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I've used bricks in all my tanks for many years. No problem!

For growing mosses, I'd recommend lava rocks. The many "nooks and crannies" accumulate organic matter and provide lots of surface area that mosses like. All my mosses and Java fern love lava rock.

Lava rock doesn't decompose like driftwood sometimes can (it decomposes, if not properly cured).
 

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I don't think you have to worry that much about pollutants, even in the Great Lakes.

However for total safety, I would scrub the bricks with an old tooth brush and dilute chlorox solution. This will kill parasites. Then I would add charcoal to the filter (this will remove organic pollutants).

In summary: I would clean the bricks as best I could, add charcoal to the filter, and relax.
 

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Yay! They look great and I know my Kuhlis will love to 'hang' in the holes of the bricks - not mention my curious guppy babies. Most of them seem like they will easily hold anubias and mosses too. If I can find my digital camera i'll snap some pics as they are pretty unique old style bricks.
That would be interesting to see some pictures. You sound like you really like your fish-- and bricks. Good going!
 
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