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Old 02-22-2009, 07:50 PM   #1
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rocks, stones and pvc piping

I'm new to freshwater fish tanks.I just got a 30 gallon tank with just over half a dozen fish about a month ago. i would like to know if i could use a rock or stone found in a river/stream or lake to use in my tank. i dont want to harm my fish so would it be safe? should i boil them or look for rocks with a certain characteristic *smooth not pouris. Also i saw a person on this site use pvc piping as a cave. is the pvc alright in a tank?

really i am trying to find alternatives to buying from a store to fill the small parts of my tank. to make a little less openness. anything DIY or homemade ** that wont kill my fish!. any ideas would be great!!
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:44 PM   #2
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Durring the summer months does the stream you are planning on gathering deco from have alot of suds, bubbles, foam, soap sud looking things in it near the ripples, current, and stagnant pools? If so I would be leery about using rocks from there. If you do decide to boiling should be a good way to get all pollutants out of the rocks. PVC is okay. Clear tubing seems to be the choice so you can see what is going on inside. However this takes away from the natural look of your aquarium!
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:58 PM   #3
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actually its more like a fast shallow river. not really grimy. what amount of time in the boiling water would be sufficiant? I'm planning on burrying the pvc elbow in the rocks i gather so im not really worried about the appearance. do you have any DIY sort of ideas to give shelter/cave for my fish?
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:05 PM   #4
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The faster moving does not insure no pollutants. However being from canada you might be okay. Some steams can still be drank from I am from columbus, Ohio most streams here are very polluted. Fish still live in them yet I wouldnt use anything from these streams in my home aquarium. As far as PVC you could take a large elbow and burry it in the gravel and then with the exposed part wrap some java moss around it to kind of hide the white... That would be cool!
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:06 PM   #5
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Boil it until water becomes clear I suppose.
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:20 PM   #6
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great!, thanks ma
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:29 PM   #7
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This is the left side of my tank I have malaysian driftwood stacked on top of each other. It is actually 3 pieces with the biggest being on the bottom. On the 2 pieces stacked on top I put java moss on the driftwood. This allowed a cave on bottom and a cave in the middle just snapped this photo for you. In the middle I have a bigger piece that already had some spacing in it. This is where my catfish hides durring the day!
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:35 PM   #8
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thats the ulitmate right there!. i'mtrying to steer clear of driftwood just becuase of the risk's, i really don't want to buy wood from a store just becuase they are screwing you for the money and the tannin in the wood may cause the tank to become dirty more often. it does make a great peice tho. i just want something a bit more artificial that will give my fish somewhere to go. I have a large sunken ship with nooks and crannys but its just not enough for the 8 fish i have.
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:46 PM   #9
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Tannins only last a short period of time. As far as store bought driftwood yes its pricey however I didnt by the already mounted kind. It was still hefty. However I tossed it in(after a rinse that is). It did turn the water brown but that only lasted a short while. I have not had any problems since the tannins have worn out of the wood! But yea you can do some cool things with PVC and gravel. You could burry the PVC if you did not want to see it and cover the top with gravel also!
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Old 02-22-2009, 09:49 PM   #10
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yeah the pvc idea is great, im planning on wrapping it in the java as well. thank you
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