and wash it in a bit of bleach and lots of water for a few weeks then scrub the heck out of it. The soak it longer w/o bleach to make sure there is no bleach left in or on the wood.

Otherwise. Just purchase some at your LFS or maybe an arts and crafts store.

That ebay sight looks cool. But it all depends on what you want it to look like.
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:18 PM   #3
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I have purchased nice driftwood from DrsFosterSmith.

I remember A&B Oddball Pets in Baldwin having some nice kiln-dried driftwood. They probably have good rocks too. At one time, they had a big cichlid display tank set up with all rocks.

You could go with either substrate for a non-planted tank. I got some nice pool filter sand at Pool City (it has since been replaced with Eco-Complete) but it was nice sand for pretty cheap. I have read here from Purrbox that you can put a short length of the plastic craft mesh (at Joanne Fabric - something like 39 cents a square foot) into your vac, letting it stick out the end. Use the craft mesh to lightly sift through the sand and all the detritus will be carried away up the vac.
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:57 PM   #4
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As always, thanks for the replies. I think I will steer clear of wild driftwood, just for ease of setup. That same ebay seller sells some nice looking driftwood pieces that are anchored to a rock, they are also fairly reasonable (compared to a LFS).

I think this weekend we're headed up to Wally's for some shopping. I think I'll have to detour to Under the Sea I'm hardly ever in Baldwin unless I'm out on the road on a service call. Theres a Pool City on McKnight road that I might look at.

I do have one question, any pool filter sand will work? A friend of mine works at Alpine Pools in Gibsonia. I'm sure I could work out some sort of deal on some sand with him. Along the same lines, I like Purrbox's idea with the mesh in the vac, sounds like it works good.

Thanks again guys for all your help. Now I just need to start buying some things as I see them on sale. Tank is on sale this weekend so I might end up picking that up. $46.99 for a 30 gallon long at the Pet Supplies Plus in Cranberry. Lowest price I saw anywhere else locally was $60+
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Old 03-22-2008, 02:35 PM   #5
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There is a Pool City in Cranberry too, on the upper level of the Cranberry Mall, in the corner. The Alpine Pool store would work well too, I'm sure. I got inert quartz sand at Pool City. At another pool store, the employee had a partially opened bag and he put some sand in a plastic cup and put some water in it so I could see what it looked like. It was a bit finer sand than the stuff from Pool City, but either one would have been fine. In my short experience with the pool filter sand, it was pretty cheap.

Wally's = Walmart? LOL Actually, the Cranberry Walmart is very nice now after the big remodel. I got my two bettas there and they have lived longer than just about any of the other bettas I've had.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:32 AM   #6
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Yes, Wallys = Walmart. Sorry, LOL! I completely forgot about the Pool City in Cranberry Mall. I am headed that way tomorrow to get some things and I will definitely stop in Under the Sea.

Just a little side note, the Easter Bunny was good to me, LOL! Left me two lily bulbs for my tank
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:57 AM   #7
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Sweet! Looks like things are coming along for you meegosh.
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Old 04-02-2008, 05:14 PM   #8
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Well I figured I would post in here again since I am now inquiring about rocks. I've heard you test rocks by pouring some vinegar over them, if they bubble - don't use them. Is that correct? What rocks should I avoid? Anything else I should look out for, other than pouring boiling water over them.

I know from camping that you should never heat rocks up! I learned that at a young age when I threw a rock into the campfire... 30 minutes later... and it shot out and hit my brother under the eye! Trip to the local ER room and 6 stitches, I learned my lesson.

P.S. - I've got the tank, 50lbs of pool filter sand, wood for stand, hardware for stand/doors, and an empty pocket!!! Waiting for my tax return or my birthday in May to finish it off.
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:57 PM   #9
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Yeah the vinegar test works, or so i've heard anyway. I can't tell you what to avoid, but can tell you that slate rocks, lava rocks, and most you'd find in an LFS are all inert and won't affect your water one way or the other.

Wow, those last two sentences convinced me your much more patient than I am. Well done, I've been spending money left and right trying to get my tank all set, though I think I'm almost done now.
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:29 AM   #10
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Haha, If I've learned anything about this hobby it would have to be that you must be patient!!! I'm getting my tax return back sometime this week so it looks like I will be doing some shopping this weekend.

I have some questions however that are still unanswered...

1.) Is one 110watt heater enough, should it be placed horizontally in the middle? or would two smaller heaters, ~60 watt be better?

2.) Is something like eco-complete necessary for a tank with all fake plants except some java moss on some driftwood?

Thanks for all your help guys, I appreciate it! I'll post some pics this weekend of my stand I'm working on.
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