03-21-2012, 02:26 PM
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Yes you can, but there is of course always risks.
For rocks, you need ones that are inert, which means they won't dissolve in water and mess with your GH/KH. Limestone is a perfect example of what you don't want.
A way to test for it is to use an acid on the rock and see if it fizzes. Vinegar can work. You of course want to clean them very good first, but do not boil them directly on the stove. You can pour boiling water on them, but don't heat them on the stove, rocks have been known to explode if they contain moisture internal which turns to a gas which has a larger volume than when it was a liquid.
For driftwood, you want a hardwood, they are less likely to rot on you. It has to be old and dead to ensure it has no sap left in it. It also needs to have no bark on it. Most wood you find outside will float in the aquarium, sometimes for months before becoming water logged and sinking. Often people have to bolt it down to a piece of slate (with stainless steel of course) or hold it down with rocks (careful, don't want a falling rock to break your glass).
Malaysian Driftwood you get at the pet/fish store is best, it will sink immediately and is a known good and natural wood for the fish. It is hard to find a nice branchy piece though, most of it is more chunks or flat pieces.