Driftwood and large rocks - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-26-2010, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Driftwood and large rocks

Hello everyone, I am new here and pretty much a newbie at this hobby. I am thinking of doing a natural planted aquarium in the 30gal to 55gal size. I was looking at some of the pics on this site and love the driftwood and large rocks in the pics. Are these purchased from a store or do you just go out and locate them in the wild. I am sure they would need to be treated before introducing to the aquarium. I would like to put driftwood or rocks in first, stablize the water a bit then go with the plants and later start adding some fish. All this in a few weeks or more.
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-26-2010, 01:39 AM
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I buy my driftwood from the lfs (local fish store) <in case you haven't picked up that lingo yet. It's really pricey. I heard you can get it from fresh water rivers but I am not sure about details.

River rocks you can find almost EVERYWHERE. Depending on how honest of a person you are... they become more and more available. I get mine from the park... they are gathering dust around some tree in this concrete enclosure. I figure they have no use for them. If you "find" your rocks you can boil them (that's what I do) although I did come across a post on this forum once that warned not to boil rocks but to instead pour the boiling water over them. apparently they can explode or something. I don't know how likely this is.

10 gallon (Aquarius the betta)
30 gallon tall (currently in progress) 4 black skirt tetras.
55 gallon planted: 4 Three Spot Gourami, 4 young Angelfish, 5 young clown loaches. (don't worry, they are getting a larger tank), 1 bristlenose pleco, 3 otto cats, 4 guppies, & 1 corydora.

Jack (the bunny). Sakura, Mouse, Wookie (the guinea pigs).

My Cats: Yoda (hand raised FCK kitten), Patch (one eyed rescued stray), Charlie, Costello, Blue, Mamma, Dixie , Precious, Sadie (all rescued strays)
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-26-2010, 01:45 AM
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I got large river rocks from a landscape supply store. At 12 cents a pound it was much cheaper than the LFS. I've bought wood from the LFS and recently I got some Manzanita branches from my mom's property. I know it's never been sprayed so it's safe to use. But there's always a risk of wood or rocks you gather as you never know if it's been in contact with anything toxic.

150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-26-2010, 01:54 AM
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I too purchased my rock from local lawn and garden store. I chose hard smooth river stones for they are less likely to contain minerals that may influence the ph and hardness of the water in the aquarium.
rocks like limestone or coral,or rocks that appear pourus ,I don't use.
Flagstone and slate however are safe.
Would scrub all rocks with warm water and bleach solution and let air dry for 24 hours (turn em so bottom drys too) before placing them in my aquarium.
Would boil the wood and for very large pieces,,I soak them in tub of water for up to two months before using them and change the water a couple times a week.
Hope some of this helps.PS
I'm not sure bout rocks exploding either but why risk it?

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-26-2010, 04:32 AM
there's lots of wood for aquarium use on ebay if your lfs doesn't have what you want, though it works out a little more expensive when including postage. My rocks came from a river and a beach - i washed them with hot water before putting them in the tank.

when placing your rocks and wood, take your time to work out an arrangement that looks good. try a few different placements and see how you like them. if you're not sure, post some pics here and i'm sure people will give their input. Also try to consider what plants you might have around them - what might go in the background, middle and foreground. Plants can go in straight away after your happy with the hardscape (rocks, wood and substrate).
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-26-2010, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all for responding.
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-27-2010, 12:13 AM
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While driftwood can be very expensive it's always worth it to check Craigslist. I picked up seven huge chunks of really nice Malaysian driftwood for $60.00. I didn't even need that much but at that price I took it all. I boiled the heck out of it, piece by piece, in a huge lobster pot to kill any "things" that may have been living in it. Maybe take a look online and see what's there?

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-27-2010, 08:19 AM
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If you live in the U.S. I just got several nice pieces of driftwood from Sweet Aquatics (also a plant dealer) for $2.50-$6.50 a piece. I got 5 nice pieces for $30. They have pictures online so you can see what they look like. There were several pieces I wanted to be able to stand up, so they even cut some pieces for me in order for them to stand. Just a thought.
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