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I'd like to fill my 55g with some rock from my creek, I know there is farm land up stream so chemicals may pose a problem but with thorough washing and boiling I think it will all come clean.
Does anyone else use local substrates for their aquariums?

water~

(this is posted in substrates too but it's also natural!)
 

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I use rocks wherever I find them. Here's my 55 gal, which I set up Sept 1 with rocks from a local polluted lake. I just rinsed and scrubbed the rocks before putting them in the tank. However, boiling the rocks you find in lakes/streams that might have diseased fish gives you full-proof protection. Remember, though, that the potential pathogens that come from coldwater ecosystems probably aren't going to do well in a tropical tank, so the risk of bringing something in that multiply and threaten fish is slight, at best.

Then I have used many rocks from my property in various tank setups over the years. Using local rocks is fun. Out of curiosity, I asked the UNC's Geology Department for help to identify the reddish-colored rocks I used for this tank. A kind professor identified them as "rose quartz". The reddish color is due to iron oxides in the quartz. These rocks are totally inert and perfect for the aquarium.
 

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You don't have to worry about chemical pollution from rocks from local streams or lakes unless the pollution is so bad that nothing lives in them. Just a rinse will be fine. You perhaps should worry about unwanted hair algae or creepy crawlies coming with the rock. Boiling should take care of that.
 

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Simply just rinse the rocks and scrub it down with a course brush..... Also, in general... you should always rinse off anything that comes from a river or stream

Later!
 
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