? about driftwood and rock - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-16-2010, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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? about driftwood and rock

I want to add some driftwood and rock to my tank soon. I was wondering if I could head down to the river and find any old random piece of driftwood that I like or are there particular types the work best. Do I have to or is it recommended to purchase from the lfs? As for rock, I was thinking of something like slate maybe, or maybe whatever I find on the banks of the river. I have read a little on this and know about the vinegar test and nothing with tiny little flakes, but are there any other restrictions on rock?

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post #2 of 7 Old 09-16-2010, 03:56 PM
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Generally, most people reccomend not to use driftwood or rocks that you find.
Do so at your own risk.

Of course, I'm not saying I've never done it... Don't trust the vinegar test. I would put the rock in a jar or bucket of water and see if the ph/kh/gh changes. If it stays the same after a week, then you'll probably be ok. I do agree, make sure there is nothing dark red or metallic in the rock that you can see.

As for the wood, you have to be a bit more careful... Look for 'old' wood. Most of the older wood is under water, so it might be tricky...
You'll need to brush the wood with a metal brush, boil the wood, then brush it again to get off any soft areas.. After that, you soak it in water some more. If the water turns too brown, you might want to boil it again. (Boiling causes the wood to release tannins faster, like a tea bag.)

Originally Posted by Christople View Post
^^ genius

Soil Substrates Guide:
Part 1
--------- Part 2

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post #3 of 7 Old 09-16-2010, 04:53 PM
bigehugedome's Avatar
Here is a quote from member Bryon from one of my threads (im guessing it is ok to do this). Thought it may answer your question about rocks. I believe he is talking about the regent that you need to shake for about 5 mins before you use it to test, but I may be wrong.

Originally Posted by Byron View Post
On the rock, if it is calcareous it will raise the hardness and pH. Calcareous rocks are limestone, dolomite, marble, lava; and coral. Inert rocks are fine. A test for calcium is to put a couple drops of acid on the rock and if it fizzes or foams, it is calcareous. Some suggest vinegar for the acid, but it really isn't strong enough. The Regent #1 [or is it #2?] in the Nitrate test kit is an acid and better to use. Granite, shale, quartz rock is fine, or should be.

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post #4 of 7 Old 09-16-2010, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like I will just pick up the stuff at the store. just trying to save a few bucks. I have already sacraficed a few fish to rookie mistakes so I need not take any more chances at this point.

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post #5 of 7 Old 09-16-2010, 05:52 PM
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I collected all mine from Saltwater, Rinsed the rocks under hot running water, Scrub them if there dirty, Add them to my tank, The first few driftwoods I took all the precautions, Stopped that about 50 or so pieces ago, I just rinse them well, scrub them if needed then drop them in my tanks, weighted down with a rock or two,
Never the first problem. Just make sure it came from Salt water is all.

Always in NEED & looking for more Tanks!
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-16-2010, 06:33 PM
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hell i even boil the drift wood i get from the lfs now cause it normally is infested with pond snails and/or the eggs from pond snails. as far as getting it from the wild still i boil the wood and clean anything dirty off as for rock well its a crap shoot if you just throw it in the tank even if its clean and stuff unless you know what kind of rock your dealing with and youll find 50 difrent ways and opinions on how to test and clean the rock itself to make sure its safe. one thing i can say for sure avoid limestone someone told me it would be safe for a salt water tank seeing it once was the sea floor... yeah no its not lol
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-16-2010, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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No saltwater near me. But i am headed to destin fl in a few weeks. Might e able to spot something there
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